Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future

By COGwriter

Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible. It is often in the news. According to biblical prophecy it has a rocky road ahead, and then it will be replaced.

Do you know what the Bible teaches about Jerusalem? Why is its past important? What is its future? What will happen to Jerusalem?

Jesus spoke about Jerusalem. Jesus also told His followers to watch events in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14,37; Luke 21:20), so knowing what to watch for should be important for real Christians. Jesus taught events would change in Jerusalem.

This article will hopefully provide you with information so that you can better understand and watch Jerusalem. (There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.)

The History of Jerusalem

What seems to be the first reference in the Bible about Jerusalem comes from the following passage:

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. (Genesis 14:18)

While the above uses the term "Salem," the Jewish first century historian Josephus said that this was actually a reference to Jerusalem:

2. So Abram, when he had saved the captive Sodomites, who had been taken by the Assyrians, and Lot also, his kinsman, returned home in peace. Now the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The King's Dale, where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him. That name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God: however, they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, x, 2)

This also confirmed in the Bible in the Psalms as the place in Judea with the tabernacles at that time was Jerusalem:

1 In Judah God is known;
His name is great in Israel.
2 In Salem also is His tabernacle,
And His dwelling place in Zion. (Psalms 76:1-2)

Since the Bible refers to Melchizedek as "the priest of God Most High" (Genesis 14:18), describes Melchizedek in terms that could not apply to a human (Hebrews 7:1-3), and teaches that Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews 6:20), there has long been a divine connection to Jerusalem that proceeds the time that there were any children of Israel (Abram/Abraham was the grandfather of Jacob/Israel) (I hope to do a more detailed article on "Melchizedek" later).

The first mention of the actual term"Jerusalem" in the Bible was in the Book of Joshua were the King of Jerusalem wanted a confederation to destroy the children of Israel (Joshua 10:1), but instead he was killed (Joshua 10:23-27), the Jebusites inhabited it (Joshua 15:23). Later, another Gentile king of Jerusalem was killed by those of Judea (Judges 1:7) and:

8 Now the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it; they struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. (Judges 1:8)

But it did not remain in Israeli hands for long then either as the still Jebusites inhabited it (Judges 1:21).

The Bible tells that later David had it taken over:

6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, "You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you," thinking, "David cannot come in here." 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David).

8 Now David said on that day, "Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul), he shall be chief and captain." Therefore they say, "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house."

9 Then David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the City of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. 10 So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. (2 Samuel 5:6-10)

From that time until until near the end of the reigns of the kings of Judah, Jerusalem remained in Israeli hands. But after Zedekiah rebelled Nebuchadnezzar's forces took it over and destroyed it in the sixth century B.C.:

1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.

And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 5 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 9 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. 11 He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.

12 In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 13 And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. (Jeremiah 52:1-13, ESV)

Later God had Nehemiah, who had essentially been a butler/'cupbearer' (Nehemiah 1:11), come back, rebuild the walls of the city and reigned as its, and Judea's, governor (Nehemiah 5:14).

Others also ended up controlling Jerusalem and it was under Roman control at the time of Jesus.

It was under time Roman domination that Jesus was killed in Jerusalem:

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"

23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Matthew 16:22-23)

While Satan wanted gone, His sacrifice was God's plan from the foundation of the world (cf. Revelation 13:8). But Satan apparently wanted Jesus to not go through with it and deny the Father's will. Jesus prayed:

42"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luke 22:42)

And that, Jesus submitted Himself to be killed in Jerusalem:

27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!' 30 Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"' 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?"

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:27-34)

Three days after He was killed, Jesus was resurrected (see also What Happened in the 'Crucifixion Week'?).

Notice that Satan's plan then was to deny that Jesus was resurrected:

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.' 14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure." 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:1-17).

Despite the false stories, the disciples saw the resurrected Christ. The apostles believed and were told to wait in Jerusalem:

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:4-6)

So, they did.

The Church Began in Jerusalem

The New Testament church began in Jerusalem on Pentecost as discussed in Acts 2:

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:1-6)

38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:38-47)

Jesus told His disciples that they would be persecuted (John 15:20). Shortly after the church began in Jerusalem, the apostles were threatened:

5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?"

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, "What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name."

18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. (Acts 4:5-22)

Then a short time later, the threats worsened:

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!"

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. (Acts 5:26-33)

Then the threats and plots began to be carried out:

54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:54-60)

But that did not stop the Church of God.

Notice the following from the Franciscan Jean Briand:

Everyone knows the Church grew out of Jerusalem…From Jerusalem, Judeo-Christian communities spread out through Palestine and beyond Transjordan and Syria.  We also find Judeo-Christans in Asia and other parts of the Empire…The mother Church…which remained for a long time at the head of the Judeo-Christian movement was in Jerusalem.  It was at first headed by the Apostle Peter himself and then, after his departure from the Holy City, by James, “the brother of the Lord…(Briand J. The Judeo-Christian Church of Nazareth.  Translated from the French by Mildred Duell. 1st edition, Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 1982, pp. 10-11, 13)

The Jews revolted in 67 A.D., and many Christians fled to Pella during that revolt. Jerusalem was mainly destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Roman General Titus. After its destruction many of the Christians came back to Jerusalem from Pella (Briand, p.13).

Eusebius states this about the succession in Jerusalem:

1. The chronology of the bishops of Jerusalem I have nowhere found preserved in writing; for tradition says that they were all short lived.

2. But I have learned this much from writings, that until the siege of the Jews, which took place under Adrian, there were fifteen bishops in succession there, all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in purity, so that they were approved by those who were able to judge of such matters, and were deemed worthy of the episcopate. For their whole church consisted then of believing Hebrews who continued from the days of the apostles until the siege which took place at this time; in which siege the Jews, having again rebelled against the Romans, were conquered after severe battles.

3. But since the bishops of the circumcision ceased at this time, it is proper to give here a list of their names from the beginning.

The first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord;
the second, Symeon;
the third, Justus;
the fourth, Zacchæus;
the fifth, Tobias;
the sixth, Benjamin;
the seventh, John;
the eighth, Matthias;
the ninth, Philip;
the tenth, Seneca;
the eleventh, Justus;
the twelfth, Levi;
the thirteenth, Ephres;
the fourteenth, Joseph;
and finally, the fifteenth, Judas.

4. These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the circumcision. (Eusebius. Church History, Book IV, Chapter 5. Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Notice that these early bishops "received the knowledge of Christ in purity," hence their teachings should have continued. However, this did not last as this church was eliminated. (For more on the early 'apostolic succession' in Jerusalem, see the article Apostolic Succession.)

The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem teaches:

The Church of Jerusalem, as the Mother of all Churches, during the first days of Christianity consisted of the centre of life. From it, the Holy Apostles went to visit all nations and renounced the whole world (Marc. 16, 15)…The “Lord’s City” was completely destroyed in 70 A.C. by Titos, resulting in great and tragic consequences to the Judaist and Christian lives. (Archim. Titos (Chortatos). THE CHURCH OF JERUSALEM. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem http://www.jerusalem-patriarchate.org/ May 24, 2005)

After the Bar Kokhba revolt (c. 132-135 A.D.), Roman Emperor Hadrian forced "the Jewish" out and renamed it Ælia Capitolina. Early faithful Christians had to leave Jerusalem around 135 A.D.

Notice what the theological historian Johann Lorenz Mosheim wrote (note: I am using modern letter spelling as in his writing the letter "s" for example is normally shown as the letter "f") related to Marcus and the situation in Hadrian's new colony:

Feeling it was the first importance to their well-being, to procure for themselves the liberty of removing their effects into the city of Ælia, and to be admitted in the rights of citizenship there, a considerable number of the Christians came to the resolution of formally renouncing all obedience to the law of Moses. The immediate author of this measure was, in all likelihood, that very Marcus whom they appointed as their bishop: a man whose name evidently speaks him to have been a Roman, and who doubtless was not unknown in his nation that had been the chief command in Palestine and might possibly have been related to some officer of eminence there. Perceiving, therefore, one of their own nation placed at the head of Christendom, the Roman prefects dismissed at once all apprehension of their exciting disturbance in the newly-established colony, and from this time ceased to regard them as Jews.

In consequence in this favourable alteration of the sentiments of the Romans towards them...Marcus, at whose insistence, they were prevailed on to renounce the law of Moses...(Mosheim JL. Commentaries on the affairs of the Christians before the time of Constantine the Great: or, An enlarged view of the ecclesiastical history of the first three centuries, Volume 2. Translated by Robert Studley Vidal. Publisher T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1813. Original from Princeton University. Digitized Apr 28, 2010, pp. 196-197)

Was this view towards the law new? Yes, as Johann Lorenz Mosheim also wrote:

Nothing, in fact, can be better attested than that there existed in Palestine two Christian churches, by the one of which an observance of the Mosaic law was retained, and by the other disregarded. This division amongst the Christians of Jewish origins did not take place before the time of Hadrian, for it can be ascertained, that previously to his reign the Christians of Palestine were unanimous in an adherence to the ceremonial observances of their forefathers. There can be no doubt, therefore, that this separation originated in major part of them being prevailed upon by Marcus to renounce Mosaic ritual, by way of getting rid of the numerous inconveniences to which they were exposed, and procuring for themselves a reception, as citizens, in the newly formed colony of Ælia Capitolina. (Mosheim JL. Commentaries on the affairs of the Christians before the time of Constantine the Great: or, An enlarged view of the ecclesiastical history of the first three centuries, Volume 2. Translated by Robert Studley Vidal. Publisher T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1813. Original from Princeton University. Digitized Apr 28, 2010, p. 197)

It was not the elimination of "Mosiac ritual" that Marcus insisted upon, as much of what would be so considered was gone earlier (cf. Hebrews 9:6-28). It was Christian practices such as the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9), Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7-8), and religious separation (2 Corinthians 6:17; Hebrews 7:26) that Marcus renounced. Yet, those had been kept by the actual 15 Jewish bishops that the Eastern Orthodox claim that Marcus succeeded. Marcus failed heed Jude's warning
"to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

There is an old Arabic Islamic manuscript that reports about those considered to be Judeao-Christians that seems to provide some additional details. It was published in English in 1966 by Shlomo Pines as The Jewish Christians of the Early Centuries of Christianity according to a New Source. It was originally written by an Arabic Muslim around the tenth century named Abd al-Jabbar and called Tathbit Dala'il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Mahammad. One chapter of it is believed to be an Islamic interpretation of a lot of "Judeo-Christian" writings (some probably from true Nazarenes, others from Essenes, etc.). Shlomo Pines translated much of the one chapter of it into English, that discussed Arabic Judeao-Christians (see Arabic Nazarenes May Have Kept Original Christian Practices) who seemed to have practices like other Nazarene Christians (Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes?).

Here is the translation of one section of it that may have additional insight related to Marcus' supporters:

(71a) 'After him', his disciples (axhab) were with the Jews and the Children of Israel in the latter's synagogues and observed the prayers and the feasts of (the Jews) in the same place as the latter. (However) there was a disagreement between them and the Jews with regard to Christ.

The Romans (al-Rum) reigned over them. The Christians (used to) complain to the Romans about the Jews, showed them their own weakness and appealed to their pity. And the Romans did pity them. This (used) to happen frequendy. And the Romans said to the Christians: "Between us and the Jews there is a pact which (obliges us) not to change their religious laws (adyan). But if you would abandon their laws and separate yourselves from them, praying as we do (while facing) the East, eating (the things) we eat, and regarding as permissible that which we consider as such, we should help you and make you powerful, and the Jews would find no way (to harm you). On the contrary, you would be more powerful than they."

The Christians answered:"We will do this."

(And the Romans) said: "Go, fetch your companions, and bring your Book (kitab)." (The Christians) went to their companions, informed them of (what had taken place) between them and the Romans and said to them: "Bring the Gospel (al-injil), and stand up so that we should go to them."

But these (companions) said to them: "You have done ill. We are not permitted (to let) the Romans pollute the Gospel. In giving a favourable answer to the Romans, you have accordingly departed from the religion. We are (therefore) no longer permitted to associate with you; on the contrary, we are obliged to declare that there is nothing in common between us and you;" and they prevented their (taking possession of) the Gospel or gaining access to it. In consequence a violent quarrel (broke out) between (the two groups). Those (mentioned in the first place) went back to the Romans and said to them: "Help us against these companions of ours before (helping us) against the Jews, and take away from them on our behalf our Book (kitab)." Thereupon (the companions of whom they had spoken) fled the country. And the Romans wrote concerning them to their governors in the districts of Mosul and in the Jazirat al-'Arab. Accordingly, a search was made for them; some (qawm) were caught and burned, others (qawm) were killed.

(As for) those who had given a favorable answer to the Romans they came together and took counsel as to how to replace the Gospel, seeing it was lost to them. (Thus) the opinion that a Gospel should be composed (yunshi`u) was established among them…a certain number of Gospels were written. (Pines S. The Jewish Christians of the Early Centuries of Christianity according to a New Source. Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Volume II, No.13; 1966. Jerusalem, pp. 14-15).

The above would seem to have taken place in the second century (which is consistent with Shlomo Pines' beliefs). It is interesting for a number of reasons. It shows that there were two group that professed Christ then. One called "Christians" above, and the other (the faithful ones) called "companions." The fact that the companions would no longer associate with the compromisers showed that in whatever area the above occurred in, there were definitely two groups. Deceit and improper compromise has long been part of Satan's Plan (cf. John 8:44; Psalm 119:3, NLT).

One had the true gospels, but another made their own up--this may be why the 'gnostic gospels' started to appear in the early second century (see also The New Testament Canon - From the Bible and History).

It should be noted that, because of this revolt, Emperor Hadrian outlawed many practices considered to be Jewish. The Christians in Judea had a decision to make. They either could continue to keep the Sabbath and the rest of God's law and flee or they could compromise and support a religious leader who would not keep the Sabbath, etc.

Notice that the Romans went after the 'governors' of the companions--in other words, they took steps to eliminate faithful bishops (see also Persecutions by Church and State). But apparently the Roman authorities did NOT go after Marcus as he was not Jewish and had compromised doctrine so much that he and his followers were acceptable.

Sadly as E. Gibbon's reported, most, but not all, made the wrong choice in 135 A.D. Marcus engaged in political compromise to get his position (see also Marcus of Jerusalem: Apostolic successor or apostate?)--but this is not a position that the God of the Bible would approve.

The 19th century scholar J.B. Lightfoot wrote:

The Church of Ælia Capitolina was very differently constituted from the Church of Pella and the Church of Jerusalem…not a few doubtless accepted the conqueror’s terms, content to live henceforth as Gentiles…in the new city of Hadrian.  But there were others who hung to the law of their forefathers…(Lightfoot, Joseph Barber.  Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians: A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes and Dissertations. Published by Macmillan, 1881. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Oct 16, 2006, pp. 317, 331)

So, a major change happened once Marcus and his followers were around (see also Marcus of Jerusalem: Apostolic successor or apostate?). Scholars who study into it enough realize this, though most people do not.

Jesus, of course, taught that the true church would be a "little flock" (Luke 12:32). The actions of Marcus clearly led to a separation between the Christian faithful and those who preferred a form of Christianity more acceptable to the Roman world.

For more details about Marcus, see Marcus of Jerusalem: Apostolic successor or apostate?

Later, some real Christians returned, yet many of the real Christians in the area were forced out by supporters of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. In addition to stealing the building commonly now called the Cenacle from them (see also Church of God on Jerusalem's Western Hill), the followers of Constantine gave the faithful the choice of eating unclean foods or being killed (see also The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats).

Here is a report from a Roman Catholic scholar about matters in Jerusalem around that time:

That there existed strife between the different branches of the faithful can easily be gathered from the expression of the anonymous pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333, who says that the three basilicas were erected by the gentile Christians “at the command of Constantine”, that is by force, and from the late account of Eutychius (PG 111,1012-1013) that, just at this time, the faithful while they were leaving the church on Easter day, were forced to eat pork under the pain of death.  We know how the Judaeo-Christians refused this in order not to transgress the Mosaic law to which they held there were bound (Bagatti, Bellarmino.  Translated by Eugene Hoade.  The Church from the Circumcision. Nihil obstat: Marcus Adinolfi, 13 Maii 1970. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari, 14 Junii 1970. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970.  Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 1971, pp. 13-14).

Of course, those killing those who would not eat unclean meat are not a real branch of "the faithful," but this shows that the Roman Empire placed a high emphasis on controlling religion in Jerusalem.

And this was probably why the following is reported about the Greco-Roman Cyril of Jerusalem:

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, or as some believe, his successor John II…the saint…adds “…Keep away from all sabbathical observances, and do not call some foods clean and unclean because they are all indifferent”. (ibid, p. 89)

Well, the Constantinian "Christians" were fairly intolerant to many of the practices of the truly faithful (see also ). People such as Cyril were considered to be part of the Greco-Orthodox Catholic faith. While there was some Roman Catholic connection, whatever direct connection to Rome was lessened during the time of Constantine, and more so after the fall of Rome. Although the Western Roman Empire fell, the Eastern, or Byzantine Empire continued for nearly 1,000 years. However, Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 634.

The Crusades were supposedly fought to regain Catholic control of Jerusalem. And while the Crusaders had some temporary military success, the forces of Islam mainly won those series of wars. In 1517, Jerusalem and environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who generally remained in control until 1917 (there was also an annexation by an Egyptian leader in 1831 that lasted until about 1840 when the Ottoman Turks gained it back).

Notice also the following:

Prophecy Concerning Judah

There is one prophecy concerning the Jewish people, that they were to be invaded and conquered, driven out of their own land and would be punished for a period of 2,520 years. (See Leviticus 26:14-39...) Now, put that together with other prophecies such as Haggai 2:20-22. Exactly 2,520 years from the time that they were invaded and the land of Palestine was given over to King Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. the very nation to whom that land was deeded by God Almighty took possession of it.

That nation was not the Jewish people, but birthright people who descended from Abraham. The birthright means right of birth, and includes the possession of the land, that is, it includes material resources and possessions. The possession of the land that God promised to Abraham was handed on to Isaac, Abraham's son, and then to Jacob. And then Jacob, just before he died, and when his eyes were so dim with age that he couldn't see, reached out and conferred that same birthright, including the possession of the land of Palestine, not upon Judah, the father of the Jews, but upon Ephraim, and together with him his brother Manasseh, both sons of Joseph.

Joseph was one of the 12 sons of the ancient patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel. Usually you don't hear of any tribe of Joseph because Joseph was given a double portion. And his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, each became a tribe. And so, rather, you usually read of the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. When the name Joseph is occasionally used, it includes the two tribes. 

How Prophecy Was Fulfilled

Ephraim was made the chief birthright holder. And so, 2,520 years from 604 B.C. Ephraim was to take Palestine again counting 2,520 years from 604 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1917.

When it comes to translating time and getting down to an exact day of the year 2,520 years after Nebuchadnezzar came down to Jerusalem and Palestine was surrendered to him, the Bible gives us the date in terms of the Hebrew calendar. That calendar is set up according to the new moons, with every month being 30 or 29 days. Today we're living under what we call the Roman calendar or, as it was slightly altered by Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar. Actually, it is a pagan Roman calendar. The Roman calendar is all that most of us know because we've been born in a world that uses that calendar and no other.

A certain date according to the Hebrew calendar, will coincide with a certain date on the Roman calendar one year, but the next year will be about 11 days earlier, or maybe about 18 days later in the year, because the Hebrew calendar -- sometimes called the sacred calendar, which came from God -- goes according to the moon and runs in 19-year cycles. The Roman calendar by contrast was concocted by men who tried to make it come out right every year, and they've never been able to make it do that!

So, when it comes to translating a certain prophesied date recorded in the Hebrew calendar (in this case the 24th day of the 9th month -- see Haggai 2:20-22) to a date in 1917 according to the Roman calendar, it takes some effort to figure. I found the Hebrew date corresponded to December 9, 1917, which was 2,520 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar accepted the formal surrender of the Jews in 604 B.C.

I looked and found that the Turks, who are gentiles even though they, in part, descend from Esau, Jacob's brother, possessed Palestine in 1917. Esau, remember, anciently possessed the birthright from Abraham through Isaac, but sold it for a bowl of red soup when he was hungry. The Turks surrendered Palestine to the British, on, what date? I had heard, and it had been published that the date was December 11, 1917. December 11, 1917, I found, on further investigation, was merely the date on which General Allenby and his army made their triumphal march into the city of Jerusalem. But it was two days before, on December 9, that the Turks made the surrender.

That prophecy was fulfilled down to the very day, December 9. And it was on the equivalent date, in 604 B.C., 2,520 years before, six centuries before the birth of Christ, that the Jews formally surrendered Jerusalem and Palestine to the gentiles from Babylon. God Almighty has been able to keep his prophecies. (Armstrong HW. The Bible SUPERSTITION OR AUTHORITY? 1985)

The Bible teaches "Ephraim is My firstborn" (Jeremiah 31:9). Ephraim is represented in this age by the British -descended peoples (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy).

Now, let me state that I have verified that December 9, 1917 was indeed the date that the Gentile Turks surrendered to the British (e.g. see https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-12-09/1917-jerusalem-tried-surrender-british-army-cook-who-was-lost-looking-eggs and http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jerusalem-surrenders-to-british-troops accessed 07/28/17). I also verified that the 24th day of the ninth month (Kislev) was on December 9th in 1917 (e.g. http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=1917&month=x&yt=G&v=1&nh=on&nx=on&mf=on&ss=on&o=on&s=on&lg=s&vis=on&D=on&d=on&c=on&city=US-New%20York-NY&m=72#cal-1917-12 accessed 07/28/17).

Anyway, various plans were drawn up by the British (and some others) after World War I to handle various areas such as Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and the city of Jerusalem. Then after World War II, an United Nations declaration gave birth to the State of Israel and granted Israel about 1/2 of the city of Jerusalem. Israel gained the other 1/2 of Jerusalem as the result of a war in 1967.

Many Arabs (and even Turks I have spoken to) believe that Jerusalem should be controlled by Muslims, not Jews.

The Jews, however, hold a different view:

Will Jerusalem Be Divided Again?

November 26, 2013…

For 19 years, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan with the Old City on the Jordan side. In 1967, the Six-Day War led to the reuniting of the city under Israeli sovereignty.

Now, part of the U.S.-backed peace process seeks to split the city once again. Dividing Jerusalem is the most contentious issue in Middle East peace talks.

Israel maintains Jerusalem is its eternal, undivided capital. Palestinians want the eastern part for the capital of a future state.

CBN’s Scott Ross recently asked Mayor Barkat and others about dividing the city. Barkat said dividing the city is impossible. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2013/November/Will-Jerusalem-Be-Divided-Again/

When I visited Jerusalem in October 2013, my guide kept trying to explain to me why dividing Jerusalem was 'impossible.' I repeatedly told him that it was not 'impossible' and that it would be done.

The 70 A.D. Destruction of Jerusalem

The Roman historian Tacitus wrote about the first century destruction of Jerusalem:

[5.1] EARLY in this year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea, and who had gained distinction as a soldier while both were still subjects, began to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces emulated each other in their attachment to him. The young man himself, anxious to be thought superior to his station, was ever displaying his gracefulness and his energy in war. By his courtesy and affability he called forth a willing obedience, and he often mixed with the common soldiers, while working or marching, without impairing his dignity as general. He found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th, all old troops of Vespasian’s. To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied troops and eight squadrons of cavalry, by the two kings Agrippa and Sohemus, by the auxiliary forces of king Antiochus, by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbours, and, lastly, by many persons brought from the capital and from Italy by private hopes of securing the yet unengaged affections of the Prince. With this force Titus entered the enemy’s territory, preserving strict order on his march, reconnoitring every spot, and always ready to give battle. At last he encamped near Jerusalem. (The Histories by Publius Cornelius Tacitus. http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/tacitus/TacitusHistory05.html accessed 08/13/17)

The Jewish first century historian Josephus wrote a lot about the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus:

1 … But when Titus perceived that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the damage of his soldiers, and then be killed, he gave order to set the gates on fire. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 4, section 1)

5. So Titus retired into the tower of Antonia, and resolved to storm the temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house. But as for that house, God had, for certain, long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the month Lous, [Ab,] upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon; although these flames took their rise from the Jews themselves, and were occasioned by them; for upon Titus’s retiring, the seditious lay still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those that guarded the holy house fought with those that quenched the fire that was burning the inner [court of the] temple; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself. At which time one of the soldiers, without staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the north side of it. As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered any thing to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard about it.

6. And now a certain person came running to Titus, and told him of this fire, as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; whereupon he rose up in great haste, and, as he was, ran to the holy house, in order to have a stop put to the fire; after him followed all his commanders, and after them followed the several legions, in great astonishment; so there was a great clamor and tumult raised, as was natural upon the disorderly motion of so great an army. Then did Caesar, both by calling to the soldiers that were fighting, with a loud voice, and by giving a signal to them with his right hand, order them to quench the fire. But they did not hear what he said, though he spake so loud, having their ears already dimmed by a greater noise another way; nor did they attend to the signal he made with his hand neither, as still some of them were distracted with fighting, and others with passion. But as for the legions that came running thither, neither any persuasions nor any threatenings could restrain their violence, but each one’s own passion was his commander at this time; and as they were crowding into the temple together, many of them were trampled on by one another, while a great number fell among the ruins of the cloisters, which were still hot and smoking, and were destroyed in the same miserable way with those whom they had conquered; and when they were come near the holy house, they made as if they did not so much as hear Caesar’s orders to the contrary; but they encouraged those that were before them to set it on fire. As for the seditious, they were in too great distress already to afford their assistance [towards quenching the fire]; they were every where slain, and every where beaten; and as for a great part of the people, they were weak and without arms, and had their throats cut wherever they were caught. Now round about the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another, as at the steps going up to it ran a great quantity of their blood, whither also the dead bodies that were slain above [on the altar] fell down.

7. And now, since Caesar was no way able to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers, and the fire proceeded on more and more, he went into the holy place of the temple, with his commanders, and saw it, with what was in it, which he found to be far superior to what the relations of foreigners contained, and not inferior to what we ourselves boasted of and believed about it. But as the flame had not as yet reached to its inward parts, but was still consuming the rooms that were about the holy house, and Titus supposing what the fact was, that the house itself might yet he saved, he came in haste and endeavored to persuade the soldiers to quench the fire, and gave order to Liberalius the centurion, and one of those spearmen that were about him, to beat the soldiers that were refractory with their staves, and to restrain them; yet were their passions too hard for the regards they had for Caesar, and the dread they had of him who forbade them, as was their hatred of the Jews, and a certain vehement inclination to fight them, too hard for them also. Moreover, the hope of plunder induced many to go on, as having this opinion, that all the places within were full of money, and as seeing that all round about it was made of gold. And besides, one of those that went into the place prevented Caesar, when he ran so hastily out to restrain the soldiers, and threw the fire upon the hinges of the gate, in the dark; whereby the flame burst out from within the holy house itself immediately, when the commanders retired, and Caesar with them, and when nobody any longer forbade those that were without to set fire to it. And thus was the holy house burnt down, without Caesar’s approbation.

8. Now although any one would justly lament the destruction of such a work as this was, since it was the most admirable of all the works that we have seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the vast wealth bestowed upon it, as well as for the glorious reputation it had for its holiness; yet might such a one comfort himself with this thought, that it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevitable, both as to living creatures, and as to works and places also. However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burnt formerly by the Babylonians. Now the number of years that passed from its first foundation, which was laid by king Solomon, till this its destruction, which happened in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, are collected to be one thousand one hundred and thirty, besides seven months and fifteen days; and from the second building of it, which was done by Haggai, in the second year of Cyrus the king, till its destruction under Vespasian, there were six hundred and thirty-nine years and forty-five days. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 4, sections 5-8)

So, Titus did not want to destroy the Temple, but he and his troops did so.

Josephus also wrote:

5. And now Titus, upon consideration that the alacrity of soldiers in war is chiefly excited by hopes and by good words, and that exhortations and promises do frequently make men to forget the hazards they run, nay, sometimes to despise death itself, got together the most courageous part of his army, and tried what he could do with his men by these methods. “O fellow soldiers,” said he, “to make an exhortation to men to do what hath no peril in it, is on that very account inglorious to such to whom that exhortation is made; and indeed so it is in him that makes the exhortation, an argument of his own cowardice also. I therefore think that such exhortations ought then only to be made use of when affairs are in a dangerous condition, and yet are worthy of being attempted by every one themselves; accordingly, I am fully of the same opinion with you, that it is a difficult task to go up this wall; but that it is proper for those that desire reputation for their valor to struggle with difficulties in such cases will then appear, when I have particularly shown that it is a brave thing to die with glory, and that the courage here necessary shall not go unrewarded in those that first begin the attempt. And let my first argument to move you to it be taken from what probably some would think reasonable to dissuade you, I mean the constancy and patience of these Jews, even under their ill successes; for it is unbecoming you, who are Romans and my soldiers, who have in peace been taught how to make wars, and who have also been used to conquer in those wars, to be inferior to Jews, either in action of the hand, or in courage of the soul, and this especially when you are at the conclusion of your victory, and are assisted by God himself; for as to our misfortunes, they have been owing to the madness of the Jews, while their sufferings have been owing to your valor, and to the assistance God hath afforded you; for as to the seditions they have been in, and the famine they are under, and the siege they now endure, and the fall of their walls without our engines, what can they all be but demonstrations of God’s anger against them, and of his assistance afforded us? It will not therefore be proper for you, either to show yourselves inferior to those to whom you are really superior, or to betray that Divine assistance which is afforded you. And, indeed, how can it be esteemed otherwise than a base and unworthy thing, that while the Jews, who need not be much ashamed if they be deserted, because they have long learned to be slaves to others, do yet despise death, that they may be so no longer; and do make sallies into the very midst of us frequently, no in hopes of conquering us, but merely for a demonstration of their courage; we, who have gotten possession of almost all the world that belongs to either land or sea, to whom it will be a great shame if we do not conquer them, do not once undertake any attempt against our enemies wherein there is much danger, but sit still idle, with such brave arms as we have, and only wait till the famine and fortune do our business themselves, and this when we have it in our power, with some small hazard, to gain all that we desire! For if we go up to this tower of Antonia, we gain the city; for if there should be any more occasion for fighting against those within the city, which I do not suppose there will, since we shall then be upon the top of the hill and be upon our enemies before they can have taken breath, these advantages promise us no less than a certain and sudden victory. As for myself, I shall at present wave any commendation of those who die in war, and omit to speak of the immortality of those men who are slain in the midst of their martial bravery; yet cannot I forbear to imprecate upon those who are of a contrary disposition, that they may die in time of peace, by some distemper or other, since their souls are condemned to the grave, together with their bodies. For what man of virtue is there who does not know, that those souls which are severed from their fleshly bodies in battles by the sword are received by the ether, that purest of elements, and joined to that company which are placed among the stars; that they become good demons, and propitious heroes, and show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards? while upon those souls that wear away in and with their distempered bodies comes a subterranean night to dissolve them to nothing, and a deep oblivion to take away all the remembrance of them, and this notwithstanding they be clean from all spots and defilements of this world; so that, in this ease, the soul at the same time comes to the utmost bounds of its life, and of its body, and of its memorial also. But since he hath determined that death is to come of necessity upon all men, a sword is a better instrument for that purpose than any disease whatsoever. Why is it not then a very mean thing for us not to yield up that to the public benefit which we must yield up to fate? And this discourse have I made, upon the supposition that those who at first attempt to go upon this wall must needs be killed in the attempt, though still men of true courage have a chance to escape even in the most hazardous undertakings. For, in the first place, that part of the former wall that is thrown down is easily to be ascended; and for the new-built wall, it is easily destroyed. Do you, therefore, many of you, pull up your courage, and set about this work, and do you mutually encourage and assist one another; and this your bravery will soon break the hearts of your enemies; and perhaps such a glorious undertaking as yours is may be accomplished without bloodshed. For although it be justly to be supposed that the Jews will try to hinder you at your first beginning to go up to them; yet when you have once concealed yourselves from them, and driven them away by force, they will not be able to sustain your efforts against them any longer, though but a few of you prevent them, and get over the wall. As for that person who first mounts the wall, I should blush for shame if I did not make him to be envied of others, by those rewards I would bestow upon him. If such a one escape with his life, he shall have the command of others that are now but his equals; although it be true also that the greatest rewards will accrue to such as die in the attempt.” (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 1, section 5)

So, Titus ordered the destruction of the city and said his troops were Roman. And notice further that the Romans had been waging war against the Temple according to Josephus:

7. In the mean time, the rest of the Roman army had, in seven days’ time, overthrown [some] foundations of the tower of Antonia, and had made a ready and broad way to the temple. Then did the legions come near the first court, and began to raise their banks. The one bank was over against the north-west corner of the inner temple another was at that northern edifice which was between the two gates; and of the other two, one was at the western cloister of the outer court of the temple; the other against its northern cloister. However, these works were thus far advanced by the Romans, not without great pains and difficulty, and particularly by being obliged to bring their materials from the distance of a hundred furlongs. They had further difficulties also upon them; sometimes by their over-great security they were in that they should overcome the Jewish snares laid for them, and by that boldness of the Jews which their despair of escaping had inspired them withal; for some of their horsemen, when they went out to gather wood or hay, let their horses feed without having their bridles on during the time of foraging; upon which horses the Jews sallied out in whole bodies, and seized them. And when this was continually done, and Caesar believed what the truth was, that the horses were stolen more by the negligence of his own men than by the valor of the Jews, he determined to use greater severity to oblige the rest to take care of their horses; so he commanded that one of those soldiers who had lost their horses should be capitally punished; whereby he so terrified the rest, that they preserved their horses for the time to come; for they did not any longer let them go from them to feed by themselves, but, as if they had grown to them, they went always along with them when they wanted necessaries. Thus did the Romans still continue to make war against the temple, and to raise their banks against it. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 2, section 7)

9. In the mean time, the Jews were so distressed by the fights they had been in, as the war advanced higher and higher, and creeping up to the holy house itself, that they, as it were, cut off those limbs of their body which were infected, in order to prevent the distemper’s spreading further; for they set the north-west cloister, which was joined to the tower of Antonia, on fire, and after that brake off about twenty cubits of that cloister, and thereby made a beginning in burning the sanctuary; two days after which, or on the twenty-fourth day of the forenamed month, [Panemus or Tamuz,] the Romans set fire to the cloister that joined to the other, when the fire went fifteen cubits farther. The Jews, in like manner, cut off its roof; nor did they entirely leave off what they were about till the tower of Antonia was parted from the temple, even when it was in their power to have stopped the fire; nay, they lay still while the temple was first set on fire, and deemed this spreading of the fire to be for their own advantage. However, the armies were still fighting one against another about the temple, and the war was managed by continual sallies of particular parties against one another. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 2, section 9)

Before going further, notice something that Jesus prophesied decades before this attack against Jerusalem:

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

2 "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:1-2)

Josephus reported

1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. (Josephus. Wars of the Jews, Book VII, Chapter 1, verse 1)

So, there was not one stone left upon the other for the Temple and the related buildings (more on the destruction of Jerusalem can be found in the article .

It may be of interest to note that although the second temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. not everything was obliterated.

Some of its stones were seemingly used as the foundation stones as well as the original walls, of what seems to have been the first Christian church building (see Church of God on Jerusalem's Western Hill).

Does the True Church Need to Be Based Out of Jerusalem?

Does the true Church need to be based out of Jerusalem?

No.

But some falsely claim that.

The Bible teaches:

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.  (Hebrews 13:10-15)

This scripture proves that no city, including Jerusalem, was to continue to be the ‘headquarters’ city’ for Christians. Commentators, like Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown further point out that this was also a specific reference to Jerusalem.

Some who claim Jerusalem should be the city for the Church of God in this age point to Isaiah 2:3, but let us look at in context:

2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths."  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks;  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4)

The above is clearly a reference to the millennial time. You can see that because this is for the ‘latter days,’ plus the fact that the judging in verse 4 has not taken place, nor have any who claimed this verse effectively gotten the word of the Lord to go forth from Jerusalem.

Notice some prophecies from Zechariah:

16 'Therefore thus says the Lord:

"I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it," says the Lord of hosts,

"And a surveyor's line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem."'

17 "Again proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts:

"My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The Lord will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem."'" (Zechariah 1:16-17)

10 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the Lord. 11 "Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!" (Zechariah 2:10-13)

Those prophecies show that the time will come when God will again choose Jerusalem—but they also show that NOW He has not!

For more information, check out the article: Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem?

Muslims Beliefs and the Koran

Islamic prophetic understandings sometimes include the idea that Muslims will takeover and control Jerusalem.

Notice:

Having done this his next step would be to proceed on to Damascus, where the bulk of the Nasara (Christian) forces along with the tribe of Kalb would be deployed, as was previously mentioned.

In Damascus, the Imam will set up his headquarters. From here, he will conduct military operations against the enemies of Islam and defeats them (such as the ones in Jerusalem), and from here, he will rule.

In response to this, the Roman forces will attack, and destroy the city of the Prophet (Madina), and start to gather their forces against its inhabitants...

After the slaying of Dajjal by Prophet Eessa, Imam Mehdi will not live for very long. A few months will elapse and this great Imam, a man who provided the perfect sequel to Allah's Supreme Religion -ISLAM, will pass on to the realms of the hereafter. The Muslims will perform his Janazah Salat and bury him, and the Messiah son of Maryam will then become the new ruler of the Muslims. (http://www.nooredarwesh.com/main/imam-mahdi-as viewed 05/01/10)

Abu Nadra reported: We were with the company of Jabir Ibn Abdillah... Jabir Ibn Abdillah kept quite for a while and then reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said: "There would be a Caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give handfuls of wealth to the people without counting it." I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-Ala: Do you mean Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz? They said: NO, (he would be Imam Mahdi). References: Sahih Muslim, English version, v4, chapter MCCV, p1508, Tradition #6961 Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Fitan, v4, p2234, Tradition #67 (Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali. Islam.tc, http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/imam.html viewed 02/03/2012)

Some in the Muslim Brotherhood had been pushing for Jerusalem to be part of the Islamic world as the following shows:

The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi emanated, called on Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.

“Jerusalem is Islamic ... and nobody is entitled to make concessions” on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters.

“The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.” (Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood chief urges Jihad for Jerusalem. Al Arabiya with AFP. 11 October 2012. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/11/243221.html)

Some Islamic Shi'ite predictions also suggest that the Mahdi will rule (at least for a time) in Jerusalem, and that may be.

It should be noted that many Arabs also want Jerusalem as a capital:

Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi...reiterated the campaign promise, but this time in more unequivocal language: “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca, or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing. Our cry shall be: ‘Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem! Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!’” (http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/muslim-brotherhood-launches-presidential-campaign-the-capital-of-the-united-states-of-the-arabs-will-be-jerusalem/2012/05/10/)

A "United States of the Arabs" sounds a lot like the King of the South that the Bible foretells--so another Islamic "prophecy" that seems to align with a biblical one (see also in YouTube video The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South).

But, it should be noted that another Islamic view somewhat differs with this as it states that Damascus will be the Mahdi's capital (other Islamists have stated that Jerusalem will be the capital):

Mahdi will be very just and his capital will be Damascus. (Who Is Imam al-Mahdi? http://www.islamicweb.com/history/mahdi.htm viewed 07/02/14)

It should also be noted that the area of Palestine is not mentioned in the Koran. Thus, not all Muslims believe that they are to acquire Jerusalem as a capital or otherwise. Notice the following:

Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, who introduces himself as a Muslim scholar who lives in Jordan, said on his personal Facebook page that there is no such thing as “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah has assigned the Holy Land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59).

“I say to those who distort their Lord’s book, the Koran: From where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it “The Holy Land” and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment. There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in the Koran. Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them (i.e. the Jews).”

The sheikh added: “The Palestinians are the killers of children, the elderly and women. They attack the Jews and then they use those (children, the elderly and women) as human shields and hide behind them, without mercy for their children as if they weren’t their own children, in order to tell the public opinion that the Jews intended to kill them. This is exactly what I saw with my own two eyes in the 70’s, when they attacked the Jordanian army, which sheltered and protected them. Instead of thanking it (the Jordanian army), they brought their children forward to (face) the Jordanian army, in order to make the world believe that the army kills their children. This is their habit and custom, their viciousness, their having hearts of stones towards their children, and their lying to public opinion, in order to get its support.”

It is worth mentioning, that the above mentioned sheikh visited Israel and met Jewish religious scholars. The “Israel in Arabic” site conducted an interview with him, in which he said that the reason for his openness towards the Jewish people “comes from my acknowledgment of their sovereignty on their land and my belief in the Koran, which told us and emphasized this in many places, like His (Allah’s) saying ”Oh People (i.e the Children of Israel), enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned unto you” (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and His saying “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59) and many other verses.

He (Adwan) added: “(The Jews) are peaceful people who love peace, who are not hostile and are not aggressors, but if they are attacked, they defend themselves while causing as little damage to the attackers as possible. It is an honor for them that Allah has chosen them over the worlds – meaning over the people and the Jinns until the Day of Judgment. I made the reasons for Allah’s choice clear in my books and pamphlets. When Allah chose them, He didn’t do so out of politeness, and He wasn’t unjust other peoples, it is just that they (the Jews) deserved this.” (Cohen E. Jordanian Sheikh: ‘There is no “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah gave Israel to the Jews.’ Jews News, August 15, 2014. http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/08/15/jordanian-sheikh-there-is-no-palestine-in-the-koran-allah-gave-israel-to-the-jews/ viewed 09/24/14)

Of course, just as many people who claim to be Christian believe as doctrines positions contrary to the Bible, Islam has similar issues.

The Temple Mount

War and killing is NOT the solution to the region. Those who believe the Bible are supposed to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalms 122:6), although true peace will not come until after the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

But now there are many tensions in that area.  Notice also the following:

How a little hill in Jerusalem, venerated over millennia, became a powder keg that threatens to engulf the whole world in war.

Many Islamic doctrines were based on Judaism and Christianity and in fact, the original direction of prayer (the Qibla) was towards the Temple Mount. Then, 13 years after Mohammed decreed that the Qibla would be the Temple Mount in 624 CE, he changed his mind, and decreed that henceforth it would Mecca.

During Mohammed’s, neither Jerusalem nor the Temple Mount were under Muslim control. Nor are the city or the site mentioned explicitly in the Quran. The Quran tells (in Sura 17 Al-Isra) of the night Muhammad flew on a mythical beast called the Buraq to the “farthest mosque,” or in Arabic, “al-masjid al-aqsa.” At this mosque, he led a group of prophets in prayer and then, ascended to heaven.

Traditions written by hadiths (those who knew the prophet) identify this “farthest mosque” as the Bait Maqdis, a form of Beit Hamikdash, the Hebrew name of the Temple in Jerusalem.

In 637 CE, five years after Muhammad died and after Jerusalem had fallen to Muslim armies together with much of the Middle East, the Caliph Umar, the head of Islam, visited the city and the Temple Mount. He ordered a wooden mosque to be built over a Byzantine structure at the Temple Mount’s southern end.

Several caliphs later, in 691, Caliph Abd al-Malik had a shrine built over a rock in the middle of the Temple Mount.  …

Palestinians repeatedly claim that Israel has been undermining the foundation of the Temple Mount in order to destroy their holy sites, or that Israel is planning to take control of it. While this is certainly not official Israeli policy, some extremist Jewish organizations actively preparing for the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple – which would require the destruction of the Muslim shrines.

The fate of the Temple Mount has been and will probably continue to be a chief point of contention in all Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. With both sides so emotionally invested in this one hill, an agreement is hard to envision. Temple Mount is and will likely continue to be a powder keg, threatening to engulf the region in holy war. May that never happen.  http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-1.627324

(As far as the next “world war” goes, check out World War III: Steps in Progress.)

Perhaps I should mention that there is controversy if the Temple Mount was where the last Jewish temple was located (see also Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Be that as it may, the Israelis have been in Jerusalem (off and on) for thousands of years according to the Bible (e.g. 2 Samuel 5:6-10).

As far as the Temple Mount goes, a leader in the Continuing Church of God sent me a link to the following that some may find of historical interest:

 November 19, 2014

In any event, latest research regarding the construction of the Dome of the Rock – the magnificent structure that stands atop the site of the Holy of Holies – shows that it was originally built not for Muslims at all. Rather, it was built for the Jewish People!

We herewith present the sources for this novel concept. The late Rabbi Shlomo Goren, a Temple Mount expert and Chief Rabbi of the IDF and later of Israel, wrote in his classic work “The Temple Mount” (Ha’Idra Rabba Publications, Jerusalem, 2005, 2nd ed., p. 327) as follows:

“The Al-Aksa Mosque [at the southern end of the Mount, opposite the Dome of the Rock – HF] was built as a Muslim house of prayer outside the boundaries of the original Temple Mount, and therefore it points southward towards Mecca. And at the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock sanctuary to serve as a house of prayer for the Jews. This was after the Jews showed him the site where the Holy Temple had stood – and it does not point to Mecca.”

Rabbi Goren clearly delineates between the two buildings: One is in the direction of the holy Muslim city of Mecca, and is to serve as a mosque – while the other was built without regard to Mecca, and only at the guidance and request of the Jews.

Rabbi Goren did not list all of his sources, but most certainly one of them was the Byzantine historian Theophanes. In the year 635, he wrote a Greek work entitled Chronographia, an English translation of which was published in Bonn in 1839. The famed English historian Guy Le Strange cited the following relevant passage from the translation in his 1890 work History of Jerusalem Under the Moslems, p.11:

“In this year [635 C.E.], Omar began to restore the Temple at Jerusalem, for the building, in truth, no longer then stood firmly founded, but had fallen to ruin. Now when Omar inquired the cause, the Jews answered saying, ‘Unless thou throw down the Cross, which stands on the Mt. of Olives, the building of the Temple will never be firmly founded.’ Thereupon Omar threw down the Cross at that place, in order that the building (of the Temple) might be made firm…”

Le Strange underlines the trustworthiness of this amazing report by emphasizing that the author, Theophanes, preceded the earliest Arab authorities on this topic by more than 50 years. He further highlights that Theophanes lived “considerably under a century and a half [after] the date of Omar’s conquest of Jerusalem.”

It is thus to be seen, based on apparently the earliest account of the building of the Dome of the Rock, that it was built not for Moslems, but for Jews, and was even supposed to be a “more firmly founded” version of the Holy Temple.

How ironic it is that this is the true background of the building that now symbolizes, throughout the world, Moslem control of Judaism’s holiest site – and the ban on Jewish prayer there.

When next is heard a call to return to the “status quo” on the Temple Mount, let it be clear that this means nothing less than full Jewish prayer rights at the holy site – and possibly even much more. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187636#.VG4Dfsl5Uyt

While a lot of history provides more support for Jewish, than Islamic claims, to the area known as the Temple Mount, the reality is that both sides want it and many of the Muslims do not believe it should be shared.  Many in Israel disagree (see also Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).

Jerusalem means “The City of Peace,” yet we often see violence associated with it.

The violence and protests there bring the following to mind:

23 ‘Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled. (Ezekiel 7:23-24)

Despite the meaning of the name, Jerusalem is often not peaceful.

Many Palestinians are depressed, distraught, and feel that they are without hope. Many have been led by people wanting them to hate.

Notice the following:

1 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Jerusalem is already considered burdensome by much of the international community.

We will see changes there--and many not good.

Donald Trump and a Peace Deal?

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump’s announced that the USA accepts Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that the USA expected to move its embassy there (see Donald Trump announces plan to relocate US Israeli embassy to Jerusalem against torrent of world opinion). His declarations resulted in many in the world community wanting to become more distant from the USA. Ultimately, the USA will experience more terrorism (cf. Isaiah 9:8-9, 11-12; Psalms 83:3-8; Deuteronomy 32:5,25; see also Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied?) and the Gentile world will truly turn against it (cf. Daniel 11:39; Jeremiah 30:7; Lamentation 1:1-2).

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the official State of Israel. Because of that, various ones have wondered Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?

Notice something related to the position of the Palestinian President:

December 7, 2017

With the US so heavily committed to supporting Israel, and protecting them from any UN resolutions, it’s always been difficult for the Palestinian leadership to trust the US to be an impartial moderator for peace efforts. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Wednesday’s move by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has effectively ended that entirely.

Abbas says there is no way at this point that the Palestinians can trust the US to be a mediator, saying Trump’s move encourages Israel to continue the occupation and expansion of settlements, undermining the two-state solution. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-07/abbas-us-can-no-longer-mediate-israel-palestinian-talks

Well, if the USA can no longer be trusted, might those in the Middle East trust Europe to broker some deal consistent with biblical prophecy?

Yes.

The Europeans have repeatedly expressed interest in doing so.

The Bible tells of a temporary deal with European involvement.

A while ago, it was reported that some in Hamas were seemingly interested in signing an 8-year peace deal with Israel (see Hamas allegedly ready to sign 8-year peace deal, but Israel denies discussion in progress). Now, the Palestinians may want Europe to help broker a similar deal.

The Bible says that the time will come when there will be a temporary ‘peace deal’ in the general region confirmed by a rising European leader:

26 And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate (Daniel 9:26-27, NKJV).

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. (Daniel 11:23-24, NKJV)

The “week” above has been understood for many centuries to mean seven years. This deal will have a claimed confirmation by a ‘prince’ from Europe (watch Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?) for seven years, yet he will break the deal around its half-way point (Daniel 9:27; 11:31) when this prince becomes the King of the North. For more details on the deal, see the article The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Donald Trump’s announcements and policies will not prevent the prophesied peace deal from happening. Actually, it is providing impetus for the Palestinians to look to Europe. Europe is prophesied to be involved.


Area called the Temple Mount (Andrew Shiva)

Because of Donald Trump’s decision related to Jerusalem, some think this will make it easier for a ‘Third Temple’ to be built there:

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, “founder/president of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations” wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “Christians recognise the Jews’ biblical connection through King David’s establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of ancient Israel and the location for both the first and second Temples. According to the prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the Apostle John, all Israel awaits the rebuilding of the Third Temple. President Donald Trump may implement one of the most biblically historic initiatives of his presidency by allowing the first step of the Jerusalem Embassy Act to go into effect. “ http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jerusalem-donald-trump-israel-capital-decision-reason-why-evangelical-voters-us-fear-a8099321.html

President Donald Trump’s epic proclamation on Wednesday acknowledging Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people was a major step towards establishing the Third Temple and bringing the Messianic era, said a number of Jewish activists working to rebuild the Holy Temple.

“What he did … was an enormous step in bringing the Temple,” Asaf Fried, official spokesman for the United Temple Movement, an association of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality, told Breaking Israel News.

He added, “This necessarily had to come from a non-Jew in order to bring them into the process, so they will be able to take their part in the Temple.”

Fried compared Trump’s role to that of Cyrus, the Persian King who ended the Babylonian exile and helped build the Second Jewish Temple. Fried cited Proverbs to emphasize this point.

Like channeled water is the mind of the king in Hashem’s hand; He directs it to whatever He wishes. Proverbs 21:1

“There have been amazing advances towards bringing the Temple this year. It was clear that Trump was part of that process, guided by Hashem (God),” Fried declared.

Yakov Hayman, the United Temple Movement chairman, saw Trump’s statement as part of a historical progression joining a number of major shifts in modern history for Israel and the Jewish people.

“1917 was the Balfour Declaration establishing Israel for the nations,” Hayman told Breaking Israel News. “2017 was Trump’s declaration.” https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/99002/trumps-jerusalem-declaration-next-step-third-temple/#Ap8UZx67GjXtkqEp.99

Now, I am aware that many have considered that Donald Trump was a type of modern Cyrus–essentially a non-believer that God would use to do things, in Donald Trump’s case, to reduce abortions, overturn the LGBTQ agenda, etc. Actually, in March of this year Donald Trump did attribute a quote to Cyrus the Great (see Donald ‘Trump of God,’ Cyrus, or Apocalyptic?) which, at least in my view, he was trying to make the Cyrus connection that he must be aware that others have claimed him to be a type of.

Here is the Cyrus prophecy:

24 “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ 27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ 28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’ (Isaiah 44:24-28)

45:1 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held —
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
2 ‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me. (Isaiah 45:1-4)

We see that this was fulfilled in Ezra:

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. (Ezra 1:1-9)

The Pulpit Commentary states about the prophecy in Isaiah:

It is certainly a very marvellous thing that Isaiah, living at the close of the eighth and the beginning of the seventh century B.C., should -mention a king by name who did not ascend the throne till the middle of the sixth; but no one can suppose that God could not have made such a revelation to him if he pleased.

Donald Trump is NOT doing the same thing and the Cyrus prophecy was fulfilled thousands of years ago.

But various Protestants and some others have attempted to claim that Donald Trump is a modern day Cyrus and/or the “trump of God” (e.g. http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Has-God-Raised-Up-a-King-Cyrus–.html?soid=1111272225814&aid=n0ARlA9mD3Q).

Donald Trump is apocalyptic–chapter 7 of my book Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse is titled “20 Reasons Why Donald Trump is Apocalyptic,” and world events have already began to confirm many of those 20 reasons (watch Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy?).

But unlike Cyrus, Donald Trump was not prophesied by name to get a Jewish temple rebuilt.


Bas-relief of a winged ‘Cyrus the Great’ (Pentocelo) and Donald Trump

Notice also the religious news report:

As all eyes are focused on Jerusalem once again because of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. …

In the messianic era, the third and final Temple is prophesied to be built in Jerusalem. In the extensive vision of the new Temple given to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40–48), which includes detailed descriptions of the restoration of the Temple, the altar, the priesthood, and the land of Israel, he is told that the name of the new city from then on will be “the Lord is there.”

Isaiah 56:7 tells us it will be “a house of prayer for all nations” and the direct connection between heaven and earth will be established once again. Jewish people long for this day. In the Amidah prayer, which observant Jews pray three times daily, they ask God to rebuild Jerusalem and to restore the Temple worship.

Many Christians also believe the Third Temple will either precede or coincide with the arrival of the Messiah. The Christian Scriptures, specifically the book of Revelation, contain a description of the end times, including more than one mention of “the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God” (Revelation 3:12). https://www.christianpost.com/voice/the-biblical-significance-of-jerusalem-to-jews-and-christians.html

A video of related interest may be: Jerusalem, Donald Trump, and Prophecy.

Now, real Christians should realize that in the New Testament church, it is Christians, not a Jewish building, that represents the Temple of God.

The Apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth:

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16)

Notice that the Apostle Paul supports the idea that the naos temple of God now has to do with Christians, not necessarily the Jewish peoples (except those who are Christians and have the Holy Spirit).  Additionally, his wording “know ye not” indicates that this is something that they already should have known.

Notice that the Apostle Paul told the Christians in Ephesus basically the same thing:

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Thus, Paul’s writings regarding the naos temple have to do with Christian people and not a Jewish building.

And while I do believe that the Bible should normally be interpreted literally, it is clear that the Apostle Paul repeatedly used the term naos metaphorically to refer to true Christians.

Notice also what the deacon and martyr Stephen taught:

44 "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, 45 which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, 46 who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built Him a house.

48 "However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

49 'Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?' (Acts 7:44-50)

The temple of God in the New Testament are the Christians with God's Holy Spirit (the term temples above was not in the Greek in the NA27, however a version of naos, is in the Textus Receptus). Christians are to live their lives with the knowledge that God dwells in them (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

As far as claims for a temple go, check out the article: Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?

Armies Will Surround Jerusalem and the Time of the Gentiles Will See Israelis Taken Captive

Israel needs to be careful about trusting the Europeans (dominated by biblical Assyria) and others:

4…Jerusalem is Oholibah…

22 “Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord God:
‘Behold, I will stir up your lovers against you,From whom you have alienated yourself,And I will bring them against you from every side: 23 The Babylonians,All the Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, Koa,All the Assyrians with them, All of them desirable young men,Governors and rulers,Captains and men of renown,All of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you With chariots, wagons, and war-horses,With a horde of people.They shall array against you Buckler, shield, and helmet all around.
‘I will delegate judgment to them,And they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 I will set My jealousy against you,And they shall deal furiously with you;They shall remove your nose and your ears,And your remnant shall fall by the sword;They shall take your sons and your daughters,And your remnant shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes And take away your beautiful jewelry.  (Ezekiel 23:4, 22-26)

4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. (Psalms 83:4-8)

Israel is more danger with the peace deals and military alliances that it seems to want to pursue than most of the Jews realize (the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies are also at greater risk than they seem to realize).

The Bible shows that a European power will get into Jerusalem. At risk of repeat, notice some passages from the Book of Daniel:

26... And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:26-27)

Since General Titus of the old Roman Empire destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 70 A.D., Daniel 9:27 is talking about someone from the area of the old Roman Empire--a European.

This is further confirmed by the following:

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)

The "him" above is identified in the Bible as the final King of the North (Daniel 11:29,40) (see also the video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?)--he is also called the 'man of sin' in 2 Thessalonians 2 (see also Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?). (This 'man of sin' could possibly sit on something that has been called "Satan's throne" if it is relocated to Jerusalem.) This King of the North will go to Jerusalem near the start of his reign (Daniel 11:31) as well as at its end (Daniel 11:45)

Jesus taught that this would involve Jerusalem and that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies just before it is time flee:

20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)

15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-21)

Notice that in Luke 21, Jesus referred to armies--plural--suggesting that Jerusalem would have more than one army--perhaps armies from many nations, such as an international army of some sort.

Interestingly, this was proposed years ago and is something that certain ones in the international community want to impose. Notice:

Obama plan: Global troops to protect Israel

WND – May 25, 2010 NEW YORK – A U.S. plan envisions stationing international troops along Israel’s border with a future Palestinian state, WND has learned. Palestinian Authority officials privy to the plan say the Obama administration proposed deploying NATO soldiers along the Palestinian side of a future border with Israel as well as along the borders of Jordan and any future Palestinian state. Israeli government sources confirmed such a plan has been proposed. The sources said the concept is not exclusive to the Obama administration. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush broached the idea of stationing international troops along the borders of a future Palestinian state. International troops and monitors do not boast a positive track record in fulfilling their protective duties on behalf of Israel. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=158321

Thus, there have been proposals which would fulfill Luke 21. Now, in Luke 21 it talks about a captivity and the times of the Gentiles. This appears to be teaching that the Israelis in Jerusalem are going to be taken captive--this is the time of 'Jacob's trouble' (Jeremiah 30:6-7). This is consistent with other scriptures (see Revelation 11:2), as well as certain passages warning about the final time of the Gentiles.

1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy and say, 'Thus says the Lord God:

"Wail, 'Woe to the day!'
3 For the day is near,
Even the day of the Lord is near;
It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. (Ezekiel 30:1-3)

25... Gentiles, who do not know You...they have eaten up Jacob, Devoured him and consumed him, And made his dwelling place desolate. (Jeremiah 10:25)

2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. (Revelation 11:2)

Prior to the takeover of Jerusalem, we may see a political division of the Holy City. Currently, the Israelis have a celebration held each May called 'Jerusalem Day' where they celebrate the taking over Jerusalem in the 1967 war (Jerusalem Day in Israel). The Palestinians have an observation called “Nakba Day” or “Day of the Catastrophe” where they rally against the 1948 creation of the State of Israel and how it affected them (Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallying in Jerusalem for their ‘Day of the Catastrophe’).

There already is a social division in Jerusalem. A political division, likely ultimately enforced by outside armies, is also likely. But while the armies supposedly will be there to 'protect' Israeli interests, the Bible shows that Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles and Israelis taken captive (Luke 21:20-24).

The Bible also shows that half of the city will be taken captive:

1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2)

The above seems to be saying that the Israeli or perhaps end time Palenstinian half will be taken captive, but there will still be some, perhaps Christians, in or near the city, just before Jesus comes.

If the above battle is before the Day of the Lord, this would seem to be a separation between the Jews and Palestinians. If the above battle is during the Day of the Lord, it could be a division between it could be a division of those who support the end time Beast power and those that will not.

Matthew Henry's Commentary states:

Zechariah 14:1-7 God here appears against Jerusalem; judgment begins at the house of God. When the day of the Lord comes (v. 1) Jerusalem must pass through the fire to be refined. God himself gathers all nations against Jerusalem to battle (v. 2); he gives them a charge, as he did Sennacherib, to take the spoil and to take the prey (Isaiah 10:6), for the people of Jerusalem have now become the people of his wrath. And who can stand before him or before nations gathered by him? Where he gives commission he will give success. The city shall be taken by the Romans, who have nations at command; the houses shall be rifled, and all the riches of them taken away, by the enemy; and, to gratify an insatiable lust of uncleanness as well as avarice, the women shall be ravished, as if victory were a license to the worst of villanies, jusque datum sceleri—and crimes were sanctioned by law. One-half of the city shall then be carried into captivity, to be sold or enslaved, and shall not be able to help itself, such is the destruction that shall be made in the great and terrible day of the Lord.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

I cited the above as it seems to tie a statement in Isaiah 10:6 to this, which would put it towards the beginning of the Great Tribulation. On the other hand the statement in Zechariah 14:2 "Zechariah 14:1-7" could be consistent with the gathering at Armageddon that God allows Satan to do (cf. Revelation 16:12-16).

Here is something related to the Beast power and Jerusalem by the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

the coming Roman Empire shall establish its palace, as capital of the revived Roman Empire, and eventually its religious headquarters, at Jerusalem! Zechariah 14:2 says the city shall be taken! "Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him"! This language signifies the end of the "beast" and the "false prophet" at the hand of God! You will find this end described in Revelation 19:19-20 and Zechariah 14:12. (Armstrong HW. The Middle East in Prophecy. Worldwide Church of God, 1972 edition).

Something else, however, may happen before that. Notice the following passages:

1 The burden against the Valley of Vision.

What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops, 2 You who are full of noise, A tumultuous city, a joyous city? Your slain men are not slain with the sword,Nor dead in battle. 3 All your rulers have fled together; They are captured by the archers.All who are found in you are bound together; They have fled from afar. 4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me, I will weep bitterly; Do not labor to comfort me Because of the plundering of the daughter of my people.”

5 For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord God of hosts In the Valley of Vision — Breaking down the walls And of crying to the mountain. 6 Elam bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, And Kir uncovered the shield. 7 It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys Shall be full of chariots,And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem,And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls For the water of the old pool.But you did not look to its Maker,Nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning,For baldness and for girding with sackcloth. 13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,”Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts.  (Isaiah 22:1-14)

Elam seems to be a reference to at least some in Iran.  Kir is of interest as it has several possibilities.  One is that the Bible tells that after Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took over Damascus, he moved Syrians to Kir.  While this does not mean that Kir must (or must only) be a reference to Syria, the fact that Syria is an ally of Iran is interesting. For more information related to Iran, see also Iran in Prophecy.

Anyway, the point I wish to make is that the above shows, presuming that it has a future application, that a time is coming when God will take away the protection of Judah and the City of David (Jerusalem, cf. 2 Kings 9:28).

Iran has claimed that it will take over Jerusalem and give it to one called the Imam Mahdi.  This was the subject of a video years ago (for details, see Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Conquer Jerusalem?).

Because of Iranian Shit’ite Muslim beliefs about a leader called the Imam Mahdi (see also Iran’s President-elect wants to negotiate with the USA and credits the ‘Islamic messiah’ for his election), statements that Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map, as well as statements from its Supreme Leader Khamenei (Khamenei Has Claimed Iranian Nuclear Weapons Need for the Arrival of the 12th Imam), it may well be that Iran will decide at some point in time to attack Jerusalem.

Reaching Those in Jerusalem and Elsewhere

I have worked to have some personal contacts in Jerusalem and plan to return again. I videoed several messages when I was in Israel, and have made them available online at the Bible News Prophecy and ContinuingCOG YouTube channels. But they are in English.

We now our Bible News Prophecy magazine available in Hebrew: התנ " ך חדשות הנבואה. We hope to have other materials in the Heberew language to better reach people who understand it.

Turkey and Jerusalem

The Bible teaches that Edom (Turkey) will be involved in Jerusalem's destruction:

7 Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Who said, "Raze it, raze it,
To its very foundation!"

8 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
Happy the one who repays you as you have served us!
9 Happy the one who takes and dashes
Your little ones against the rock! (Psalms 137:7-9)

8 "Will I not in that day," says the Lord,"Even destroy the wise men from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau? 9 Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter. 10 "For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. 11 In the day that you stood on the other side— In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Jerusalem— Even you were as one of them. (Obadiah 8-11)

Notice that Edom wants Jerusalem destroyed (consistent with its desires in Psalm 83) and that it is considered part of the "daughter of Babylon," which is also a term that seems to also represent the compromised religious Beast power (cf. Isaiah 47:1,8; Revelation 18:1-8; Zechariah 2:6-7).  And Turkey apparently will help with and encourage the destruction of Jerusalem/Judea (also captives from that area will apparently be sent to Turkey per Amos 1:6,9). 

While Turkey could do that from an Islamic perspective (and will support that to a degree), since the Bible tells of the King of the North entering Jerusalem and causing abominations (Daniel 11:31), Turkey may be more supporting the King of North with its attitude and not just the King of the South.

Perhaps it should also be mentioned here that there are biblical indications that Turkey will betray the King of the South (Daniel 11:27) and support the King of the North (which allows Turkey to escape his wrath per Daniel 11:40-41). For more details, check out the article The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy.

King of the North and Jerusalem

Previously, this article mentioned that the final King of the North will have Jerusalem involvement. The Bible shows that he will establish himself militarily in Jerusalem near the beginning of his reign (Daniel 11:31; Luke 21:24). The Bible also shows that he will die in or near Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 16:13-16; 19:19-20).

Interestingly, some of the descendants of the 'Holy Roman Empire" have apparently held the title "King of Jerusalem". Notice something from The Economist:

Archduke Otto von Habsburg, son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor...

In 1922 he became the head of the House of Habsburg: “Your Majesty” to legitimists, and by the Grace of God “Emperor of Austria; King of Hungary and Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria; King of Jerusalem, etc; Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukowina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Silesia, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Guastalla, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen, Friaul, Dubrovnik and Zadar; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trento and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia”. His other titles were more minor. http://www.economist.com/node/18956124

Because of this title, one wonders what some of the Europeans really have in mind for Jerusalem in the 21st century.

All the emperors of the old "Holy Roman Empire" were part of what has been known as the Habsburg line. Charlemagne was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor, reputedly with the crown shown above, by Pope Leo III in Rome on Christmas Night, 800 AD. And now, over 1200 years later, the descendants of that family are still influential in and near Europe.

Although he does not have the word "Habsburg" in his incredibly long name, Baron Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg's mother was a Habsburg which means that the Baron is a descendant of that line too--hence he may "legally" also be entitled to the use of the King of Jerusalem title (especially if some ceremony "officially transfers" that title to him). He is one to watch in European politics as I have often written. He, for example, may just become the final one that the Bible refers to as the King of the North (Daniel 11:21-45) and Beast (Revelation 13). If the Baron is the one, having influential distant relatives may assist his attainment to power. The legacy of Otto von Habsburg is likely to be favorable towards Karl zu Guttenberg.

Since it is likely that the final King of the North will be descended from some member of this royal family, it is possible that the final King of the North may use the "King of Jerusalem" title.

Catholic prophecy tends to look forward to a leader that they call with names such as "the Great Monarch" or "the great prince of the north" who seems to have a lot in common with the biblical King of the North.

Notice some Catholic private prophecies/writings that support the view that this leader, like the biblical King of the North, has a major impact in Jerusalem towards the beginning of his reign and ends/dies in the area of Jerusalem:

St. Thomas a'Beckett (12th century): A knight shall come from the West. He shall capture...the three Crowns. He shall then sail...and reach Christ's grave where he will fight. (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p.16)

Yves Dupont (20th century): The Knight is the Great Christian King...he will liberate the Vatican ("Three crowns equals the Tiara). He will then sail to Palestine to restore Christianity there...The Great King...will travel twice to Jerusalem, once at the beginning of his reign to reassert the rights of the Christians, and again at the end to fight Israel. (Dupont, pp. 16,18)

Abbot 'Merlin' Joachim (died 1202) A remarkable Pope...shall recover the kingdom of Jerusalem...in order to obtain these happy results, having need of powerful assistance, this Holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the generous monarch of France (Great Monarch). (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 32)

Eastern Orthodox Scholar Helen Tzima Otto (2000): Of course, Jerusalem will be invaded in WWIII and finally liberated by the Great Monarch. (Tzima Otto, H.  The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, p. 316)

Monk Adso (10th century). "Some of our Teachers say that a King of the Franks will possess the entire Roman Empire. He will be the greatest and the last of all Monarchs. After having wisely governed his kingdom, he will go in the end to Jerusalem and will lay down his sceptre and his crown upon the Mount of Olives..." (Dupont, p.18).

Bl. Rabanus Maurus (died 856): Our principal doctors agree in announcing to us, that towards the end of time one of the descendants of France shall reign over all the Roman Empire; that he shall be the greatest of the Empire; and that he shall be the greatest of the French monarch, and the last of his race. After happily governed his kingdom, he will go to Jerusalem, and depose on Mount of Olives his sceptre and crown. This shall be the end and conclusion of the Roman and Christian Empire (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin.  Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941.  Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 136).

Thus, when many Catholics see some of what Jesus said that they should be looking for, instead of being concerned about this leader, they will apparently embrace him.

There are, however, some Catholics (apparently a minority) who could oppose this as the following suggests:

Catholic writer Paul Thigpen warns, “Looking for the Great Monarch, then, who does not appear in Scripture, might lead to overlooking the Antichrist who does. It might even lead to--a more disturbing thought--to mistaking the Antichrist for the Great Monarch. After all, lesser antichrists of the past such as Hitler and Stalin have seduced followers with visions of grand and glorious earthly kingdoms. Surely Antichrist of the last days will do the same.” (Penn L. False dawn: the United Religions Initiative, globalism, and the quest for a one-world religion. Sophia Perennis, 2005, p. 420)

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): The False Prophet...will persuade all infidels, apostates and apostate nations to worship and adore him...Antichrist "sitteth in the temple of God" (I Thes. II. 4)...possibly one of the churches in Jerusalem or St. Peter's in Rome...The False Prophet will proclaim the resurrection of the Roman Empire...The word "image" is in the singular number, indicating only one statue, which he may set up in the great church, St. Peter's (Kramer H.B. L. The Book of Destiny.  Nihil Obstat: J.S. Considine, O.P., Censor Deputatus.  Imprimatur: +Joseph M. Mueller, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, January 26, 1956.  Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 320-323).

The King of the North, presuming he is also considered to be the Great Monarch, will be involved with Jerusalem and biblically is dangerous.

Notice that Israel is part of the everlasting covenant that God made:

7 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. 8 He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, 9 The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, 10 And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, 11 Saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance," 12 When they were few in number, Indeed very few, and strangers in it. (Psalms 105:7-12)

The Bible shows that the world will be punished for breaking that covenant:

4 The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish. 5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, And those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, And few men are left. (Isaiah 24:4-6)

This, of course, indicates that the world will push much of those living in the nation of Israel out of it. And that would seemingly also have to include Jerusalem.

Here are some items from the late Radio/Worldwide Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair:

Fatima Portugal

THE Pope's pilgrimage to Portugal is the biggest event ever to occur in this country!" an elated Portuguese exclaimed to me. This momentous occasion is the 50th anniversary of the first Fatima vision. It was on May 13, 1917 that three poor, uneducated Portuguese peasant children believed the Virgin Mary appeared to them, It is also the 25th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! ...

The Pope had come to Fatima to lead all Catholics worldwide in prayer for peace - peace within the Church, and peace in the whole world. ...

"The first intention is for the Church .... We want to pray, as we have said, for its intemal peace." Then the Pope gave a solemn warning to the ecclesiastical princes of the Catholic Church who do not agree with the official teachings of the Church." What terrible damage could be provoked by arbitrary interpretations, not authorized by the teaching of the Church, disrupting its traditional and constitutional structure ... " ...

The Pontiff then pointed to that great part of humanity which lives in hunger and in dire need." Therefore, we say, the world i s in DANGER. For this reason WE HAVE COME TO THE FEET OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE to ask her for the gift, which only God can give, of peace." ...

In the German Suddeutsche Zeitung there was an article in which it was revealed that Pope Paul VI had received a message in Fatima through the only remaining shepherd girl (who is now a nun). They were seen quite some time together and it appeared as if she had something to say to him. When asked in Rome, after his return, if his visit to Fatima was a success, Pope Paul said: " I went to Fatima to pray for peace to the Virgin Mary and I received the answer how to, achieve this peace."

There are many rumors that he did receive a message, but he has not wanted to divulge it.

Since the pilgrimage to Fatima, the Pope has spoken out on Jerusalem- demanding it become an international city. What most do not know is that there is evidence the Vatican has plans to move from Rome to Jerusalem ... This event will stir the world! It will be the Pope 's final effort as the world's peacemaker! (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL'S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47)

Jerusalem will become increasingly important to Catholics in the near future. The Papacy will, as previously reported in The PLAIN TRUTH, be moved from Rome to Jerusalem ... Bible prophecy is very explicit on this point. Furthermore, according to a recent report in a leading German newspaper, the Third Fatima Message is reported (by inside, informed Vatican sources) to reveal that there will be a terrible World War III, during which (according to this Fatima Vision) both Rome and the Vatican will be destroyed! Could this possibly explain why the Vatican will be moved to Jerusalem? (McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967)

As far as Fatima goes, the Vatican claimed in 2000 that it revealed the 'third secret.' According to Cardinal Ratzinger (who became Pope Benedict XVI), "we come finally to the third part of the “secret” of Fatima which for the first time is being published in its entirety":

"J.M.J.

The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy 3-1-1944."

(Source: Joseph Card. Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. 13 May 2000. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html)

This does seem to hint to Jerusalem as that where Jesus was killed among a group of soldiers and because of the comment that half the city was in ruins. But this Fatima message would not seem to be a reason that the Vatican is interested in going to Jerusalem. Some have claimed that there is an unreleased explanation of the Fatima message that the Vatican is unwilling to share or acknowledge publicly. For more information on Isaiah 47 as well as Fatima and other apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

As mentioned before, Catholic prophecies show that the 'Great Monarch' will go to Jerusalem and that is likely to be one of the reasons that the Vatican is interested in Jerusalem. The other is that the Vatican considers itself to be the 'mother of all the world's churches' (cf. Revelation 17:5). Actually, the Latin inscription on the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (the so-called site of the Catherdra of the Roman Catholic Church) translated into English means, “Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World.” However, Rome also realizes that Jerusalem is the 'mother church.' Since it believes that it is the mother church, the Church of Rome has long attempted to get possession of what is believed to be the original church building in Jerusalem, and perhaps even in the entire world. They call that building the Cenacle, but it would better be described as the Church of God on Jerusalem's Western Hill

Notice a prophecy from Jesus:

14 "So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14)

It would seem that the 'Great Monarch' of Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic prophecy, who appears to be the final King of the North, the Beast of the Sea, of biblical prophecy will be the one who stand and/or cause something to be put in the holy place he should not. It may be that the 'holy place' would be the Church of God on Jerusalem's Western Hill that the Vatican has wanted tp take full possession of for so long.

More on the Future of Jerusalem

Jesus is going to return and the Kingdom of God established. And when Jesus does return, He is coming to the area of Jerusalem:

3... He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God...9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. (Acts 1:3,9-12)

3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:3-4)

Jerusalem was prophesied to be chosen again after the time of the Gentiles:

16 'Therefore thus says the Lord:

"I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it," says the Lord of hosts,
"And a surveyor's line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem."'

17 "Again proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts:

"My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
The Lord will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem."'" (Zechariah 1:16-17)

10 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the Lord. 11 "Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 2:10-13)

17 "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.

18 "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers. (Jeremiah 3:17-18)

23 For the Lord of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously. (Isaiah 24:23)

14... He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)

Those prophecies show that the time will come when God will again choose Jerusalem—but they also show that NOW He has not! But, while God will make Jerusalem His capital later, it is NOT during this time (see also Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem?).

The Hebrew scriptures give other statements that the Jesus will eventually reign from the area of Jerusalem--ruling all nations in a super world government--the Kingdom of God! Some other passages you may wish to check out are Isaiah 33:20-22; Micah 4:1-3,7; Obadiah 21; Zechariah 14:1,3,9; Isaiah 40:5,9-10; Isaiah 11:1-4; and Daniel 2:44; 7:22, 27.

This initial reigning will be for one thousand years (see also id The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?):

6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

Then other events will occur (e.g. Satan will be loosed, then eventually permanently gone; the other resurrections will take place, etc.).

New Jerusalem is Coming!

The time will come when Jerusalem will be replaced?

Yes, there will be a new Jerusalem:

12... the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:12)

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:1-5)

It may be of interest to note that it is the Philadelphian Christians (Revelation 3:7-13) that will get the new name associated with New Jerusalem.

Concluding Comments

Jerusalem is a city that has been important to God for thousands of years. The Vatican has long wanted it.

Jerusalem will have more problems in this age. There will be armies who surround it and it will be trampled by the Gentiles until Jesus returns. Jesus will return. The kingdom of will be established. Jesus will reign from the area of Jerusalem for a thousand years with His faithful servants who were called, chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14).

After other events, New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and "there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain" (Revelation 21:4).

New Jerusalem will be at the center of the Kingdom of God which will last forever (see also the video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom).

There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.

Thiel B. Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future. http://www.cogwriter.com/jerusalem-past-present-and-future.htm COGwriter (C) 2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018 0713

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