Why You Must Watch Jerusalem
For thousands of years, horrifically brutal wars have been fought for control of Jerusalem. It is the bloodiest city on Earth. The Jewish people face a gloomy and threatening reality on a daily basis. Knife assaults, suicide bombings and rocket attacks are commonplace.
Several recent events practically guarantee that this type of violence will increase. Sadly, the prophecies of the Bible reveal that life in Jerusalem will get a lot worse before it gets better.
What happens in this city is important to every person on Earth. You need to understand why.
Several scriptures in the Bible show that this city bears significance unlike any other. Jerusalem is at the core of the eternal plan of God and the key to the future of mankind. We cannot afford to ignore this special city. We must watch Jerusalem.
In the days when King Solomon reigned there, God became angry because of his sins. He said he would strip the kingdom of Israel from him. Then He said, “Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:13).
This is one of several biblical verses that show God has chosen Jerusalem. God has not chosen any other city on Earth, but He has chosen Jerusalem, for a very special purpose.
Solomon’s father, King David, was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). Scripture prophesies that he will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel in the World Tomorrow. This important man was passionate about Jerusalem, as God is today. To understand prophecy and to become perfect like God the Father, we need the same passion for Jerusalem that David had.
Compassed With Armies
Look at some of the Bible’s prophecies about what will happen in Jerusalem in our day.
The most important of these was spoken by Jesus Christ Himself. When His disciples asked Him for the signs that would precede His Second Coming, Christ spoke of a nightmarish period of war that would close this age of man:
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). Think about what He said! At what time in human history has it been possible to exterminate every person on Earth? Only recently have scientists created a weapon that could cause such devastation. The number one problem facing this world is human survival! This is a prophecy for right now.
And in this context, Christ referred to Jerusalem specifically: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (verse 15). The holy place described here is Jerusalem.
This is a prophecy of a calamitous event: a foreign army, an “abomination of desolation,” surrounding Jerusalem just before besieging it! This is about to happen—before this age of man finally ends and just before the return of Jesus Christ! I explain this prophecy thoroughly in my booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy (request a free copy).
Before that event takes place, however, there is a more immediate prophecy we must watch to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. It was recorded by the Prophet Zechariah:
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1-2).
Half of Jerusalem will soon fall! Think about the intractable problem in this city. The Arabs already inhabit the eastern half. Your Bible says it is only a matter of time before they forcibly seize control! I believe the United Nations Security Council resolution that the Obama administration shamefully enabled to be passed in December makes this more likely. (See a map of how this decision affects Jerusalem on page 18 of this issue.)
Here is what I wrote in Jerusalem in Prophecy about this prophecy in Zechariah: “Consider it: The Day of the Lord and the dispute over one half of Jerusalem are presented in the same context. That is because when half of Jerusalem goes into captivity, that crisis triggers a series of events that leads to the return of Jesus Christ! One half of Jerusalem being taken captive is like the first domino to fall, leading to Christ’s return and battle against all nations in Jerusalem! It all begins and ends in Jerusalem.
“In other words, the current dispute over East Jerusalem is a strong sign that the Day of the Lord is almost here!”
Christ’s prophecy also shows how events in Jerusalem will signal His return. The chaos in that city prophesied by Zechariah will get the attention of a foreign power, and it will come to the rescue. Who is that foreign power?
Look at Luke’s account of this prophecy: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto” (Luke 21:20-21).
Other prophecies explain that this is, in fact, European armies led by Germany. They show that these armies will surround Jerusalem after they have conquered radical Islam led by Iran!
“Jerusalem compassed with armies” is the biggest sign God gives us that it is time to flee—or be destroyed!
Yes, God gave these prophecies as a warning to us. We need to understand them—so we can act on them!
Christ continued in Luke 21: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (verses 34-36). Watch Jerusalem, and watch yourself. Make sure you don’t let down spiritually—time is too short. Hear God’s instructions and apply them in your life!
The Bible contains many more details about the shocking chain of events that leads to Christ’s return, but the main takeaway is that Jerusalem is at the heart of it all.
It is exciting and comforting to know when Christ will return. But amazingly, this is only a physical reason to watch Jerusalem. There is an even more important, spiritual reason.
In the book of Psalms are canonized these words: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Psalm 137:5-6).
Notice another prophecy in Zechariah: “Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem” (Zechariah 1:17).
When you put all the prophecies of the Bible together, you come to understand just how important this city is to God. He chose it not just as the capital city for Israel under Kings David and Solomon, but as His capital city during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the King of kings!
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). The word of God will go forth from Jerusalem and cover the Earth! All people will learn God’s way and live according to His law.
At long last, Jerusalem will be the city of peace that its name represents.
“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her …. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:10, 13).
What a contrast to the unfathomable bloodshed just ahead! (Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19-20). No city has suffered more than Jerusalem. No city will rejoice more than Jerusalem! God will stop all the violence and misery. He will heal all scars and wipe away all tears.
Those of us who do His Work today will share His throne forever as the Bride of Jesus Christ, living in Jerusalem (Revelation 19:7).
Beyond that, this city that God has chosen will become the headquarters of the universe! God will dwell there for all eternity (Revelation 21:2-3).
The great patriarch Abraham had his mind locked in on new Jerusalem. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). The book of Revelation shows that God the Father will bring this city down to Earth and establish His throne among us!
Keep your eyes on Jerusalem! God has chosen this city. He instructs us to follow His example—to become perfect even as He is (Matthew 5:48). To become perfect like Him, we must make it a priority to do the same!