Jerusalem in Prophecy
Chapter 1: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!’
Jerusalem is a powder keg, loaded with nuclear potential! No city on Earth is so fraught with international tension as Jerusalem!
Not only does this ancient city play a central role in the beliefs of the three major religions—Judaism, Islam and Christianity—it is a powerful nationalist symbol for both Arabs and Jews.
Today the Israelis and Palestinians are in a bloody deadlock over who will control Jerusalem. They have tried for decades now to resolve their many differences through negotiation and compromise. But their talks always break down over Jerusalem!
This is an impossible problem with no resolution that will be acceptable to all parties. As one analyst put it, “A peace between the Arabs and Jews that does not resolve the question of Jerusalem will be no peace. Indeed, a peace that weakens the Jews by returning the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights to Arab control but leaves Jerusalem as an unresolved dispute will make war more not less likely. … The assumption of the diplomats that all things can be solved by negotiation underestimates the emotions involved. Jerusalem is nonnegotiable” (Islamic Affairs Analyst, June 1, 1993). That means there is no peaceful solution.
The situation is very bad in Jerusalem today, but your Bible says it will get much worse before it gets better.
Christ Wept for Jerusalem
During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ demonstrated His strong feelings for Jerusalem.
To the Jewish religious leaders who ruled the city, Christ said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. … Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets” (Matthew 23:23, 29-30). These were religious people who boasted about how they wouldn’t have killed and spilled the blood of God’s prophets as their forefathers had done. Yet they proceeded to spill far more precious blood—that of Jesus Christ!
This isn’t a message just to the Jews. It’s a message to all people—especially religious people! “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (verses 31‑33).
If they didn’t kill the prophets, they drove them out of town. Christ called these corrupt religious leaders serpents and vipers! Then Christ delivered some dire prophecies. “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (verses 36‑37). “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” that kills and stones the prophets. Throughout the ages, Christ would have gathered the children of Jerusalem (and all mankind) like a hen gathers her little chickens, but they refused. They didn’t want God in their religion—or in their lives! That is true of all religious and nonreligious people throughout man’s history.
And what a price Jerusalem (and all mankind) has paid. Christ says the word woe eight times in this chapter. We shall see that Jerusalem’s history has been filled with woe, woe, woe. And the worst is yet to come! But so is the best, which is greater than we can even imagine.
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (verse 38). Really all we need to do is look at Jerusalem’s past and present, with its history of bloodshed and desolation, to realize that things will never improve until the glorified Jesus Christ intervenes. Rivers of blood have flowed in that city!
The suffering that has occurred in Jerusalem is a type of what will happen to all humanity before Christ’s Second Coming. Christ wants all mankind to learn a lesson from what has happened in Jerusalem. So far, that lesson has not been learned. This city, so filled with woe and desolation, will soon learn a major lesson from God—because of a far more intense woe and desolation yet to come.
Israel, most of all, should be inspired to seek God just because of Jerusalem’s history. The Jews want to be religious, but their way, not God’s way. Again and again God has appealed to Israel, but it continues to rebel. It refuses to set an example for the world. Now mankind has come to the point where every human being is about to be destroyed unless Christ intervenes (Matthew 24:22).
Matthew 24, the Olivet prophecy, which foretells a cataclysmic global destruction, follows Christ’s condemnation of Jerusalem in chapter 23. We now face human extinction because Jerusalem and Israel (and the world) have rejected Christ!
Father and Son
What is so special about Jerusalem? Why is it so important to God?
The exciting history and prophecy of Jerusalem began all the way back in Genesis. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:1-2). The land of Moriah has always been associated with Jerusalem. This is where Abraham would sacrifice his son.
“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son” (verse 10). But God stopped him. “And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (verses 11‑12). Isaac was as good as dead in his father’s mind.
Abraham and Isaac were a type of God the Father and Jesus Christ. That is a major reason why this incident occurred in the Jerusalem area. Later, God the Father did sacrifice His only begotten Son in Jerusalem. The very Son of God was sacrificed in Jerusalem. How rich and inspiring the history of Jerusalem is!
But as we will see later, the richest part of that history is yet to be fulfilled.
God Chose Jerusalem
Notice this remarkable statement from God: “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). God Himself CHOSE Jerusalem. He didn’t choose Paris or London or New York—He chose Jerusalem.
Imagine: This is a city God has chosen! It will yet dazzle the world with a godly brilliance! The whole world will soon be looking to this city for leadership. God is now calling out spiritual Israel, His Church, to have its headquarters in Jerusalem and rule the world. He is offering you, if you are one of those called-out ones, the greatest responsibility ever given to any man.
There is strong evidence that Melchizedek founded Jerusalem. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18). Melchizedek was king of Salem, which became known as “Jeru-salem.” “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace” (Hebrews 7:1-2).
Salem means “peace.” Jerusalem means “city of peace.” If you understand the history of Jerusalem, this could be likened to a sick joke! This city’s history has been filled with rivers of blood. No city on Earth has had more bloodshed! No city has suffered like Jerusalem. It has known almost no peace! That’s because man has ruled Jerusalem apart from God.
This blood-soaked city will yet become a city of peace!
No other city has had such an incredible beginning. It was chosen by God and undoubtedly founded by Melchizedek—the great Being who became Jesus Christ (verse 3). Who could be without father, without mother and have neither beginning nor ending of life? Only God can be described this way. And no man has ever seen God the Father. This could only be the God who became Jesus Christ.
God chose Jerusalem from the very beginning. God founded this city in peace. It was founded to be a city of peace forever! You can be sure God will complete His plan. If you understand God’s goal, you know that the meaning of the city’s name contains a prophecy of its magnificent future!
God has turned His back on Jerusalem because of its sinful people. But that problem will be corrected in the near future.
During the time of Joshua, Jerusalem was called Jebus (Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10). The Jebusites lived there. They were Canaanites, descended from Ham through Canaan. God promised to drive out the Jebusites if Israel would be His soldiers (Exodus 33:1-3; 34:11-15).
David was the one who finally captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:1-6). This city was such a fortress that it appeared the blind and lame could defend it. But David trusted God and triumphed.
“Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him” (verses 7‑10). Jerusalem was called the “city of David.” But that would soon change.
God Rejects Jerusalem
Judah turned away from God. Jeremiah was sent to Jerusalem to warn it. “Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 17:19). Jeremiah was told to stand in the gates of Jerusalem—where the kings and rulers would enter—and warn them. They were breaking God’s Sabbath day.
God always sends a messenger to warn His sinning people and Israel. The message must be declared where the people can hear it. “And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction” (verses 20‑23). They were commanded to hallow God’s Sabbath—keep it holy. If we keep a holy Sabbath, it prepares us for a holy week and a close relationship with God. Repeatedly, Israel was punished because of breaking this commandment and turning away from God.
Jerusalem was destroyed because of Sabbath-breaking. It has been trodden down ever since—over 2,500 years! There is a cause for every effect. Jerusalem is a city in deep trouble today. Why? Because of sin.
Nebuchadnezzar made Jerusalem look like a garbage dump. “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest” (Micah 3:12). After Jerusalem was destroyed in 585 b.c., it looked like heaps of garbage.
Zion is a type of the Church today. Jerusalem is a type of all Israel. This is history and prophecy. In this end time, God’s lukewarm, Laodicean Church will be “plowed as a field”! (Read about the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-21; request our free book Malachi’s Message for a thorough explanation of the tragedy that has occurred in God’s Church in this end time.) God’s own people will be torn into pieces because of their sins. What is their guilt? “They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us” (Micah 3:10-11). Anciently, the priests and prophets taught for hire. But this is mainly a prophecy for today. Spiritual Jerusalem, or God’s Laodicean Church, has priests and prophets who teach for hire. They trust man for their sustenance, not God.
However, not all of God’s ministers trust in man. “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin” (verse 8). We are commissioned to declare their sins. That is what God’s loyal people have been doing. God prophesied of such a work.
Nebuchadnezzar left Jerusalem as a plowed field and in heaps of garbage. Josephus was an eyewitness when the Romans destroyed this city in a.d. 70. He said if a person came upon that place, they would never imagine a city was once there!
Jerusalem was rebuilt, and then the Jews rebelled again in a.d. 132–135. Rome was so incensed that it destroyed every building constructed since a.d. 70. The records claim that, once again, Jerusalem became like a plowed field! No Jew was allowed within 20 miles of Jerusalem.
During the religious crusades, the “city of peace” again flowed with rivers of blood. Christ said Jerusalem was left desolate. He said woe, woe, woe and woe to Jerusalem! Has Jerusalem been desolate and filled with woe? Yes. And the worst woe by far is yet to come!
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2). Every nation that has ruled Jerusalem has experienced serious problems. This is true up to the present day.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (verse 3). God said the Jerusalem problem would be a nightmare for peacemakers and diplomats who get entangled with it, not to mention the people who call it their home. And yet, it seems that every nation wants Jerusalem.
No city has suffered like Jerusalem. As we will see in the chapters to follow, it is presently weighed down by insoluble problems. Yet, ultimately, there is very good news. God established Jerusalem to be a city of peace—and one day He will make sure that it finally becomes so! It is actually the city from which God’s Family will rule the entire universe!
Chapter 2: Israel’s Deadly ‘Wound’
The citizen of Israel stares out his window at his nation, a tear in his eye and a knot in his stomach. He knows Israel is in trouble.
It is true that for the whole of its mere seven decades of existence, the country has had no peace. But as this Jewish citizen watches Palestinian teenagers and Israeli soldiers tussling in the streets, as the multilingual shouting and popping of gunfire fills his ears, he knows that today the situation is worse than it has ever been. He fears Israel is changed forever.
Let’s look back at Israel’s recent history.
When World War ii ended, there were millions of Jewish refugees with no place to call home. Most of the world became sympathetic to these Jews.
After a bitter struggle in the United Nations, the land of Israel was declared a nation. In 1948, when Israel (biblical Judah—the name Jew is just a shortened version of Judah) was declared a nation, the Arabs attacked immediately.
The Jews had no real army. They were losing the war after three weeks. Then the United Nations mandated a temporary truce. This is exactly what Israel needed to rearm and train its weary troops—many of them civilians who carried guns.
Shortly thereafter the Arabs started attacking again. This time the Jews were well prepared and soon won the war.
It was a miracle from God. Many of the Jews acknowledged that. They experienced many miracles in the following years.
The Jews were prophesied to have a nation in this end time. So it had to happen!
The Jews were determined fighters. This was their first sovereign nation in 2,000 years. Only death could make them surrender their new and only homeland.
Will to Fight
There continued to be many problems between the Jews and Arabs. The problems became so intense in 1967 that almost every nation in the world believed the Arabs were about to attack Israel again.
The Soviet Union was strongly urging Egypt to attack. Egyptian troops poured into the Sinai and ordered the UN forces out. War seemed imminent.
Egypt, Jordan and Syria were allied to start a war. So the Jews felt compelled to strike first. Jewish warplanes flew into Egypt and in three hours destroyed 300 Egyptian combat fighters while they were still on the ground. The Jews then captured all of the Sinai, the Suez Canal, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights in just six days.
Again, a series of miracles by God saved the Jewish nation.
Tourists began to pour into Israel. The state became prosperous and complacent. The Jews were lulled into a false sense of security.
In late 1973, the Jewish military ignored serious intelligence reports that the Arabs were again going to attack. The attack occurred on October 6—on the solemn Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The Jews won the war in three weeks, with much aid from the Americans. Egypt was beaten, but not humiliated. Once again biblical Judah had been miraculously saved.
But soon after, something dramatic changed in Israel.
Menachem Begin was elected prime minister in 1977. President Jimmy Carter persuaded him to give the Sinai back to Egypt in the late 1970s.
This was the beginning of the Israeli-Arab peace process. The Jews gave up land for a piece of paper.
When the Jews gave the Sinai back to Egypt, that probably included Mount Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. This fiery mountain spectacle gave birth to the nation of Israel! The Sinai area was where the children of Israel wandered for 40 years as they rebelled against God’s law.
Again, the biblical name for the modern nation called Israel is Judah. But the modern descendants of the ancient Israelites include many nations—primarily the U.S. (biblical Manasseh) and Britain (biblical Ephraim). In other words, biblical Judah is only a small part of Israel today. America and the British peoples are also Israel. The prophecies about end-time Israel are primarily focused on these three nations. (For proof, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)
The United States and Britain were both instrumental in pressuring Judah to give the Sinai back to Egypt, even though our ancestry was also a part of ancient Israel when God’s law was given on Mount Sinai.
Prophecy states that these three nations—Israel, the U.S. and Britain—will be conquered together just before Christ returns (Hosea 5:5). The Jewish nation had to be established by God for that prophecy to be fulfilled. A miracle by God had to be performed.
Why are these three nations in such serious trouble today? Giving the Sinai back to Egypt is at the heart of their problems!
If God were to give me the Sinai, I would never give it away unless God commanded it—which, I’m quite sure, He never would. The whole world could not influence or force me to do so.
These three nations are looking to men for peace and not to the great God of Mount Sinai. Their history with God is virtually meaningless!
No other nation on Earth was ever chosen as God’s people—chosen not as a favorite people, but to lead the world to God. Israel has failed God miserably—anciently and today. Soon God will punish nations as never before. The people of biblical Israel talk a lot about God but don’t believe and obey Him. That is the real source of all our problems today. The nations of Israel will fall because of their faithlessness.
The Jewish nation was born and sustained by godly miracles. But it still refuses to trust God!
Today, in spite of the fact that the Jews gave the Sinai back to Egypt—an unparalleled gift—Egypt is fast becoming one of Israel’s most hostile neighbors. That should give us some idea of how giving land away does not buy peace.
Nevertheless, Israel has taken on the same mentality of weakness and trusting in men in its dealings with the Palestinians living in Israel. The Jews continue to trade land for empty promises of peace. It started in 1993 on the White House lawn with a handshake between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. There Israel surrendered bits of that hard-won, strategically important land in hope that the Arabs could be simply bargained into giving up their goal of destroying Israel.
The Jews have also given Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem and other West Bank areas back to the Palestinians. It seems the world has forgotten that those areas were won in a war where the Arabs were trying to annihilate the Jews. This land-for-peace process is almost unheard of in history, except perhaps what happened in South Africa.
God gave Bethlehem—the birthplace of Christ—to the Jews. Through the “peace” process, they gave it to the Palestinians. The Jews rejected and crucified Christ almost 2,000 years ago. They still reject Him today. But then, so do most people who profess to be Christians.
The Jews have given back many other biblical sites to the Arabs. America and Britain have strongly urged them to do so. We fail to realize that such a lack of faith is why all the adults of ancient Israel had to die in the Sinai wilderness.
Throughout this terribly misnamed “peace” process—involving giving up land and seeing no appreciable drop in violence—Palestinian leaders have consistently told politicians and media that they want peaceful coexistence with Israel while simultaneously promising to their people Israel’s destruction.
Now, after years of gambling with its own soil, Israel finds itself depleted of property and will, sapped and bloodied by a policy that has publicized, for all to see, the fatal weariness of this tiny nation.
In the Philadelphia Church of God’s message today, we have been telling Judah, America and Britain the real cause of their serious problems.
The book of Hosea was written as prophecy for the end time. Again, the nation called Israel today is really biblical Judah. There are some specific prophecies about Judah in this book. “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13). Studying this verse in the original Hebrew reveals that both Ephraim (Britain) and Judah (called “Israel” today) go to Assyria (or Germany—to prove this fact, request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire).
Why do the Jews go to Germany, and what is Judah’s wound? The word wound is number 4205 in Strong’s Concordance; it means “in the sense of binding up: a bandage, i.e. remedy ….” Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines it this way: “the pressing together, binding up of a wound; hence used figuratively of a remedy applied to the wounds of the state …” (emphasis mine throughout). In other words, the remedy IS the wound!
Another word for wound is also mentioned in Obadiah 7: “All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” This wound is number 4204 in Strong’s. Gesenius’ Lexicon defines it as “falsehood; hence, fraud, insidious dealing … a net, or snare ….” It has the same root as the word used in Hosea 5:13. In Obadiah the wound is directly related to being deceived by a peace pact!
Trusting Their Enemies
Is the peace pact with the Arabs the Israeli wound that God refers to in Hosea 5:13? There would have been no peace pact if Judah would have trusted God instead of men.
The word wound doesn’t necessarily itself refer to some violent act, but it will undoubtedly lead to violence.
“Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness” (verse 12). The word rottenness should read worm. The Anchor Bible states that the word “usually describes the rottenness in wood or bones (Habakkuk 3:16; Proverbs 12:4; 14:30; Job 41:19; Isaiah 40:20) or clothes (Job 13:28) ….” This wound reaches into their bones like cancer.
The worm is like “the maggots that have already infested open wounds and begun to devour the flesh ….” This is a sickness unto death. The only cure is God.
The word wound in Hosea 5:13 means bandage. It’s as if a bandage is hopelessly applied to an open, running sore. From the beginning of the peace process, the Jews have looked to men, often their enemies, for help—not God. That is the unseen wound.
So little trust in God—so much trust in their enemies!
The real wound is spiritual—a lack of faith in God. The Jews keep trying to heal themselves by making peace pacts. They were strong when they trusted God. Even recent history proves that truth. Just a short time ago they were a terror to the Arabs. Now the Arabs are a terror to the Jews. A complete reversal in such a short time! Why?
The Israelis will finally see that their peace pact with the Palestinians has failed. The Jews really only see the effect of their wound. They don’t see the cause. That is why they turn to Germany for another peace pact! This time they place their trust in an even greater enemy! Once again they fail to trust God. It will lead to the worst disaster in the Jews’ long history of suffering.
The lesson still has not been learned. God is going to teach them emphatically about what their wound is and what the real solution is.
Today the Jews only see their wound humanly. But even that understanding comes painfully slow. Before this is over, they will see their wound spiritually—through God’s eyes. Then their wound will be healed, and they will have peace forever.
But before that happens, they have to learn the most terrifying lesson of their national life!
The Israelis are trying to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. Many of the Hamas terrorists are Palestinians; in fact, the Palestinian people are their closest friends. The Israelis have given control of Gaza and areas in the West Bank to the Palestinians. The terrorists often operate from these Palestinian-controlled areas.
In 2005, Israel evacuated the 9,000 Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip and turned the area completely over to the Palestinians. With all Israeli military installations dismantled and troops gone, terrorists from neighboring Egypt took the opportunity to pour into the area—bringing their weapons along with them. They immediately began using the Strip as a launching ground for rocket attacks, which have continued at a steady pace ever since. In the summer of 2007, the radical terrorist group Hamas staged a violent coup and took over all of Gaza; this gave this terrorist proxy of Iran a toehold right on Israel’s doorstep. This is the dangerous result of Israel’s policy of trying to reconcile with the Palestinians by giving them land.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said, “I think the central problem of the terrorism that we see today is that we have created a situation where we rely on … the Palestinian Authority to be our subcontractors to fight terrorism.”
The Jews are deeply divided over the peace agreement. This makes any democracy extremely vulnerable. It paralyzes the decision-making process, and hard decisions need to be made!
Why is the peace process a wound? Intelligence Digest wrote September 27, 1996: “There were always two fundamental problems with the Madrid peace process. The first was that if it ‘succeeded’ it would leave Israel physically vulnerable without having removed all the causes for war between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbor—thus making war more not less likely.
“On the other hand, if it ‘failed’ it would have heightened Palestinian expectations only to dash them later, thus making the general atmosphere in the Middle East worse not better.”
That assessment has been proved true repeatedly. Every “success” in this process has weakened Israel, and every “failure” has ended in an explosion of violence!
If the peace process makes violence and war “more not less likely,” then it is a wound for Israel. That means by trusting men, instead of God, Israel is a loser either way!
Another issue of Intelligence Digest, October 4, 1996, said this: “Both prospects are appalling: But they are the inevitable result of the principal delusion underpinning the Middle East peace process, namely that all problems can be solved by negotiation.”
The deadly delusion that “all problems can be solved by negotiation” is going to lead Israel and the U.S. to disaster!
Such a philosophy destroys nations. No great nation has ever been built or sustained by such a belief! Any good history book should teach us that. Bible prophecy certainly does. It is a philosophy based on weakness. Any powerful nation that reasons from such weakness is plummeting to disaster!
Through weakness and a lack of faith in God, the Jews have created their own wound! Because of the land they have already given the Palestinians, the Jews’ territorial and strategic position is weakened. And you would think the Palestinians would be grateful to the Jews for the land they have already been given. Instead, they use that gift to intensify their hatred!
A little psychology ought to convince any honest person that a peace pact will never work! But the Jews cling to their illusions because of weakness.
The Jews are afraid to get tough even in the Arab areas that they control. They don’t want the “peace” process to break down. But what most of them are blind to is that the peace process is a deadly delusion! It is a wound that will cause death. It is like terminal cancer!
The number one Arab leader in the peace process for many years was Yasser Arafat. Before the peace negotiations, he was the leading terrorist in the Middle East! This is not a good foundation for peace.
Why did the Israelis trust the greatest terrorist in the Middle East to protect them from terrorism? They have more than enough power to protect themselves. But they lack the will to use it! That is because God has broken their will—and that includes America’s and Britain’s. And here is why.
The Law of Moses
We need to pay heed to an end-time prophecy specifically directed to America, Britain and Israel about their security. “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:10-12). Evil is going to be done upon Jerusalem (and Israel) that has never been done “under the whole heaven”! God has “set before us” His message. God did it in His love and mercy through Herbert W. Armstrong and now delivers it through the Philadelphia Church of God. Yet Israel still rebels.
God is “bringing upon us a great evil.” These words ought to strike terror in our minds! No people can prevail against their enemies when God is against them. “[T]he curse is poured upon us”! However, the curses have not caused us to turn and pray to the true God. Many people have prayed, but we have not prayed to “turn from our iniquities” (verses 13-14). This is what God commands. We have not repented. That means our prayers are of little or no value.
The only way Israel can achieve security is through repentance. God has promised to destroy us unless we learn that lesson! How can we not take careful note of these prophecies?
Daniel is an end-time book (Daniel 12:4, 9). According to Daniel, there are many prophecies in the books of Moses that are also for this end time (Daniel 9:11).
Let’s look at one of these prophecies. “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments …. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. … And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass” (Leviticus 26:14, 17, 19). Because we have not hearkened to God, curses are upon us. God prophesied, “I will set my face against you.” If we truly understood this prophecy, each one of us would tremble in fear!
There is a reason why everything seems to go wrong in America, Britain and Judah. But our people never seem to fear enough to “turn from our iniquities”—our sins! And that does not mean to repent of what we call sin but what God calls sin—God’s definition.
So God states, “I will break the pride of your power.” That means we have power but lack the will to use it. America has more military power than any other nation on Earth. But we are afraid to use it. Britain probably has more nuclear power and conventional military might than any nation in Europe. However, it too fears using it. The Jews have more military power than any other nation in the Middle East. A few years ago, they struck fear in all of their enemies. But today, they have been in a long retreat called the “peace process.” Why?
When Benjamin Netanyahu was elected to his first term in 1996, the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Netanyahu also indicated what he meant by negotiating with Arabs during his debate with Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The Arabs, he said, were ‘realistic’—‘when they see a weak government like Mr. Peres’s, they demand everything, they get everything, and they demand more.’”
This is true of government in America, Britain and Israel. We just don’t understand that God has broken the pride of our power because of our sins. But our enemies inside and outside our nations know that the pride of our power has been broken—that we are pitifully weak and cowardly. And as Mr. Netanyahu said of the Arabs, our enemies will keep demanding more and more—until we collapse.
Just a little understanding of history reveals that such an American-sponsored “peace process” can only lead to destruction.
Henry Kissinger said that Yitzhak Rabin, the assassinated prime minister, had “no other choice than the peace process.” That was not true a few years earlier, because the Israeli people had a much stronger will.
Such a statement is made out of weakness! We are weak because God has broken our will to fight and win. We now want to trust others to protect us, because we cringe in fear before our enemies. We no longer trust God! Our sins are destroying us.
We must understand this terrifying reality. God said, “I will set my face against you.” Do we grasp what this means? The mighty, all-powerful God is against us! The punishment will intensify until we repent or die!
We must learn to have faith in God, or we will be totally destroyed. Read all of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Those chapters are part of the woeful prophecies Daniel said would come upon us in the end time.
Why won’t we turn to God in repentance? Only He can save us. Notice the end result for our nations: “Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat” (Leviticus 26:28-29). God says, “I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.” He emphasizes “I, even I.” This is God speaking—the omnipotent God who created man and the universe! These are not the words of weak men. Do we really know what this means?
It gets even worse. “And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up” (verses 36‑38). This is a horrifying prophecy. Our enemies will devour us!
Read verses 1-13 and see the wonderful rewards and blessings that will come if we turn to God. We have never experienced such peace and prosperity. “And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land” (verse 6). God promised peace to the nations of Israel. Nobody would make them afraid—nobody! The sword would never enter their land.
This is the way we should be living today. All we have to do is obey God. “And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (verse 12). If only we would let God rule us. What glorious examples we could be to this sick world.
There is good news. God is still going to usher in this paradise. We should never have to experience what is happening in Judah today. It is totally unnecessary.
Security is coming to Israel very soon, when Christ returns. But our repentance must precede that event. Then we shall have unparalleled prosperity and security. The only reason we don’t have it now is our refusal to repent. The sooner we learn that lesson, the quicker the security will come.
Our nations won’t repent until they are in captivity. Still, God promises safety to any individual who truly repents (Revelation 3:10, 19).
Voting for a certain man will never give us security. Repenting of our sins will give us security forever.
Middle East Explosion Soon
Many intelligence sources see that there will not be peace in Israel. Here is what the March 1, 1996, Intelligence Digest stated: “The propensity of people to ignore unpalatable truths is one of the most damaging of human traits. Unfortunately it is in full evidence over the Middle East peace process.”
The editor went on to quote Yasser Arafat from a secret speech he gave in May 1994 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Arafat called for a holy war in order to liberate Jerusalem. And concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, he said, “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Mohammed and the Quraysh.”
Continuing from Intelligence Digest: “This was a reference to the non-belligerency agreement Mohammed signed with the Quraysh tribe, which controlled Mecca. Two years later, Mohammed violated the agreement, conquered Mecca, and killed the leaders of the tribe.”
Notice also what Arafat said in early 1996 to a group of Arab diplomats in Sweden: “We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem. [Israeli Prime Minister Shimon] Peres and [Israeli negotiator Yossi] Beilin have already promised us half of Jerusalem. … Within five years we will have 6 to 7 million Arabs living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. … If the Jews can import all kinds of Ethiopians, Russians, Uzbeks and Ukrainians as Jews, we can import all kinds of Arabs …. We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews won’t want to live among us Arabs” (Insight, April 1, 1996).
In March 2001, after months of clashes between Arabs and Jews, Arafat was quoted as saying, “Our people will continue the Aksa intifada until we raise the Palestinian flag in every mosque and church and on the walls of Jerusalem.”
The situation has changed little since Arafat died. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, simply cannot maintain a leadership role unless he accommodates the spirit of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians who reject Israel’s existence.
As it turns out, evidence suggests that, despite his moderate persona, this is really not too hard for Abbas. “Abu Mazen [the popular name for Abbas among Palestinians] was an Arafat crony and comes from the Palestinian elite. He has consistently held the hard-line anti-Israel agenda since his years as a student. His doctoral dissertation was a full-blown foray into Holocaust denial and aimed to prove that Zionism and Nazism are branches of the same tree. … Abu Mazen may wear a suit while Arafat wore fatigues but much of their worldview is still the same—the destruction of Israel remains on the ‘to-do’ list” (Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 8, 2005).
Far from denouncing his terrorist predecessor, Abbas actually draws on Arafat’s legacy to boost his authority. In his preelection campaign speeches, he called for the same “right of return” that Arafat espoused, which, as the New York Sun termed it, is “code for the destruction of the Jewish state” (Dec. 31, 2004).
Abbas has received kudos for his attempts to coerce terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad into curbing their lethal violence. Many have been willing to dismiss his public anti-Israel rhetoric and expressions of solidarity with terrorists as mere politics.
Of this, Charles Krauthammer asked, “What of Abbas’s vaunted opposition to violence? On January 2  he tells Hamas terrorists firing rockets that maim and kill Jewish villagers within Israel, ‘This is not the time for this kind of act.’ This is an interesting ‘renunciation’ of terrorism: Not today, boys; perhaps later, when the time is right” (Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2005).
Daniel Pipes commented, “Mr. Abbas shows tactical flexibility. Unlike Arafat, who could never let go of the terrorist tool that had brought him wealth, power and glory, Mr. Abbas sees the situation more cogently. If stopping the violence against Israel best serves his goal of eliminating the sovereign Jewish state, that is his program. He no more accepts what he so charmingly the other day called the ‘Zionist enemy’ than Arafat did (or Hamas, or Palestinian Islamic Jihad), but he is open to a multiplicity of means to destroy it” (New York Sun, Jan. 11, 2005).
That assessment was backed up by the method Abbas took to rein in the terrorists—not by cracking down on them but by inviting them to become politicians. On February 16, 2005, Abbas announced that, in the words of Stratfor, “he supports sharing national leadership with Hamas, jihad organizations, and public and democratic fronts ….” But Hamas and other jihad groups openly base their existence on war against Israel. They are precisely the source of the problem.
In January 2006, Hamas not only entered politics, but took over the government, winning 74 out of 132 parliamentary seats. A Hamas-led Palestinian unity government formed in March 2007, but was subsequently dissolved when Hamas violently took over the Gaza Strip three months later. Hamas and Fatah established another unity government in February 2013, which only held jurisdiction in the West Bank. This unity government was replaced by a third unity government, which fell apart in 2016. Hamas and Fatah have been separate entities in the West Bank ever since.
At the end of the day, whoever is in power among the Palestinians, there will be no peace in the Middle East as long as there are groups agitating for Israel’s destruction. The Palestinians are clearly not interested in making peace with Israel! But Israel is so war-weary and blinded by wishful thinking that it won’t face reality! Its naiveté is leading it into a disaster of untold magnitude. It is easy to see why God calls the peace process a “deadly wound.”
Going to Germany
Let’s look again at Hosea 5:13. “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Lange’s Commentary states that the word Jareb, the German leader, means “warlike monarch.” The Soncino Commentary translates it as “King Contentious.” This man will be far more dangerous than Adolf Hitler was.
If you read our literature on Germany, you will see that this leader, according to biblical prophecy, will be ruled by Satan! And Britain and the Jews will go to him for mercy and aid!
Already the European Union has stepped up its efforts to help the Middle East peace process as the U.S. pulls out of the region and grows weaker. German-led Europe has been publicly mentioned as a protector of Israel.
Can anyone miss the cruel irony of this situation? One Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who lives in Israel said, “If there is anything that frightens Israelis more than Syrian troops on the Golan, it is German troops on the Golan.”
It seems the Israelis can trust their worst enemy, but they can’t trust God to protect them! And God is their only true source of help.
Israel will become “lovers” with the Germans. This move will lead to its destruction. It is not the Arabs who will destroy Israel. The friendship between Germany and Israel will lead to one of the biggest double crosses in the history of man! We will study this more in the next chapter.
“I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (verse 15). God will not stop punishing the Jews (and all Israel—mainly America and Britain) until they “acknowledge their offence,” or repent of their sins and seek God. But how can they know what their sins are and how to repent?
“Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin. Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be” (verses 8‑9). God has made their sins known to them through Herbert W. Armstrong and our Church today. You are reading that trumpet message now! Hosea is specifically about our work today (request our free booklet on Hosea). The Jews are going to suffer at the hands of the Arabs and Germans until they awaken! They must acknowledge our message from God! If they don’t hear the alarm of war through our message, they must experience being conquered!
“For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him” (verse 14). The lion is king of the beasts—the most fearsome predator. It is the strongest metaphor of destruction!
Why is God so angry? The prophets always had scathing messages when Israel went to and trusted the heathen.
The Way of Peace They Know Not
America, Britain and Judah must understand that they are being punished for their sins. Jeremiah is also a book written for the end time (Jeremiah 23:20). Prophecy clearly reveals why our problems are overwhelming us. “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return” (Jeremiah 8:5). Jerusalem is a type of all the nations of Israel. They all “hold fast deceit” and continue in their ugly sins.
“I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle” (verse 6). “No man” repents when they hear God’s Word.
“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord” (verse 7). The animals understand their purpose better than America, Britain and Judah!
“How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” (verses 8‑9). They have heard God’s Word and rejected it. They abhor God’s law and government. They have no judgment or wisdom.
A terrible penalty is coming. “Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely” (verse 10). The enemy is going to take Israel’s wives for themselves! Why? Because Israel is so blatantly rebellious!
Our physical and spiritual leaders have deceived the people. “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (verse 11). Our leaders have gotten the people to accept peace pacts like the one between Judah and the Palestinians. The leaders continually talk of peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Look around. Do you see peace? The more violence we see, the more they talk about peace! They don’t know how to have peace. “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).
Our peoples boast of all the Bibles we print. But we don’t believe what is in them! We don’t believe God! We talk about Him much of the time. But we don’t believe Him—His Word!
All this suffering could be eliminated. Because of our sinful attitude, our people refuse to obey God. So we must suffer until we change that attitude.
Through the peace process, Judah has become vulnerable to the enemy, with very little freedom to strike back. Just a few decades ago, it would have retaliated with far greater force! But not today.
Soon the whole world will see what the Arabs saw all along—that the peace process is a wound from which the Jews will never recover!
Their future is extremely bleak. The good news is, this present crisis will soon culminate in the return of Jesus Christ. What a glorious future that lies just ahead! But immediately before that event, the worst time of suffering ever on Earth is upon us.
‘Will to Withdraw’
What is happening in Judah today? Some of the Jews do see where the problem lies. Here is what Shmuel Schnitzer wrote in Maariv, or the Mideast Mirror, on September 14, 1994: “For the first time in 2,000 years, we are preparing to deny our historical rights, both the divine promise and in terms of referring to the land by the name of its people, ‘The Land of Israel’—a land which belongs to the children of Israel, from then and to eternity. [The Jews are only one of the 12 tribes of biblical Israel.]
“Suddenly, we are gripped by a will to withdraw. A delight in withdrawing, euphoria in cutting ourselves off from it. Pulling out of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) will be a holiday. We shall say: ‘Goodbye, not au revoir’” (emphasis mine throughout).
We continue to make the same mistake our forefathers made. And unless we repent we are going to have the same tragic end!
The problem is that God has broken our will, or the pride of our awesome power, because of our sins (Leviticus 26:19). And the problem is only going to get worse until we repent!
Mr. Schnitzer continued: “First we referred to parts of the homeland as ‘territories.’ That’s a term which evinces no love, no link. ‘Territories’ are not ours. We never dreamt of territories, nor prayed to return to them. We didn’t nurture them with the blood of our young men. We didn’t hear in them the calls of our prophets and we didn’t bury our forefathers in the ‘territories.’ We didn’t fight over the ‘territories’ with the Canaanites and the Egyptians, the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, the British and the Arabs. We didn’t read of them in the Book of books, nor yearn constantly for them.
“We are a generation that is betraying its forefathers, their faith and their sacrifice. We are now engaged in tearing out the heart of the land from ourselves, undercutting everything which we nurtured.
“An entirely new Jewish people is being created before our very eyes. A nation which doesn’t belong to its land, which doesn’t continue the past, which will inherit nothing and is promised nothing. The Bible is no longer our calling card. It’s a mere historical curiosity.”
God clearly gave the Jews their land. But the “peacemakers” don’t like to refer to it as a gift from God, because they have no faith in God.
So we see a “new Jewish people” unwilling to fight as in the past. Now they have a broken will.
A U.S. intelligence document stated that the Arabs now believe the Jews have lost their will to fight.
Few reports could signal a greater danger! The Arabs will exploit this weakness. You can be certain of that.
Schnitzer wrote, “Suddenly, paths of peace are more important than the paths down which we traveled for 2,000 years, more important than our prayers and our faith.
“I ask myself what kind of Jewish people will this be with no attachment to its land, without all the places of the book of Joshua, the wonderful vistas there, without the intensity of the prophetic vision, without the heritage of our fighters who spilt their blood for the country which was promised them and their descendants?
“This is the will of the majority, and we are told that in a democracy the majority’s will is that which counts.
“But let us not forget on the eve of our holiest day (the Day of Atonement) that while a majority can rule, it hasn’t a monopoly on truth and on good sense. A majority can make a tragic mistake, create a golden calf, and dance about it” (ibid).
The Jewish people are now looking to the will of the majority, not the great God who gave them their own land.
Now the peace pacts are more important than faith in God. That is a sure recipe for disaster!
Chapter 3: Jerusalem: About to Explode
Presently the Jews rule over all of Jerusalem, even though East Jerusalem is mostly comprised of Arabs. The Palestinians want this half for their capital. But most of the Jews won’t budge, saying they must rule all of Jerusalem.
Both sides proclaim that they must rule East Jerusalem or there will be war!
Here is the real shocker. Did you know the Bible prophesies about this one half of Jerusalem and the super-miraculous outcome? It is a prophecy that will stagger your mind.
Half of Jerusalem
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee” (Zechariah 14:1). The subject is the Day of the Lord—the end time. This whole book is focused on the latter days.
“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” (verse 2). Christ prophesied that He would “gather all nations” to battle Him in Jerusalem. Then He makes what might appear to be a strange statement. One half of Jerusalem is to be taken captive. Notice how specific this prophecy is. East Jerusalem—one half of the city—will be conquered by the Palestinians!
The nation of Israel was established in 1948. At that time the Jews had only roughly one half of Jerusalem. The Arabs had East Jerusalem. Zechariah 14 is also a prophecy that the Jews would conquer all Jerusalem, because in order for half the city to be taken just before Christ returns, the whole city must be controlled by the Jews just before that time! The Jews did take full control in the 1967 war.
So the prophecy in Zechariah 14:1-2, which has not yet been fulfilled, has to happen between 1967 and the Great Tribulation. Jerusalem is going to be totally captured in the Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-3). Many prophecies tell us that.
Today the Arabs live in roughly one half of Jerusalem. They just don’t control it—yet. When such an attack occurs, the Jews couldn’t effectively drop bombs, especially nuclear bombs, on one half of their own city.
Looking at the ongoing violence in Jerusalem today—the absolute inability of the involved parties to solve things by peaceful means—we can easily see how one half of Jerusalem shall be taken captive in the very near future. The present violence is an embryo that is about to explode into much greater violence. That is the critical event prophesied in Zechariah 14:2.
We will see this prophecy in Zechariah 14:1-2 fulfilled very soon. And while it will involve some sickening atrocities and bloodshed, it is directly connected to the greatest news this world has ever heard!
Look again at Zechariah 14:2: “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.”
The first half of the verse is about a great climactic battle that will occur at Christ’s return. Again, at the time of this final battle, the whole of Jerusalem will have been captured—by German-led European armies, called the king of the north (Daniel 11:40-41). We will look at these events in detail later.
The question is, why does the last half of Zechariah 14:2 say that only half the city will be taken?
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! We must wake up! Men must heed God’s warning before it is too late!
Any peace talks over Jerusalem make headlines around the world. But here is the greatest “scoop” of all, and the news media totally ignore it!
The peace talks will lead directly to the fall of East Jerusalem. This battle will trigger events that lead to a nuclear World War iii! This will be the crowning result of man’s best efforts to bring the world peace!
Thankfully Jesus Christ will intervene just before all life has been exterminated (Matthew 24:21-22). Then Christ will usher in 1,000 years of peace.
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:3-4). The Jews and Palestinians will never settle the Jerusalem issue; it will take Christ to do that on His return. Christ is obviously not a part of the peace talks. He is nevertheless orchestrating the overall direction of these events.
Shortly after the fall of East Jerusalem, and much more violence and warfare, Christ will return. He will stand on the Mount of Olives. That famous mountain will divide, split apart by a tremendous earthquake, creating a huge valley.
Only Jesus Christ can and will settle the Jerusalem issue!
Why won’t more people recognize the truth of this prophecy? Why won’t they listen, when it is about the violent outcome of a world-famous peace process in which men are fighting verbally for the rights to East Jerusalem? And it is tied directly to the return of Jesus Christ—the greatest event ever to occur on Earth or in the universe!
This prophecy is thrilling, wonderful and awesome! It ought to stir the imagination of the whole world! But men are too drunk on deception to comprehend what is happening. Only great violence can sober them.
When will men learn that they don’t know how to have true peace?
Now let’s examine in more detail the chain of crises to follow the capture of one half of Jerusalem.
Going to the Assyrian
We have shown that the peace process is Judah’s wound. But the Jews do not see it that way—yet! However, when one half of Jerusalem is taken captive, they will see that it all happened as a result of the Middle East peace process. Their wound, or the peace process, primarily causes them to lose one half of Jerusalem.
At the mercy of the Arabs, little Israel will feel backed into a corner. As we covered in the last chapter, the Jews are prophesied to go to Germany for help. “When Ephraim [Britain] saw his sickness, and Judah [Israel] saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian [Germany], and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13). The Hebrew clearly indicates that both Israel and Britain go to Germany for help. Both Judah and Britain are in danger of falling. By this point, America will be too weak and too sick itself to help.
We are already seeing Israel looking to Germany for help. However, Hosea 5:13 will probably be fulfilled after the Arabs take over East Jerusalem.
God tells Judah that Germany cannot “heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Why does God say that? Because Judah got into this mess by looking to men. Now it is trying to get out of the quagmire by again looking to men. The people of Jerusalem will never find a cure or be healed until they look to God! That is what God is teaching them—the hard way.
At that point in the course of future events, another prophecy fills in some vital details.
After the Palestinians gain control of East Jerusalem, Israel will turn to Germany and the European Union for help. This will set the stage for a violent clash between the EU and Islamic fundamentalism. The Bible refers to these two forces as the king of the north, led by Germany, and the king of the south, led by Iran. “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40). This push by the king of the south will probably be a clash directly related to Jerusalem. It could certainly involve cutting off oil to punish the king of the north, over a dispute about Jerusalem. (In 2020, Europe imported around 18 percent of its crude oil from the Middle East and North Africa, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria and Libya being the biggest contributors.)
The king of the north is going to come against him like a “whirlwind.” Gesenius’ Lexicon defines whirlwind this way: “a storm or tempest,” “to sweep away in a storm” or “to be fierce as a tempest.” Strong’s Concordance defines it: “by implication, to shiver, i.e. fear.” It leaves people terror-stricken.
After the German-led European armies conquer the mighty king of the south, the world will tremble and the Germans will feel invincible!
Little Judah will then no doubt ask them for protection. “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (verse 41). The powerful European Union army will then enter the glorious land, or Israel. The word enter in no way indicates the use of force. The Germans will undoubtedly be invited in as a peacekeeping force. (Request our free booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany.)
The king of the north immediately enters the glorious land, specifically Jerusalem. That is a strong indication that the war was triggered over that city. Anyhow, Jerusalem is its main concern.
The Vatican has said that Jerusalem must be an international city. The Catholic Church, like the Arabs, also has a passionate interest in this city.
The Vatican and Germany are the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. They have conquered Jerusalem several times before. And they are destined to do so one last time!
Even though Germany cannot help the Jews, the Germans do get involved in Jerusalem. The Catholic Church is going to unite with and then guide the European Union, or the king of the north—with Germany as the real power behind it.
Three great religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam—all have an intense interest in Jerusalem. That city is the third-most holy site to the Muslims. It is the most holy city for the Jews. Christians consider it their first or second holiest city. In the end, it is going to bring disaster to all three religions. “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3). Even the United Nations is burdened down with Jerusalem. Those nations that burden themselves with that city will be “cut in pieces.” Instead of trusting God for a solution, they trust men.
Because of its past and future, Christ has more interest in that city than in any other city on Earth. Christ died in Jerusalem. He and His Father are going to rule the Earth and the universe from there!
This takes us to another critical end-time prophecy. Jerusalem will suffer one last bloodbath before Christ returns.
Abomination of Desolation
“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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16). Some translations read the abomination that makes desolate. What is this abomination of desolation?
Let’s compare this with Luke’s account: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20). Here the abomination is just called armies. This army is the king of the north—not an Arab army.
Why is this European army surrounding Jerusalem? At this point, the main power of the Arab world will already be destroyed. This army has just conquered the king of the south and is probably there to keep peace in Jerusalem. The Holy Roman Empire will undoubtedly make some kind of a peace pact to protect Jerusalem.
It will look like the world is about to have peace. The beast power will enter into Jerusalem.
At that point, this European power will double-cross the Jews (see Ezekiel 23). It will become one of the greatest double crosses in the history of man. At this point, people will realize that Judah’s “wound” leads to a cataclysmic end! Suddenly, in a moment, the Great Tribulation begins—the worst time of suffering ever on Earth.
God’s very elect will escape all this violence. “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 21:21). When the European Union armies surround Jerusalem, God’s people only have days to escape! They understand Bible prophecy and what is really going to occur. They see this as a sign to flee. So they flee to a place of safety (Revelation 12:14). They remain there during the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.
Jerusalem’s Final Captivity
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps [or at his feet]” (Daniel 11:42-43). This is all part of the destructive rampage of the king of the north.
The unprecedented scale of bloodshed and conquest by the king of the north greatly disturbs the Asiatic millions in Russia and China. They will not sit idle. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). Russia and China will ally themselves against the king of the north. This will be very troubling to the beast power.
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (verse 45). The great religious beast of Revelation 13 will move its headquarters to Jerusalem out of fear. This will probably include the political beast as well. Both of these powers know how violent Russia and its allies can be. They don’t even need to remember as far back as World War ii: Russia’s recent war on Ukraine is a reminder. That is why “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble” them.
Here is an end-time prophecy that includes Israel and Judah. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go” (Jeremiah 50:33). Israel and Judah were not oppressed together in their ancient captivity. This is a prophecy for the end time. Israel went into captivity in 718–721 b.c., while Judah’s happened over 100 years later, in 585 b.c.
“A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men” (verse 35). Then the king of the north will be destroyed. His headquarters at that time will probably be in Jerusalem.
“As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon. The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail” (verses 40-43). The European Union then will begin to tremble. This is the same fear mentioned in Daniel 11:44.
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed totally by fire from heaven. Soon Europe is going to suffer destruction and be left like Sodom and Gomorrah! It too will receive fire from heaven.
The religious beast will try to solve its problems by moving to Jerusalem. But that move will fail. Only God can bring the world peace. That is just what He says He will do. And that peace will begin in Jerusalem.
Before that, however, the crescendo of global tension will hurtle toward its explosive conclusion. The united armies of the massively populated Asian bloc will make their entrance. Great destruction is about to lead to greater destruction.
The Battle of the Day of the Lord
Nothing will stop the massive Asiatic army of 200 million people! (Revelation 9:16). Only Russia and China could amass such a gigantic army. They will be the only other world power, besides the European Union. God has reserved them to destroy most of the European power.
God is going to dry up the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Massive armies shall flow into the Middle East and Europe—heading toward Jerusalem.
That makes it very difficult for the European army to use nuclear power. It doesn’t make much sense to bomb yourself.
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). God gathers them onto the plain of Megiddo. Armageddon means armed Megiddo.
There will be only two real military powers left at that time—the king of the north and the Russia-China axis. They will meet and be ready to clash in the plain of Megiddo—located in northern Israel, where there is a huge air base and a gigantic area to assemble armies.
Great military strategists will think they are making all these plans. But in truth, the supreme military strategist behind all this is God!
This event in Megiddo leads to another chain reaction. They see Jesus Christ returning to this Earth and both armies decide to fight Him instead of each other.
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem” (Joel 3:1). Judah and Jerusalem (a type of all Israel) are in captivity. “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (verse 2).
God says, “I will gather all nations.” This is the same language used in Zechariah 14:1-2: “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 ….” Jesus Christ gathers the main armies of the Asiatic millions and those of the Holy Roman Empire to Jerusalem.
It is there that Christ puts an end to warfare and brings peace to the Earth (verses 3-4).
It all started with one half of Jerusalem being captured!
Though the armies will gather on the plain of Megiddo, the battle involving “all nations” will take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This deep valley, or ravine, borders Jerusalem on the east, between the city and the Mount of Olives. Today it is more commonly known as the Kidron Valley.
Jehoshaphat means “judgment of the Eternal.” The rebellious and unrepentant nations of this world will be judged there by God for their disobedience!
The world’s armies will converge on Jerusalem to fight Jesus Christ. The confrontation is called in the Bible “the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). It is not the “battle of Armageddon” as some mistakenly assume. That is because it will not take place at Armageddon! It all revolves around Jerusalem.
Zechariah 14:12-13 graphically describe this supernatural confrontation at Jerusalem with the world’s armies. They will turn against each other in distrust and fear as their very flesh decomposes and their eyes cease to see!
The blood will rise up to the horses’ bridles! “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Revelation 14:19-20). The length of 1,600 furlongs is about 200 miles. The Valley of Jehoshaphat is going to become a river of blood, roughly 4 feet deep and about 200 miles long! That is almost too much blood to even imagine. However, the Asiatic armies alone have 200 million soldiers.
This is how God will “plead with them”—in the only language they understand!
Just the mention of these prophecies ought to frighten men into repentance. But men have no idea of how hard and rebellious they are!
“And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 31:9). Christ’s fiery furnace will be in Jerusalem! This is where God will refine His created Family.
After the dust settles from this incredible conflagration, Christ will establish His government in Jerusalem. Global peace will finally break out!
What looks so gloomy and dark in Jerusalem today is almost ready to start this chain reaction. It will lead to the greatest event ever to occur in history, not just the history of this Earth, but the history of the universe—the return of Jesus Christ! Thank God that glorious event is about to explode on this planet! What a momentous time to be alive!
Chapter 4: Looking to New Jerusalem
After all of Jerusalem’s bloody history, God has gloriously good news. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3). John the Baptist said this was his voice (John 1:23). “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” (Isaiah 40:4-6). These verses could only apply to an end-time John, fulfilled by the late Herbert Armstrong. “Every mountain and hill shall be made low” is obviously a prophecy for the time after Jesus Christ returns.
There is still another job to be done. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (verse 9). The margin reference in my Bible gives the correct translation: “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion” and “O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem.” This is the job of the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg) today. We deliver good tidings to sinning Zion (or God’s lukewarm, Laodicean Church) and to Jerusalem. We are to “say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” We are doing that today—right now!
Herbert Armstrong thought God would have him fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah 40:9. Here is what he wrote in his “Personal” in the October-November 1980 Plain Truth: “The Arab world wants the Old City of Jerusalem back into Arab control. Some nations contend Jerusalem should be made an international city. But the State of Israel has control, having wrested it from Jordan in the war of 1967.
“What has been happening in Jerusalem since the Israeli takeover in that war?
“I have been somewhat personally involved in events there since that war.
“Immediately after the death of my wife of 50 years, April 15, 1967, I flew to Jerusalem. I had two urgent reasons. I had seriously wanted to buy time on Radio Jerusalem, then owned and operated by the State of Jordan. Also I wanted to get away from Pasadena immediately into a totally different environment to ease the grief of losing the companionship of my beloved wife and partner in God’s Work.
“I wanted not only to go on Jerusalem Radio, I wanted to manipulate the increase of its power to 1 million watts to give coverage over the entire Middle East. At Amman, Jordan, and in Jerusalem, in conference with the Jordanian government and its radio management, I arranged for a price for a choice time on an extended contract whereby our monthly payments for that time would finance the Jordan government in the purchase of German Telefunken equipment to boost the station power to this maximum wattage. It was one of the largest contracts for purchase of radio time ever signed.
“On Sunday morning, June 4, 1967, I left my home on our campus in England for London airport to fly to Amman to broadcast in person that evening, the first broadcast on this new contract. En route to the airport we heard on the car radio the sensational news that the Six-Day War had started early that morning. No planes were allowed to get through to Beirut or to Amman. My broadcast on Jerusalem Radio never got started. By the following Friday, June 9, the Old City of Jerusalem was in Israeli hands ….
“A message (Isaiah 40:9-10) is yet to go by a servant of God to the cities of Judah. In whatever way God wills, it shall go.”
Mr. Armstrong was trying so hard to fulfill this prophecy. He knew a servant of God had to do it in this end time. God prophesied it would happen! The pcg has been commissioned by God to do this job.
The very fact that this prophecy also has to be delivered “to Zion,” or God’s Church, reveals a split in God’s own Church!
The true gospel, or good news, must be delivered to God’s Laodicean Church! It has lost that precious gospel, which is the message about how God’s government will be administered by the Family of God in the wonderful World Tomorrow. That is the same government that was taught to us by God through Mr. Armstrong! That is what all of the Laodiceans have lost.
This prophecy shows we are very close to the end. We are already introducing God to the cities of Judah. (In 2022, we established the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem to support these efforts; to learn more, visit ArmstrongInstitute.org.) You don’t introduce someone unless he is about to appear! That is how wonderful our message is. We are already introducing the new Ruler who is to rule Jerusalem for 1,000 years!
The fact that this prophecy is being fulfilled means Christ’s return is imminent. We are feeling the intensity! This is Jerusalem’s only hope! This is mankind’s only hope! This is more tremendous than anything mankind has ever imagined. Isaiah does more than just call it “good tidings.” He says, “Behold your God!“
If we can catch this vision before Christ returns, we will be given a magnificent reward. “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him” (verse 10). God has a reward for you if you do His Work.
The Glory of Jerusalem
God will choose Jerusalem yet. “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). As we will see, this choice will extend into new Jerusalem and eternity. The whole universe will be ruled from Jerusalem. When God chooses a city, expect it to be spectacular beyond anything man can even imagine!
Once Christ returns, He will establish His headquarters in Jerusalem. For a thousand years, this revitalized and renewed city will serve as the headquarters of the whole Earth. “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).
It’s almost time to start rejoicing. “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” (Isaiah 66:10). Soon everybody will be rejoicing over Jerusalem. She is going to have an “abundance of … glory” (verse 11). “For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees” (verse 12). Peace, instead of blood, will flow out of Jerusalem like a river! Jerusalem has been flowing with blood for most of the last 6,000 years. What a glorious change we are about to see. “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (verse 13). In this present evil world, there has been unparalleled suffering in that city. Shortly, the whole world will look to Jerusalem for comfort. What a change!
“And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many” (verses 14‑16). God is pleading with man now to hear His Word. Soon He will appeal to them with a sword—the only language man seems to understand.
God is offering you a chance now to live and rule in this city with Him in the near future! That is exciting enough to make us faint, if we truly understand it.
God will reach into the life of every repentant person on Earth—from Jerusalem.
“In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them” (Zechariah 12:6-8). Those leaders in Jerusalem then are going to be “as God.” That means Christ and all of His rulers speak as God does!
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon” (verses 10-11). The whole world will look upon the crucified Christ and mourn as if they had lost a firstborn son! God will correct all of humanity by getting them focused on God and Jerusalem!
You must know someone deeply before you can mourn for him like that. This world will finally get to really know God the Father and Jesus Christ! This world’s religions do not know God. They think they do. But look how deeply and intensely they will know God then! This is the greatest news we could ever hear!
Sharing God’s Throne
The glorious future of Jerusalem will not end after the thousand years of the Millennium. God tells us it will serve a special purpose for all eternity.
Christ is going to rule the world from David’s throne. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). That throne is in God’s Church today. After Christ returns, the throne will be moved back to Jerusalem. There will be endless growth of God’s government. It will grow forever! It will extend out into the universe—from the very throne of David in Jerusalem! It is so hard for our minds to comprehend eternal rule and eternal growth.
God’s people today have this universe-shaking vision of God’s Family growing into eternity. They recognize that the Father is the Head of His Family. They believe and obey their Father. They submit to Him as the Head of the Family government. That means God can trust them implicitly and use them to help spread that Family government forever.
We need this vision to endure the hardships ahead. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:8-9). These faithful men knew that our bodies are temporary—like tabernacles. We must have a vision that reaches beyond this life and even beyond the Millennium! “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (verse 10). Abraham saw new Jerusalem and God’s Family. That is why he could sacrifice his covenant son. He knew the grave could not hold Isaac.
Abraham is known as the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:7). He set an example in righteous obedience. He looked forward to the city built by God the Father. Think about the spiritual depth of this man! He was able to look past the present world, look past even all of God’s abundant physical promises, and focus on the fantastic spiritual promises of new Jerusalem. Abraham was motivated by the vision of God’s Family being complete. Abraham lived for the time when God’s government would spread throughout the universe.
How far-reaching is your goal? Does it extend to new Jerusalem? If our goals are selfish, then we are going to be miserable and unhappy. But this vision will fill us with joy.
Read Hebrews 11 and see how these men and women lived and died for God. It’s because they had the vision of new Jerusalem!
Several verses in Isaiah 33 are proof that the righteous in Zion, God’s true Church, are able, as Abraham was, to see all the way to new Jerusalem. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33:20-21). After the Millennium, we shall see a new Jerusalem. The wonderful beauty of that new Jerusalem is described here.
At that time, Jerusalem will be a quiet habitation. Some may think these verses refer to the Jerusalem of the Millennium, but notice: Jerusalem is described as a “tabernacle that shall not be taken down.“ The Jerusalem of the Millennium will be taken down in the final fire just before Christ delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:14-15). The whole surface of the Earth will be burned up, including the beautiful headquarters city. But the Jerusalem described in Isaiah 33 is a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. This can only be referring to new Jerusalem, which will last forever.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2).
After Christ has removed the sins from this world, the Father will come to rule His Family from new Jerusalem. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. … And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God …. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (verses 3, 10-11, 22-23). Our Father yearns to be with His Family. God the Father will inhabit new Jerusalem with us.
God is offering us so much. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). God is offering us a chance to rule with Christ and the Father in Jerusalem forever!
Many of God’s own people will fail to achieve that goal. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (verses 14‑16). God warns them of their terrible spiritual condition. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (verses 19‑20). Those who help God “rebuke,” or warn, and “knock” are going to share God’s throne in Jerusalem forever!
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (verse 21). God’s people are now being trained to rule with Christ from Jerusalem for all eternity. What a fabulous future. Will you be among that group? “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verse 22). I hope we are all listening to God’s Spirit!