From the Editor
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition »
If you follow just one major news trend, make sure it is what is unfolding in this pivotal city.By Gerald Flurry
We are living in the very end times. The Bible refers to this period hundreds of times. It also reveals that we are nearing the end of this age, which will culminate in the worst times of violence and suffering ever on Earth.
Everywhere you look, you see violence and war. Governments are toppling every month, it seems. And yet massive violence continues—even in nature and the weather. Why so much violence?
Jeremiah 33:5 says God has hid His face from Jerusalem. But God also says in Zechariah 1:17 that He “shall yet choose Jerusalem.” When He does, He is going to make this city the capital of the world and ultimately the capital of the entire universe!
To God, Jerusalem is the most important city in the world—by far. If it’s so important to God, shouldn’t it be important to those of us who follow and obey the Bible—whether the Torah or the New Testament?
Today, God has yet to choose Jerusalem. And I want to show you why you need to watch Jerusalem right now.
The Hard Lesson From 1967Outside of its current peril, May 1967 was Israel’s most desperate month. Egypt, Syria and Jordan were preparing to attack and telling the world they were going to destroy Israel. Other Arab nations were allying with them. Finally, on June 5, Israel launched a preemptive strike against the Arab nations and destroyed Egypt’s whole air force.
On June 5, 1967, many people thought Jerusalem was about to die. It miraculously survived.
Now, though, Israel faces an even greater problem than that.
Notice what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post: “Forty-five years later in the middle of the night of May 7 and 8, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked his country by bringing the main opposition party, Kadima, into a national unity government. Shocking because just hours earlier the Knesset was expediting a bill to call early elections in September. Why did the high-flying Netanyahu call off elections he was sure to win? Because for Israelis today, it is May 1967″ (May 10).
The Jews know their nation is again in danger of annihilation! Krauthammer went on to say, “The dread is not quite as acute. The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms.”
That might be too optimistic. But his summary assessment is dead-on: “Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence ….” Today, Israel faces the greatest threat to its existence as a nation! Greater than June 1967! The Israelis are again in fear of being wiped off the face of the Earth, as their enemies have again explicitly stated that they will do!
Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence—“nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation—since May ‘67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found as in ‘67, Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves. Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus” (ibid).
This is why Mr. Netanyahu was so urgent to form a unified government. Israel has now drawn together and has most of its political power backing its leader, so if he decides to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, he will have a united nation behind him—just as when it launched the attack in 1967. You need as much unity as you can get to be able to do something so bold, or you risk having your government toppled from within your own country. Such a strong move can’t be dismissed as “just a right-wing effort,” because there is a unity government.
In the last few years, the Jews have given away Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem and other West Bank areas like Hebron. Hebron is where David ruled for the first seven years of his reign. Jericho is the land where God performed miracles through Joshua. Bethlehem is where Jesus Christ was born.
Gaza is in the vicinity of where Jonah fled from God’s commission and was swallowed by a great fish. In 2005, Israel evacuated 9,000 people from Gaza and withdrew its military. Almost immediately, terrorists came flooding into Gaza from Egypt, and they pose an increasingly deadly threat to Israel.
Mount Sinai, in the Sinai Peninsula, is where God Himself communed with Moses and ancient Israel. It is a place of unparalleled history. Israel won control of that region in 1967, but relinquished it 15 years later. Now that the Egyptians have deposed Hosni Mubarak, they are menacing Israel once again.
When the Jews talk about these areas, they talk about them as merely “territories.” They don’t talk about Mount Sinai and these other places that resonate with their rich history with God. But their prophets talked about those precious lands differently. They taught about them as places of mighty miracles and divine promises—places that connected them to God!
If you think about how the Jews are approaching this crisis today, you will realize that it is different. In the past, they thought about the Bible and about God, and looked to Him to a certain degree. Today they still talk about God and the Bible some, but the Bible doesn’t actually guide their lives as it used to. (The same attitude is in the United States and Britain.)
We can fantasize about being righteous and being a good nation ad nauseam, but we are not obeying what the Bible says. As a result, the miracles of the past have ceased!
Giving land that God gave you, in exchange for peace with anyone, is a grand delusion. The United States and Britain have helped pressure the Jews to give away that land for “peace.” It has never worked. The results have been more war and more violence. Israel’s enemies see that Israel is giving up land because it is weak, and they have contempt for that. They continue to threaten terrorism and war if Israel does not give up more land. Since the Jews won’t turn to the God who gave them miraculous victories in the past, they seem to have no other option.
What Is About to Happen to JerusalemZechariah 12:3 says, “[A]ll that burden themselves with [Jerusalem] shall be cut in pieces.” God says anyone who takes on the responsibility to control His city that He will yet choose is going to be “cut in pieces”!
That is what happens to every government that tries to burden itself with Jerusalem: the United Kingdom, the United States, even the United Nations. God has a particular interest in Jerusalem. He is going to rule the Earth and the entire universe from there. And He warns everyone else not to interfere with His prerogative.
Notice another amazing prophecy about Jerusalem that you need to be aware of. It is in the context of the Day of the Lord, when the Messiah is going to return.
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity” (Zechariah 14:1-2).
That’s the same half that the Arabs had until 1967, when the Jews conquered it. It is still inhabited mostly by Arabs. The Bible prophesied not only that the Jews would take East Jerusalem, but also that the Arabs are about to take it back.
In that prophecy, God says He will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle! Why is this all happening in Jerusalem? After half of Jerusalem falls to the Arabs, it will be like dominoes falling one after the other: one biblically prophesied event after another. This is all going to happen very fast and very violently, so you need to watch Jerusalem.
What Is About to Happen to the WorldNotice what happens after half of Jerusalem falls: “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).
Do you really believe God? These are monumental prophecies in your Bible.
Look at what is happening in Jerusalem! It is the focal point of world events! God prophesied millennia ago that this would happen. And going forward, Jerusalem is going to become even more important. It is about to explode—and catch the world on fire! Then maybe more people will believe what God says.
Matthew 24:15-16 also prophesy about Jerusalem’s immediate future: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place [Jerusalem], (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” The Bible defines that “abomination of desolation” as armies surrounding Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-22).
These will not be Arab armies. The Bible prophesies that they will be European armies. Daniel 11:40 gives more detail about these armies, which will be led by Germany. It refers to this power as the “king of the north” and prophesies that it will clash with the “king of the south,” which is Iran, the real power in the Middle East. The king of the north is going to win this war.
Notice that verse 41 says, “He shall enter also into the glorious land.” This northern power is going to enter Jerusalem. This is a strong indication that this clash is over control of the Holy City.
The Hebrew shows that when these armies enter the area, it won’t be by force. It appears they will be invited into that glorious land that has been so troubled in the past. The Jews are probably going to invite the Germans and Europe to come into the Holy Land to protect them. They looked to the U.S. and Britain. They looked to land-for-peace deals. Then they look to Germany. They never look to God!
Prophecy reveals the terrifying consequence of their faithlessness: The king of the north is going to commit a tremendous double cross! Once this European power enters that precious Holy Land, it will fill it with a river of blood. That will mark the beginning of World War iii.
Verse 45 is a prophecy that this European power will not only fight a war for Jerusalem, but it will move its headquarters there! Why would a European superpower set up a new headquarters in Jerusalem? Because this union is based not only on political power, but also on religious power! It is dominated by one of the three religions that have fought over Jerusalem for centuries.
Verse 44 speaks of ominous “tidings out of the east.” Jerusalem has exploded. Iran and its allies have pushed against the European superpower, and that king of the north has smashed Iran. It has entered into Jerusalem and committed a horrific double cross. World War iii is raging. But Russia and China will not be sitting on the sidelines the whole time. They are going to enter into this bloodbath. And they too are going to head for Jerusalem!
Revelation 9:16 prophesies of an army of 200 million soldiers! Who could assemble such a huge army? Only the combined strength of Russia and China, along with their allies. This Asiatic superpower is already beginning to form—and the Bible says it will march against Europe and against Jerusalem!
The Bible specifies that the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers will dry up and these nations will march right into the Middle East. These massive armies will gather to battle at Megiddo—Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). But they’re not going to fight there!
Joel 3:1-2 show that these armies will come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, right at the edge of Jerusalem. All these end-time events continue to revolve around Jerusalem!
The battle in the Valley of Jehoshaphat will be so gory that the blood will be as deep as horses’ bridles for a distance of about 200 miles! (Revelation 14:19-20). God Himself will fight these armies, and He will have to do it that way because it’s the only way He can get their attention! It’s the only way He can make these carnal, bloodthirsty men believe Him!
Like so many other crucial events, this great and terrible, final war of the ages will happen right there in Jerusalem.
What Lies Beyond the WarBut in spite of all the war, in spite of all the death and horrific suffering, Jerusalem is also a symbol of good news. I will yet choose Jerusalem, God says!
In 1 Kings 11:13, God says He has chosen Jerusalem to be the world capital. He will still make Jerusalem the capital of the world—then the capital of the universe!
God wants you to realize that much of the Bible revolves around Jerusalem. He says if you take heed to this, then He will reward you, and you will be able to rule with Jesus Christ on His throne in Jerusalem—forever!
God promises to put a stop to all the bloodshed in Jerusalem and around the world. He prophesies of a Millennium in which Jesus Christ and His saints will rule the Earth! Then, throughout all eternity, Jerusalem will rule the whole universe! The “very elect” will reside at that headquarters city with Christ forever (Revelation 3:12).
Abraham looked for a city whose foundations were built by God. He saw beyond the Millennium to a time when God the Father will bring new Jerusalem down to this Earth and rule the God Family Himself. The Son and His bride will rule under the Father, all right there in Jerusalem.
At that point, everyone will have become spirit beings, and what starts on this Earth, at Jerusalem, will go out to rule and bring life to the universe! •