A "Bible Revelations" Presentation
JERUSALEM . . .
FINAL COUNTDOWN to Armageddon!
Front Cover Second Front Cover
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The physical publication of this book is unique in that it has 2 covers - the first, carries a picture of Jerusalem’s Holy Mount under fiery atomic explosion and burning.
The 2nd Cover,
two pages further, displays peaceful blue skies, with a glittering white City -
the New Jerusalem, built on the ashes of the first, and the title, in gold
THE PHOENIX WILL RISE FROM THE ASHES . . .
INSIDE COVER NOTE TO COVER NO. 1
The Temple Mount
The closing years of the millennium have seen the intensifying of "The Battle for Jerusalem", which has now revealed itself as the culminating flashpoint in the Middle East Crisis. The eye-opening contents of this book confirms that the Final Countdown to Armageddon has begun!
For decades, the Arab-Israel conflict was a potential fuse to the igniting of an international military confrontation - dreadedly of nuclear magnitude. The historic signing of the Oslo Peace Treaty on 15 Sept. 1993, suddenly turned the spotlight onto the back stage of the world drama, as Jerusalem, in glittering array, stepped challengingly through the darkened crimson curtains of history, onto the center of the stage - revealing itself as the pivotal, contentious issue in the millennia-old struggle for control of it's soul.
As early as 1967, after Israeli troops occupied Jerusalem, bringing Jews back for praying at the foundations of their ancient, Roman destroyed Temple for the first time in 2000 years, Jerusalem was already important enough to warrant several United Nations Resolutions to restrict Jewish claims on Jerusalem, their ancient Capital.
Gradually it is becoming clear, that not Arab interests, not Palestinian oppression, not Jewish occupation, not territory, nor Peace, is really the issue - but, control of Jerusalem, now emerges as the flashpoint to, what Ancient Prophecies, as long as 3000 years ago, predicted would be the Cause for a Final World War of catastrophic magnitude - marking "The End of the World".
Suddenly the Jewish 3000-year old claim to it's ancient Capital - the central theme of Jewish prayer throughout its 2000-year exile from the Land - is vehemently opposed by the Palestinians who have never yet had a capital city. And behind the scenes, the Pope is making urgent overtures for internationalization of Jerusalem under his control as Peacemaker. In concert, the whole world has turned against Israel and its Divinely mandated right to Jerusalem.
Why is control of Jerusalem so important to these opposing interests?
Recent developments in the Middle East Crisis, have been drawing the spotlight onto the real nucleus of this explosive subject, which until now has been totally overlooked by the news media, namely the real 'inner soul' of Jerusalem - the Sacred Temple Mount. Here currently stands an internationally well known landmark - the golden domed Muslim Bayt al Maqdas, known as the Dome of the Rock - and next to it, the silver domed Al Aqsa Mosque (Masjid e Aqsa).
This, to Muslims, is the third holiest site in the world. For Jews, it is the exact Site where anciently two successive Jewish Temples stood, over a period of some 1000 years preceding the Common Era - First, the Temple of Solomon, a masterpiece of ancient architecture until its destruction at the time of the Babylonian Exile, six centuries BCE. Second, the Temple of Herod, where Jesus, the contending Jewish Messiah, attended Jewish worship Services. It also is the Site where, according to the Bible, the future Third Temple of the Jews are to be erected and where God will appear in Great Power at the time of the War of Armageddon.
And that is what makes this Temple Mount Site, which is pivotal to the opposing interests of the world's three major religions, the real flash point in "The Battle for Jerusalem"
INSIDE COVER NOTE TO
COVER NO. 2
Jerusalem - Miracle Sign of a new World Order
The Grand Design for a blissful future for the inhabitants of planet earth, as structured by Divine Intent, is ascertained by the literal fulfillment to date, of ancient Biblical Prophecies about Jerusalem, its Land and its People. The Grand Finale of staggering world events, to inaugurate Universal Divine Rule from a New City of Jerusalem on the same Temple Mount in Israel, hinges on a Divine Challenge to mankind and to the opposing powers of the Creator’s Supremacy, while they endeavour to prevent the fulfillment of His Purpose for all mankind.
Like the proverbial Phoenix bird, Jerusalem, according to this Divine Challenge, shall rise from its ashes in all its Glory, as the Universal Capital of Divine Rule on earth.
Other Feature notes:
JERUSALEM - Signal to alert the nations
Staggering news events from this ancient City continue to shake the World. Now, from amidst the stirring developments in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel over the last few decades, and from the turmoil of the current Israel-Arab Peace Process, the stern predictions of ancient Writings are calling out clearer than ever: "The re-erection of this City after centuries of devastation will serve as a Miracle Sign to the nations of the World, of impending world shaking events which would inaugurate a New World Order".
JERUSALEM - Spearhead in the battle for World Supremacy
The Power that rules Jerusalem, will rule the World - these ancient writings predict. The confluence of the universal effects of World Wars 1 and 2, and the subsequent developments in the Israel-Arab conflict, has gradually drawn the battle for Jerusalem into the universal foreground. Is this mere co-incidence?
JERUSALEM and the Future
These ancient writings also predict that Jerusalem will be the centre of a cataclysmic nuclear war in which "all the nations of the world" will be involved and which will inaugurate a New World Dispensation of Peace on earth, under the direct Divine Rule of the Creator God of Israel, from the City of Jerusalem. How probable is this scenario in the face of the recent Peace developments in the Middle East?
JERUSALEM - Key to Prosperity and Peace for a World in crisis
Does the Land of Israel hold religious significance for religious believers only, or does it also hold the mysterious and much sought after solution to Peace, Prosperity and Happiness for all nations and all mankind generally?
JERUSALEM - Eternal Promise of real solutions for a real World
Must any such ultimate world influence be interpreted in a religious spiritual sense only, or is it also of real literal importance for a sceptical world in crisis today?
JERUSALEM - Living testimony to the fulfilment of ancient Prophecies
This ancient City today stands at the dawn of her most glorious moment yet. Although she endured more wars than any other city in the world, Jerusalem paradoxically is known as "God's City of Peace". Built originally around the Rock which is purported to mark "the centre of the earth", the `heart' of this modern sprouting City today still stands on the original foundations of ages gone by.
JERUSALEM - Divine Challenge to an unbelieving World
The gradual re-erection of this City after 2000 years of devastation and its ultimate elevation to the world's capital of universal Divine Rule, stands as a Divine Challenge to opposing powers.
JERUSALEM - Strong influence on world affairs today - and growing
Current events in Israel which feature daily in world news, bear witness to the factual outcome of ancient written forecasts and confirm that the Land of Israel does not hold historical Scriptural significance only, but also influences the present and the future of all nations.
JERUSALEM - The City to which all the World's major religions lay claim
Why is this City the Pawn in the aspirations of International Powers and the conflicting interests of Jews, Christians and Muslim? Who will ultimately control this City, according to the indisputable Proof laid down in these ancient writings and unshakably confirmed by History over the last 2000 years to this day?
CHAPTER 1 - BATTLE FOR UNIVERSAL SUPREMACY
Jerusalem, which has withstood and outlived the ravages of time, is now standing at the brim of a cataclysmic display of Superhuman Power, in the Battle for Universal Supremacy against demoniac forces, intent on crushing the imminent culminating fulfillment of Prophetic Script.
Why has this book got two front covers?
Because it carries a dual message.
To answer the question more fully, we will use an allusion to an ancient fabulous mythical bird, the Phoenix, as does the second title to this book.
When the Phoenix felt its death approaching, after every 500 years, it would build a nest and then set it on fire - only to be consumed in the flames itself. Having afterwards been reborn from the ashes, a new Phoenix would rise from the debris and take off in flight, rising to great heights in the sky, and carrying its offering, an egg embalmed from the ashes, to offer it on the altar of the sun god.
From this ancient legend, sprang many modern concepts of self-improvement and empowerment. According to these teachings, the worst set backs in life may be overcome by burning the past with its setbacks, failures and inhibitions, and by stepping out anew, in pursuit of the spirit of rejuvenation and creativity, to rise up to new and greater heights of success.
As such, the Phoenix symbolized immortality, resurrection and life after death. This also then, is the theme and inspiration depicted by the second cover of this book.
The awesome and fearful reality of the one part of the message of this book, namely the ultimate destruction to be brought about by the battle for Jerusalem, is offset by the Inspiration and Hope of the second part of the message - that of the physical re-erection of a New Jerusalem under a New World Order, on the ashes of the Old System of things.
History abounds with examples of many such achievements by the survivors and conquerors of adversity. Great cities, like San Francisco and Lisbon, arose once more on the ruins and ashes of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and fires. These achievements over doom, are often referred to as “The rise of the Phoenix from the ashes of the past...”
The city of Hiroshima is probably the most explicit, though startling example of this allusion. On an August morning in 1945, a parachute dropped from a solitary aeroplane in the sky, carried a new man-made super bomb of total destruction to a whole city and 200 000 of its people in one blow. Buildings melted, human bodies evaporated, leaving only their shadows carved in some paving stones which remained - and humankind lost the first battle of the nuclear age!
Scientists doubted if Hiroshima could ever live again, but today, merely fifty years later, Hiroshima is the most vital city of San-Yo with a population of more than one million, having risen like a Phoenix from its ashes.
The life-giving message learnt from this pinnacle of man’s self destructive craving, is well summed up in Pope John Paul II’s comment when he visited Hiroshima in 1981:
“War is the work
And this is where we would like to end our parallel with the mystical - now to pose the question: Will mankind continue to remember Hiroshima or will they one day regress into repeating the exercise?
The mythologies, legends and religions of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome are all extinct today. The many divinities which relished the worship of ancient masses, today do not have a single worshipper among living mankind. They only serve as mystic examples to be referred to by authors, journalists, poets and orators. Their only lasting achievement is to have been immortalized as some of the most charming fictions which fancy has ever created.
Jerusalem on the other hand, although its long history may be inseparable from religion, ancient, past and present, has outlived the storms of time. In fact, it has now woven itself into, what seems to be a spider’s web of international intrigue and envy from which it is impossible to escape.
Already, midway in the 20th century, Jerusalem has risen from the ashes like the Phoenix. Two thousand years earlier, in the year 70 C.E, a young Roman legionnaire stood on a hill overlooking Jerusalem. While he watched it burn, he said to his comrades in Latin, "Judea Capta Est" (Judea is conquered). Yet like the legendary Phoenix, rising from the ashes of its own destruction, Israel burst onto the world's stage 2000 years later, with the cry of a lusty infant yearning to breathe free. Five Arab armies tried to destroy that new life before it could take hold. With blood and fire, including the sacrifice of one per cent of its population (6000 of its best young people), the besieged Land of Israel secured its new independence in 1948, when the modern Jewish State was reborn on the 2000 year neglected territory of its ancient Jewish inhabitants!.
Jerusalem is the disputed capital of that Land area in the Middle East where, over the last few decades, military upheavals with the surrounding Arab nations have repeatedly threatened to engulf the whole world in war. Military strategists often refer to a nuclear holocaust in which all the world may become involved, as The War of Armageddon. In fact, Israel and its Middle East surroundings, is the only conflict area in the world which, since the last World War, time and time again (in 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1991), have threatened to draw the whole world into the War arena in a chain reaction. This is because conflicts in this area have the opposing interests of the major world players to contend with - the USA, Russia, the East and Europe on the one hand; Communism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism on the other. Add to this the hornet’s nest of oil and petroleum sources and demands, the mistrusted aspirations of capitalism, and the clash of Western versus Eastern lifestyles - and you have an explosive brew simply awaiting the right spark to ignite it.
From this unique area of conflicting national and religious interests, Jerusalem now has emerged, almost overnight and since the Oslo Peace Accord in 1993, as that fuse which could ignite the brew.
And this is where the matter really becomes intriguingly interesting, when one focuses on Jerusalem, its history over thousands of years, its indestructibility to date and, foremostly, its intriguing link with religion and the Bible with its claims by its purported Author or Source of Inspiration - the Creator of the Universe. The Bible’s claims regarding Jerusalem, have been indisputably proven thusfar, in miraculous fashion, by the factual outcome of its 2500-year old Prophecies and predictions, as shall be reflected upon further on in this book.
It's real rising from the ashes, to become the world's major influence, according to Biblical Prophcy, "the City to which all the nations will be drawn", first for the War of all Wars, and thereafter for its universal influence, lies right ahead.
The question now is: If what has been prophesied about Jerusalem, have thusfar materialized, will the rest of the predictions about the ever contentious City also come true?
If there is any chance of this, then the world now has come to stand at the brim of major world shattering events in the very near future - like Hiroshima, but this time on a global scale, and with Jerusalem as the eventual target.
The linking, according to the Bible, of a Divine Universal Purpose for all mankind, to this city and to the Israelite nation, has throughout the history of the ages been the cause of great antagonism against the Jews. The price that this nation therefore had to pay for their ‘election’ to set an example to the world, was frightfully high. More often than not, they also failed their divine Mission to display to the other nations and teach them the requirements of the Creator God. Throughout the centuries, they have suffered untold misery and unending persecution by the other nations.
This antagonism against them was the consequence mainly of two factors. Firstly, and often quite unintentionally, it was based on the wrong interpretation and understanding by the other nations, of the true Universal Purpose for mankind - as will be the endeavour of this book to explain and correct.
Secondly, distinctly intentional and almost demoniacally purposive - with the distinct intent to obliterate this nation from the face of the earth and resultantly (we would like to believe also unwittingly), to prevent the fulfillment of the Universal Divine Purpose. These ancient antagonistic assaults have persisted to this very day and age, now adapted to current, modern warfare and international terrorism. These assaults will, no doubt, persist in the future, constantly adapted, and it will probably escalate internationally to reach the Final Revolt.
This incredible Plot is fast approaching its culmination in a gigantic display of superhuman Powers in the Battle for Universal Supremacy. The City of Jerusalem and its people, as the title of this book claims, is the spearhead in this fascinating Drama, which is generally so obscure - even to the leaders of nations and to the leaders of the nation of Israel itself.
We will relate and consider these eventualities in the light of the wondrous fulfillment to date, of the many ancient Prophecies about Jerusalem and its contenders.
Awareness of the probable momentous events awaiting us at this time - which could well lead to the long feared “End of the World” - could help to bring better understanding. The options available to those who wish to follow the Flight of the Phoenix to a New World Order, as forecasted by these same Prophecies, should hopefully be the goal of all.
Tragically, however, mankind in general, much prefers to forget Hiroshima!
Blessed are the enquiring
and considerate few.
CHAPTER 2 - DEFYING THE UNCHALLENGEABLE
Jerusalem, after thousands of years, has now advanced to the exalted status of being the envy of the conflicting interests of the entire world's major opposing religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - and of two of the world's most belligerent nations - Jews and Arabs - an animosity which stems from an ancient family feud, older than Jerusalem itself.
Ancient writings reveal a fourth interest in this disputed City, confirmed by irrevocable evidence through the records of history, and the writing of the future of Jerusalem and it's citizens, 2 500 years in advance.
If this is true, then some of the present claims on Jerusalem could run the risk of being outright confrontations with the Divine Challenge!
The history of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, is inextricably linked with the 3000-year old history of the Jews in the Land of Israel. For many centuries, it was the ancient Homeland of the Hebrew Israelites (forefathers of the current Jewish population) who conquered it from the ancient local Canaanite inhabitants.
This city, her Land and its population are unique for having had its history written in advance. These prophetic scriptures are found in the Jewish Tanach, which, to the Christians, form the Old Testament of the Bible. It constitutes some 70% of the total content matter of that Book - the most read Book ever, in the world. Whether it can claim to be the most popular book in the world, especially in these modern times, is doubtful.
For the rest of our discussions and for the sake of general acceptance and simplicity, these scriptures shall be referred to by the generalized term, “Prophetic Script”.
The prophetic forecasts for Israel, Jerusalem and its inhabitants, destined it to become the Center of God's universal Kingdom which He would establish at "the End of this Age" (or dispensation) - and from which He would Personally rule over the earth and all its nations. This fourth Interest in Jerusalem therefore takes on and challenges the entire world. The fact that it has been cast in writing and carefully protected throughout the ages by the religious zeal of Jewish rabbinic leadership in fulfillment of their Divine Mandate, stands as a Divine Challenge to humanity and all its powerful leaders, to be refuted by History proper if it were possible. To date, this has not yet been possible, as we shall discuss in the remaining chapters. As its fulfillment draws closer, the Contest will grow in intensity - to its ultimate and destined explosion in the War of All Wars - 'Gog and Magog', as termed in Prophetic Script - 'Armageddon', in military terminology.
It should therefore come as no surprise, why history’s most consorted efforts centered on ridding the world of the “Carriers of this Divine Challenge”, the Jews. Throughout history, the Jews were the targets in pogroms, resulting in their persecution, being constantly opposed and culminating in Hitler's holocaust attempt to eradicate them by mass murder. These attempts were all without success. The Jews, Scripturally defined as “God’s Chosen nation”, are still around after some 4000 years. and they are still universally influential - and disliked. Their declared capital, Jerusalem, now threatens to be the Final remaining Test, to prove or disprove the Scripturally stated Divine Intention. The immediate future should therefore present the final scene in this Drama of the ages - of humanity’s opposition to the stipulations engraved in ancient Prophetic Script and man's frantic endeavours to oppose and overrun the Divine Challenge!
The mere mentioning of Jewish religious literature or the word “the Bible”, will undoubtedly, across the broad spectrum of modern-day intellectual readers, be detrimental to the advancement of an otherwise highly interesting and popular subject, namely, the possible unveiling of the shrouded future. This future entails not only the future regarding the contested ownership of Jerusalem, but as such, and according to these prophetic Scriptures, also the future of all nations and of the entire world.
The current controversy over the rulership of Jerusalem is not unique in the volatile history of this City. It has now once more been building up over the last 50 years since 1948, after the returning Jewish exiles declared an Independent new State of Israel. This process, logically, was fiercely contested by the displaced Palestinian inhabitants and the surrounding Arab nations. This controversy is gradually reaching its crisis point when Israel will be expected to share their ancient capital with the local Palestinians, and the approximately 3 million Palestinian refugees in bordering Arab countries, waiting to return to the Land of their birth. The world has clearly shown their views on the matter by voting repeatedly and unanimously in the United Nations, that the Jewish State has no right to the sole rule of Jerusalem or to the building of further Jewish settlements or suburbs, like Har Homa, on "occupied Palestinian territory". The conquering Israeli forces had taken these territories in the 1967 Six Day War, which left multitudes of Palestinian residents fleeing to neighbouring Jordan as refugees. The accusation that Israel had been attacked by it's surrounding Arab neighbours at the time, is today heavily contested and denied by the Arab front and the Palestinians who now claim the land back from Israel.
Suddenly, Jerusalem has emerged as the core issue of the long standing Arab-Israel Conflict in the Middle East. This is exactly what the Oslo Peace Accord of 1993 tried to avoid. Well knowing the explosive context of the subject of ownership of Jerusalem, the architects of Oslo tried to delay the discussion of this issue to the end of the Peace Process - the "final status talks" - hoping that agreement in the meantime, on other contentious matters would lay a more amicable foundation for consideration and resolving of this explosive final issue. The crisis, in the mean time, has deteriorated and the Oslo Accord was given a death blow by Arafat in his battle for ownership of Jerusalem, by launching his Intifada against Israeli "occupation" in October 2000, causing the deaths of many hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis, killed in blood-curdling style by Palestinian "suicide" terrorists.
Although not restricted by Oslo, any further building projects by Israel in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), have been labeled by the Palestinians, international politicians and the Church as 'illegal' endeavours to strengthen the Jewish claim to Jerusalem.
Our references to 'The Church' throughout this publication, does not refer to Christianity in general, but to the combined group of churches which oppose Jewish claims to Jerusalem and the Land. This group, generally under the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, have their own agenda for Jerusalem, under the banner of internationalizing and sharing of Jerusalem for the benefit of all, i.e. Christians, Jews and Muslim - Israelis and Palestinians. This support is made up, amongst others, of the Greek Orthodox Church and others in Jerusalem, American Baptist Churches, USA; Church of the Brethren; Episcopal Church; Evangelical Lutheran; Mennonite Church; National Council of Churches; Presbyterian Church; Catholic American Baptist Churches, Church of the Brethren; Unitarian Universalist Association; United Church of Christ; United Methodist Church - Refer ch. 7
Yet, when the Palestinians started to fortify their position on the actual Temple Mount in Jerusalem, by building new Mosques, early in year 2000, on the site where both the 1st and 2nd Jewish Temples once stood, the world was silent. In an astonishing and unbelievable don't-care attitude, the Israeli government prevented archeological authorities, the media and religious Jewish ‘fanatics’ from supervising and reporting on this Temple Mount destruction, thereby giving the Palestinians the green light to continue this desecration of one of the world's richest archeological sites.
A wild propaganda war
also ensued, with Palestinian officials claiming that Jerusalem has no
connection at all with Judaism, and that the Temple of Solomon was in some other
place entirely. “The Muslim attachment to Jerusalem does not begin with the
prophet Mohammed," it is claimed (*), "it begins with the prophets Abraham,
David, Solomon and Jesus, who are also prophets in Islam". In other words,
the central figures of Judaism and Christianity were really proto-Muslims!
Suddenly the world's media, political, religious and other, started reverberating with claims of the importance of Jerusalem to Islam throughout the ages.
It is noteworthy that the Islamic faith only started in the 6th century of the modern era, 600 years after Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple were destroyed by the Romans. History undoubtedly recognizes the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Land since 2 500 years before Islam even started. Jerusalem is the paramount religious city of Judaism. To Jews, worldwide, it is a place so holy that not just its soil but even its air is deemed sacred to them. The world over, Jews have been praying in the direction of Jerusalem, mentioning its name in prayers three times daily, for all of their 2000 year exile from the Land. Again, this exile had already started 600 years before there was an Islamic Faith . During this exile, every year, the Jewish Passover service was closed with the prayer wish: “Next year in Jerusalem,” The City is recalled in the blessing at the end of every meal, every day, by pious observing Jews around the world,
The City of Jerusalem is mentioned some 700 times in the Jewish "Old Testament' of the Bible; 150 times in the Christian 'New Testament' and not once in the Muslim Qur'an.
Throughout the Bible it is abundantly clear that the City of Jerusalem fulfills a very special role in the Purpose and Plan of the Creator for mankind and for His own Honour. Jerusalem enjoys His special selection. In ancient times, His direct Presence abode in the Jewish Temple as a powerful beam of spiritual Power (His 'Schechina' Glory). After Judgment Day, which will follow the coming destruction in Jerusalem, God promises to return to, and restore and reign over the world from Jerusalem, which will be called 'His Throne', Jer. 3:17. "I shall live here amongst the sons of Israel for ever" - Ezek. 43:7. Here "all mankind will come to bow down before Him" (Isaiah 4:4 - 6; 66:18-24). He has taken an Oath to this extent (Isaiah. 62: 6-8).
It is also clear from Scripture that the Creator God guards over Jerusalem and its Jewish inhabitants "jealously" and He does not hesitate to claim that "whoever touches you (the ingathered Jews), touches the apple of My eye" (Zechariah 2:8). He therefore will "hold Judah (the Jews) as His portion in the Holy Land and again make Jerusalem His very own" (verse 12).
Latent explosive ingredient of the clamor for Jerusalem
This fourth contending interest in Jerusalem takes on staggering proportions when the real Biblical definition of the "Kingdom of God" which is to be established there, is laid on the table. The main theme of Biblical Prophecy has been latent and concealed for ages until recent surprising developments in the religious and political world.
This definition encompasses not only the Jews, who are mainly from one Tribe of Israel, namely Judah, but also the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, to be re-identified and returned to the Land of their ancient forefathers in the "Latter Times". These 10 Northern Tribes were torn away by God from the Kingdom of Solomon, 2800 years ago, and exiled amongst the nations. They lost all identity but according to Divine Oath, they would be returned in the End Times to form a Re-united 12-Tribed Universal Kingdom of the God of Israel Who would personally reign from Jerusalem. Their numbers are purported to run into even billions, to inhabit the "Greater Israel", the Biblical Map of which includes entire countries of the Middle East like Jordan, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and others.
It is against such Divine Key Proclamations that contenders for ownership of Jerusalem should weigh up their claims, for it could well be that such contending claims may amount to no less than a confrontation with the Divine Challenge.
A thorough study of the history of Jerusalem over the last 2000 years of the expelling of its Hebrew inhabitants from the Land of Israel by Divine Decree, will reveal the validity, or not, of the claims of Islam on this City. For the scope of this publication we can afford but a brief historic overview (Refer to a short summary in the NOTES at the end of this chapter).
To Islam, Jerusalem has never been their most religious City - Mecca holds this position, to the extent that non-Muslims are not permitted to reside in Mecca or Arabia. This extremistic Muslim view was also quoted as the reason for the bombing by Muslim extremists of buildings in Saudi Arabia, used as barracks for US soldiers. To the vast majority of Christians, Jerusalem in the Middle East does not hold an important place, as they look upon a "heavenly" Jerusalem in fulfillment of Prophetic Script. The popular plea of the Church therefore, for sharing of the "earthly" Jerusalem for the benefit of all religions (a plea which is puppeted by the Arabs and the Palestinians), may therefore rightfully be questioned.
Though the world denies Jews any entitlement to Jerusalem, no-one seems to care or notice that during Jewish control of Jerusalem over the last 50 years, the City was and still is open to all religions. In fact, Jews themselves, by their own decree are denied access to their own Temple Mount - the actual spiritual center of Jerusalem - where presently, and since the 6th century, a Muslim Mosque has been occupying the site where once two successive Jewish Temples stood. Biblical evidence claim to boast the physical Presence of the Spirit of the Creator God, at times, in these Temples!
It is evident that the future trends of world events will be influenced and affected by the events in Israel and the Middle East. The outlines thereof, as reviewed and presented in this publication, are not simply speculative ideas and interpretations of any specific school of thought, but are based on the historical, factual outcome to date of ancient, clear-cut and easy to understand, literal directives contained in Prophetic Script.
There are, no doubt, many readers who would wish to argue the validity of these 2500 year old predicting writings, Such contenders of the factual evidence which will be presented in this book, would, however, not need to argue about the validity or not, of this Prophetic Script, but would have to answer for the factual evidence of the actual outcome thereof to date - events which find a newsworthy though contentious slot on the daily news channels and other communications media of the world.
The existence of the State and nation of Israel today, together with its contested capital City, Jerusalem, rebuilt after 19 centuries of decay during the absence of its exiled populace (70 CE - 1948), is the means (according to Prophetic Script), used by the all-wise Creator God to prove His existence to a skeptical world and to cast light on the mystery of His Grand Purpose for all nations and all mankind.
As little as 50 years ago, Israel did not appear on the world map, it's ancient Jewish population having become unwelcome exiled citizens of every nation of the world.
The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in 1948, inaugurated the “re-erection” of ancient Israel, which was made possible by the return to the Land of the remnant (the Jews) of the ancient Hebrew nation after almost 2000 years of worldwide exile.
The history of Israel
during this long period of exile and the latter time culminating events of the
modern re-establishment of the State of Israel, testify to the miraculous and
exact fulfillment of ancient Biblical prophecies. This has ushered in a
whole new era of understanding of Prophetic Script and its grand design for
Israel and the world and all nations at large.
(This section serves merely as a short history update and should be informative for assessing the opposing claims that are currently being made on Jerusalem. You may wish to skip this section and proceed to the next chapter. It is recommended, though, that you at least browse through the contents in order to absorb those details which may interest you).
The original inhabitants of what is known today as the Holy Land and its capital city, Jerusalem, were the Canaanites and the Amorites. Subsequently Jerusalem was conquered by successive waves of Jebusites, Hitites, Philistines (Palestinians?), and others. The conquering nations became inhabitants of the land and its towns and villages, mixing with the original inhabitants, the Canaanites.
During it's long history, Jerusalem was occupied, amongst others, by the Babylonians for 50 years, by the Persians for 204 years, by Alexander the Great for 9 years, by the Ptolemys for 120 years, by the Seleucids for 33 years, by the Romans under various emperors for 505 years, by the independent Israelite kingdoms established by David and Solomon for 424 years, by the Maccabees (Hasmoneans) for 107 years, by the Byzantines for 8 years, the Crusaders for 88 years, by Muslim rulers, Khailfates-Fatimides 463 years, Ayoubites 57 years, Mameluks 273 years, Ottoman Turks 401 years, and British mandate 31 years.
To trace the legitimate owners of this disputed portion of land from amongst the conglomeration of opposing rulers, would be open to anyone's guess! What makes this dispute unique though, is the proclamation, according to the Bible, of the Sovereign Creator God, whereby the Land is promised to the ancient Hebrews (Israelites) and their descendants by Divine Oath and according to a long standing Covenant with various patriarchs of this nation.
In tracing back the influence of the Israelites on this territory, we find that in about 1200 BCE, the Hebrews under leadership of Joshua, invaded and conquered Palestine and established the country of Israel. King David, captured Jerusalem in about 1000 BCE and King Solomon of Israel built the first Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between the years 970-931 BCE. In the 6th century BCE the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, demolished the Temple in 587 BCE and carried its contents and valuables to Babylon. The inhabitants were exiled to Babylon as slaves. The Temple (what remained of it) was dedicated by the pagan conquerors, to Jupiter and Zeus.
The returning Jews, after a 70 year exile, started the building of the 2nd Temple and the restoration of Jerusalem. In the year 70 CE (AD), the Temple was destroyed by the Romans once more and the Jews taken as slaves to neighbouring countries.
The Great Diaspora now started, during which the Jews were exiled from the Land of Israel and their Temple, and over the next 2000 years (until 1948) they gradually engulfed the globe and infiltrated almost every country on earth, suffering great persecution where ever they turned. While the Jews retained their identity throughout their 2000 year exile by holding on to their Torah culture and customs, the Northern Ten Tribes integrated totally with the nations of the world and lost all identity.
In the mean time, Jerusalem changed hands ever so often and was gradually destroyed to a status of mostly ruins - the Land became a mixture of desert and infested swamps.
In 688-91 Islam’s first grand structure, the Dome of the Rock, was built on top of the remains of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. In 715, the Umayyads built a mosque right on the Temple Mount, and called it the Furthest Mosque (al-masjid al-aqsa, or Al-Aqsa Mosque). When the Umayyad dynasty collapsed in 750, Jerusalem fell into near-obscurity. For the next three and a half centuries, books praising the city, lost favour and the construction of glorious buildings not only stopped, but existing ones fell apart (the Dome over the rock collapsed in 1016).
By the early tenth century, Muslim rule over Jerusalem had an “almost casual” quality with “no particular political significance” (according to the historian, Peters). In keeping with this near-indifference, the Crusader conquest of the city in 1099 initially aroused a mild Muslim response. Only as the effort to retake Jerusalem grew serious in about 1150 did Muslim leaders stress Jerusalem’s importance to Islam. Once safely back in Muslim hands after Saladin’s reconquest, however, interest in Jerusalem dropped, to the point where one of Saladin’s grandsons temporarily ceded the city in 1229 to Emperor Friedrich II in return for the German’s promise of military aid against his brother, a rival king. But learning that Jerusalem was back in Christian hands again provoked intense Muslim emotions; as a result, in 1244, the city was again under Muslim rule. The city then lapsed back to its usual obscurity for nearly eight centuries. At one point, the city’s entire population amounted to a miserable four thousand souls. The Temple Mount sanctuaries were abandoned and became dilapidated.
Under Ottoman rule (1516-1917), Jerusalem suffered the indignity of being treated as a tax farm for nonresident, one-year (and so very rapacious) officials. The Turkish authorities raised funds by gouging European visitors, and so made little effort to promote Jerusalem’s economy. The tax rolls show soap as the city’s only export item. In 1611, George Sandys found that “Much lies waste; the old buildings (except a few) all ruined, the new contemptible.”
Gustav Flaubert of Madame Bovary fame visited in 1850 and found “Ruins everywhere.” Mark Twain in 1867 wrote that Jerusalem “has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village.”
In modern times, notes the Israeli scholar Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, Jerusalem “became the focus of religious and political Arab activity only at the beginning of the present century, and only because of the renewed Jewish activity in the city and Judaism’s claims on the Western Wailing Wall.” British rule over the city, lasting from 1917 to 1948, further galvanized Muslim passion for Jerusalem. The Palestinian leader (and mufti of Jerusalem) Hajj Amin al-Husayni made the Temple Mount central to his anti-Zionist efforts, for example raising funds throughout the Arab world for the restoration of the Dome of the Rock. Arab politicians made Jerusalem a prominent destination; for example, Iraqi leaders frequently turned up, where they demonstrably prayed at Al-Aqsa and gave rousing speeches.
But when Muslims retook the Old City with its Islamic sanctuaries in 1948, they quickly lost interest in it. An initial excitement stirred when the Jordanian forces took the walled city in 1948 as evidenced by the Coptic bishop’s crowning King Abdallah as “King of Jerusalem” in November of that year. But then the usual ennui set in. The Hashemites had little affection for Jerusalem, where some of their most devoted enemies lived and where Abdallah himself was shot dead in 1951. In fact, the Hashemites made a concerted effort to diminish the holy city’s importance in favour of their capital, Amman
Once again, Arab Jerusalem became an isolated provincial town, now even less important than Nablus. The economy stagnated and many thousands left Arab Jerusalem. While the population of Amman increased five-fold in the period 1948-67, Jerusalem’s grew just 50 percent. Perhaps most insulting of all, Jordanian radio broadcasted the Friday prayers not from Al-Aqsa Mosque but from a mosque in Amman.
Nor was Jordan alone in ignoring Jerusalem; the city virtually disappeared from the Arab diplomatic map. No foreign Arab leader came to Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, and even King Hussein visited only rarely.
King Faysal of Saudi Arabia often spoke after 1967 of yearning to pray in Jerusalem, yet he appears never to have bothered to pray there when he had the chance.
Perhaps most remarkable is that the PLO’s founding document, the Palestinian National Covenant of 1964, does not even once mention Jerusalem.
All this abruptly changed after June 1967, when the Old City came under Israeli control. As in the British period, Palestinians again made Jerusalem the centerpiece of their political program. Pictures of the Dome of the Rock turned up everywhere, from Yasir Arafat’s office to the corner grocery. The PLO’s 1968 Constitution described Jerusalem as “the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization.” On 6 October 2002, Arafat signed a new Palestinian law, proclaiming the entire city of Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian State.
Palestinians were not alone in their renewed interest. “As during the era of the Crusaders,” Lazarus-Yafeh points out, many Muslim leaders “began again to emphasize the sanctity of Jerusalem in Islamic tradition,” even dusting off old hadiths to back up their claims.
As it was under the British mandate, Jerusalem has since 1967 again become the primary vehicle for mobilizing international Muslim opinion.
Ayatollah Khomeini decreed the last Friday of Ramadan as Jerusalem Day (Al Quds Day), and the holiday has served as a major occasion for anti-Israel harangues.
Since Israeli occupation, some ideologies have sought to establish the historical basis of Islamic attachment to Jerusalem. The Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else. Jerusalem will never be more than a secondary city for Muslims.
Jerusalem, through all these centuries, were never totally devoid of Jewish citizens, however low this number may have dwindled. Since the end of the 1st World War, Jews have been returning to Israel. The end of the 2nd World War, after the Holocaust of 6 million Jews in the death camps of Hitler, necessitated the return of millions of Jewish exiles from every corner of the globe. In 1948 the 'reborn' State of Israel was declared and in the mere 50 years since, Israel has emerged on the world stage as one of the most advanced countries in the world - certainly when measured by military capability and by scientific, educational and technological standards. Recent discoveries (2012) of large gas and oil fields in Israeli territory, promises to make the future Israel a world empire.
Jerusalem has mushroomed, boasting a modern city on the ruins and the surrounding mountains of the ancient city.
The Temple Mount is still
intact - awaiting the next developments in this volatile episode of its
The miraculous re-erection of Israel and the rebuilding of Jerusalem over the last 50 years by the modern remnant of its ancient Hebraic Jewish inhabitants, have now brought the Divine Challenge which has been vested in this nation, to the fore. In a final attempt to forestall the establishment of the Creator's direct Divine World Rule from Jerusalem in Israel, opposing powers have been pushing the world to the brink of the cataclysmic War of all Wars, which had been prophetically predicted 3000 years ago. ________________________________________________________________
The rapid growth of Israel since 1948, miraculously 're-born' on it's ancient homeland after 2000 years of universal exile of almost the entire nation, holds great meaning and inspiration for Bible students who read in this, the fulfillment of ancient Biblical Prophecies. For the surrounding Arab nations, embroiled in an age-old family feud with the Israelites, the flourishing new Jewish State in their midst is a thorn in the flesh. For the Palestinians, who have to share this disputed Land mass with the Jews and who were displaced by the returning Jewish exiles, many having lost home and country through the successive wars (1948 - 1973), there is a great and growing resistance against the further expansion of Israel within its ancient borders. So fierce is the combined Arab-Palestinian resistance that, time and again over the last fifty years, events in and around Israel have brought the world in sight of an abysmal international military confrontation too fearful to contemplate.
Exactly such a final cataclysm of all nations at war against Jerusalem has been foretold in Prophetic Script. This war is often referred to by world leaders and militarists as “The battle of Armageddon”. Prophetically it is referred to as "The War of Gog and Magog" (Ezekiel 38). For the first time in all its fateful history, Jerusalem and the Israelite nation is facing just such a war - of nuclear and bio-chemical proportions!
This Prophecy is so awesome, its supreme authority so crucial, that we are going to publish it here with the original 'signature' as it appears in the Hebrew Scriptures, using the Name of the God of Israel Who proclaims this Divine Decree on the nations of the world. The purpose for using and printing the Sacred Name in this publication, an action which is disapproved of by Orthodox Judaism, is to identify the bearer of this Name as the PERSONAL God of Israel and of the universe, as opposed to the general interpretation of a rather mystical, almost unidentifiable Being, as held by most religions. Prophetic Scripture is emphatic about the fact that His Name shall in the End time be known to the nations. In fact, this is one of the main factors by which He will be distinguished, recognized and honoured. Due reverence is paid to the usage of this Name by printing it in capitals.
The Prophet Zechariah, 2 500 years ago, stated: “The Word of YHVH about Israel ... ‘Look, I am going to make Jerusalem an intoxicating cup to all surrounding peoples ... When that Day comes, I mean to make Jerusalem a stone to be lifted by all the peoples; all who try to lift it will hurt themselves severely. And all the nations of the earth will mass against her’ ... (Zechariah chapter 12). (And continuing in chapter 14) “See a Day is coming ... YHVH will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle ... And this is the plague with which YHVH will strike all the nations who have fought against Jerusalem: their flesh will molder while they are still standing on their feet; their eyes will rot in their sockets; their tongues will rot in their mouths.” (Only an atomic age could fulfill this prophecy!)
As for the number of those amongst the attacking hordes that will die in this war, the prophet Ezekiel states in chapter 38, verse 18: “On the day Gog (*) attacks the land of Israel - it is the Lord YHVH who speaks - I shall grow angry. In my anger ... and the heat of my fury ... I swear that on that day, there will be a fearful quaking in the Land of Israel. At my presence ... mountains will fall, cliffs crumble, walls collapse and I will confront him with every sort of terror ... I will punish him with ... fire and brimstone, against him and his hordes and the many nations with him. (Chapter 39:1) The Lord YHVH says this: Now I set Myself against you ... You will be killed on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the nations with you (verse 12) The House of Israel will take seven months to bury them and cleanse the country (verse 8) All this is going to happen. All this is going to take place - it is the Lord YHVH Who speaks - This is the Day I predicted (verse 7). The nations shall learn that I am YHVH, Holy One of Israel.”
* GOG is mentioned in this Prophecy and elsewhere, together with other invading forces of 'Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal' who make up the hordes that will attack Israel. Although interpreters have endeavoured to identify these, it remains speculative. It is referred to though as enemies from the North of Israel - thus popularly referred to by interpreters as Russia (Rosh)
Over the last few decades, the world has repeatedly come close to such an international confrontation, but few people are aware of the fact that every time Israel was involved; and every time the danger was rife that the rest of the world could be drawn in. Never before the first World War in 1917 was there a time that “all nations” or even “many nations” warred against each other. This was only 80 years ago.
Never before in history, did Jerusalem have the potential to be the center of a crisis which drew the discontent of all nations of the world. Several times over the last few decades UN votes drew almost 100% unanimous opposition against Israel. The above mentioned prophecies, far fetched for the time in which they were made (2500 years ago), must therefore refer to the time that we are currently living in. It is certainly true that no other trouble spot in the world has, since World War 2, presented such a direct, close threat of an ‘all nation’ confrontation as the State of Israel.
One of these confrontations occurred in 1967 - the blitz “Six Day War”. During this war Israel, surrounded by several attacking Arab nations on virtually all its borders, crushed its enemies in miraculous fashion and against all odds. Threats and urgent diplomatic deliberations rang on the ‘hot’ direct telephone line between the presidents of Russia and the USA. Any breakdown would have drawn the nations of the world into that war.
Again in 1973, it was the Yom Kippur or “Judgment Day” War, in which Israel was caught completely off-guard. It happened on the Day of Yom Kippur, the only day of the year that everything comes to a complete halt in Israel, Traditionally, on this high Holy day, almost the entire nation, including its troops, attend an all day service in synagogues across the land. In 1973 the attacking Arab forces were already well across Israel’s borders and rolling on to its main cities, when Israel had to mobilize its entire army within hours. As fate (or Providence) had it, Israel’s unique emergency military mobilization system benefited greatly from the fact that reservists and troops could be easily located in the packed synagogues. As the synagogues emptied, the otherwise deserted roads on this Holy day, started throbbing with the groaning of Israel’s war machine. The attacking enemy, in one area, was met well on its way to the main city district of Tel Aviv. The results were disastrous for Israel. They shortly ran out of war materials and world political diplomacy was plunged into turmoil about the provision of urgently needed equipment. Once again, the hot lines buzzed - but the time was not yet ripe for “all the nations” to get involved.
The latest of these occurrences took place in 1991 during the Iraq War. This was a war of almost starburning fantasy and technological precision, the likes of which had never yet been seen or even expected by mankind. For the first time ever in history, this mini world war, with 28 nations directly involved and many others standing alert on the side lines, was brought right into the TV rooms of households across the globe. From the first moment the night skies of Baghdad were lit up by the precision pointed bombing which rained over this ancient Biblical city, representing a great fireworks display, it was televised by CNN internationally. Commentators and their cameras were right there in the center of it all, filming from the windows on the top floor of a multistorey hotel! Even in South Africa, where, at the time, CNN was not generally televised and where local TV stations closed down around midnight, the channels were especially opened at 2 hours after midnight, without prior notice, to screen this unbelievable on the spot presentation. This, in retrospect, was certainly a grand preview of just how universally entwining and on the spot, the real Armageddon will be. For the first time in its modern history, Israel was under siege with hands tied behind the back. This time by Sadam Hussein and his Scud missiles, purported to be carrying poisonous gases. CNN’s cameras tracked these frightening weapons as they pierced through the Israeli night skies, pointed at civil targets in Tel Aviv, right up to their ultimate point of explosion, for the whole world to see. The amazing part was that Israel was being attacked while, officially, it declared itself not to be partaking in the war. So accurate and on the spot was the reporting that Israel military security had to ban all further live TV reporting of missile attacks. After all, Sadam Hussein and his military experts were watching the same reporting and could see exactly how accurate they were bombing! Continued live reporting on international TV would have been suicidal for Israel.
In the mean time, the clock was ticking away, while the world was intriguingly awaiting the possible intervention of Israel into this War.
Israel’s army was placed on the highest alert and rotating Israeli pilots were sitting in their cockpits around the clock, ready for take off in a split second, for a flight of just 20 to 40 minutes, which would take them to the war front in Iraq. Israel had to bite her teeth as one after the other, Sadam’s missiles hit public targets. Israeli men, most of whom are part of Israel’s unique civil defense system and in times of war are accustomed to being on the war front, were this time locked up in airtight makeshift gas chambers in their own homes, together with their women and children! And yet, this time, very much unlike Israel, it refused to intervene.
Sadam was doing his utmost to draw Israel into his declared ‘Holy War’ - but Israel stubbornly though painfully, resisted on the demands of the USA which did not want the war boat rocked. Israel’s entry into this war, they knew and the USA knew, would unleash a battle of hellfire, drawing into its wake the rest of the world’s nations!
This, is how very real the possible fulfillment is of the ancient prophecies of an all engulfing fiery war of mass destruction, in which Israel will be the main token of attack. That is how close the world has been standing to Armageddon, time and time again over the last four decades since the re-erection of Israel.
The time has not been right yet - while the clock of history is ticking away. In retrospect, today we know that Jerusalem, at the time of these crises, had not yet been revealed as "the" crucial issue, as stipulated by Prophetic Script. The seven years post-Oslo, being the final ‘week of years’ (1993 - 2000) which concluded the millennium, have therefore laid one of the last few missing parts to the ongoing completion of the picture of this intriguing puzzle - ‘The Final Battle for Jerusalem’ concluding the Drama of Life and its Purpose on planet earth.
There should be no doubt
as to why the process of the re-establishment of Jerusalem under Jewish rule,
constitutes a miraculous Signal from Almighty God to the nations of the world,
of impending world shaking changes in the offing.
CHAPTER 4 - VENGEANCE - BUT NOT ANNIHILATION
The Destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE, inaugurated a 1900 year long period of national dispersal and disaster for the nation of Israel. This banishment from the Land, gravely threatened their survival, but was never intended to destroy Israel as the nation in which a Divine Challenge resides.
The endless pages of ancient prophecies contained in Prophetic Script, concerning Jerusalem and its inhabitants, the Israelites, were aptly condensed and summarized in one paragraph, by that great though controversial Jewish figure who so greatly influenced the thinking of mankind: Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. In a final briefing of his followers somewhere round the year 30, he said: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realize that she will soon be laid desolate ... for this is the Time of Vengeance, when all that Scripture says, must be fulfilled ... for great misery will descend on the Land (of Israel) and wrath on this people (the Jews). They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations is completely over.” (Luke 21:20 - 24).
This concise summary, will save the reader months of studying and analysis of the Prophetic Script. It introduces a very tragic and most sorrowful era in the history of Israel, which reaches beyond human conception. More so, because this nation, to the good knowledge of the entire world, is purported to be the "divinely elected nation of God".
This period of national suffering, which started after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and stretched over most of the last 1900 years, has raised many questions and resultant theories - all highly controversial and inconclusive, depending from which platform you were speaking. That it is a universal matter affecting all nations and thus all mankind, is endorsed no less than three times by the above quotation in its concluding three lines. This quotation further summarizes the ancient Prophetic Script which predicted, in advance, that:
1. Jerusalem would be destroyed in a war and the nation be led captive into all the world. Both the people and the Land of Israel would suffer great misery and wrath.
2. All this would be in fulfillment of (at that time) already existing Prophetic Script.
3. Jerusalem would suffer under the foreign rule of other nations (be "trampled on ..."), but for a stipulated time only, which had Divinely and prophetically been allotted to these nations.
Originating from Biblical prophetic submissions, these statements may sound audacious, even phony, to those readers who would rather wish to regard the flow of history as totally abstract and self evolving; or to those who oppose the "Jewish occupation" of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel today It is not the purpose of this book, to analyze this objection, or to propose an alternative to it. Our opening paragraph to this chapter, proposed a statement that "the history of this nation (the Israelites) and of this city (Jerusalem) has uniquely been written in advance". We will therefore contend with the Divine Challenge, as stated before: let History be the Judge!
History confirms that shortly after, in the year 70 CE (or AD), Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. According to the historian, Josephus, it had been “a city of great magnificence and of mighty fame among all mankind.” The entire city with its magnificent Temple was so entirely demolished “that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe that it had ever been inhabited!” (Josephus, ‘The Wars of the Jews’, V11.1.1) “The multitude of those that therein perished (1,3 million) exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world” (up to that time, of course) (V1.1X.4)
After the destruction of Jerusalem, a major part of the nation was led captive as slaves to the surrounding countries and to parts of Europe from where, during the next 19 centuries, they spread to every corner of the world. By the year 1948, there was hardly a country where Jews did not live. Wherever they went, they maintained their Jewish identity. This cost them dearly, for wherever they lived, they were persecuted and discriminated against.
In the meantime, Jerusalem and the ‘Holy Land’ were invaded and conquered by one nation after the other, up and until the middle of the 20th century.. The physical land was abused and it deteriorated over the centuries until it was no more than desert, wilderness and swamps - exactly according to the many prophecies and warnings sounded long beforehand by the prophets of Israel. The Jewish population of the physical Land of Israel, during this long period of foreign rule, dwindled to a mere few thousand by the 14th, 15th century who remained scattered in their ancient Homeland.
Was this the final end of Israel and the Jews or would there still be a future role for Israel and its people to play after having been “trampled” on under ‘foreign rule’, not only in their ancient Homeland, but wherever the Jews happened to live throughout the world? Would the “trampling on” Jerusalem by “the nations” be her final verdict, or is there a further role for her to play when ‘the appointed times of the nations’ come to an end? What power could a nation have when its people were dispersed throughout the nations of the world and its cities and land laid waste and desolate?
What do the prophets of
old, the authors of this Prophetic Script, answer to this?
CHAPTER 5 - SIGNAL TO ALERT THE NATIONS
It is not uncommon that mankind ignores signals of impeding disaster and even stubbornly dabbles with activities which activate it: earthquake, volcanoes, pollution, destructive weapons, deadly disease, marital breakdown, drugs, crime, evil powers and such.
It is therefore not strange that mankind also ignores the greatest Sign - that of the infallible proof that the Creator is alive and well; that there is immeasurable profit for all mankind in recognizing and siding with Him, and that doom awaits those who insist on ignoring the clear Signal inherent in the daily news.
It is certainly unacceptable to the majority of people, that "a loving God", as religious believers of all faiths would proclaim, can possibly consider and allow to punish a whole nation for the unimaginable long period of 2000 years, as was allowed to happen to Israel. It is evenly impossible for religious believers to convincingly pose an answer to this peculiarity. But it is devastating for those who are on the receiving side, and yet try to retain any sort of faith in what was embedded in their minds from childhood, namely that they are "God's Chosen nation" and that He is their Protector.
To discard the concept is convenient. To contemplate on the matter though, may prove to be a rewarding experience - which may be the first rational solution to the riddle. No good thing in life comes cheaply. The final chapter of this book, in a concluding review, endeavours to pose further answers to this puzzling question.
Contemplation, especially on the continued existence of Jerusalem and Israel today, and the probability that it could become the major flashpoint in the world, will also reveal the great intrigue of the whole matter. The great tragedy and pain in the story of Israel is intermingled with great events and moments of exaltation, and liberally sprinkled with the ever evident cause for suspicion, antagonism and condemnation of the "Jewish" ingredient of the whole matter.
In His wisdom, the Creator must have chosen to prove His infallibility by the invincibility of "His" nation and through the endless number of paradoxes inherent in the story.
Retributive justice, even Divine vengeance without annihilation, surely should have upliftment and resultant rejoicing as it's core purpose? Can Hope, empowered by advance proclamation of survival, be the driving power of life?
The Prophet Isaiah, 2750 years ago foresaw and predicted an astonishing and unbelievable future event of a ‘return’ of the nation of Israel to its Homeland. He wrote: “God will certainly raise up a Signal for the nations and gather the dispersed ones of Israel, and the scattered ones of Judah He will collect together from the four extremities of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12).
There is a school of thought which advocates that this Prophecy had already been fulfilled in the Return of the exiles, 70 years after the exile to Babylon in 598 BCE. By this reasoning the importance of this Sign for our time is diminished. This theory is invalidated by the following facts of history:
1. Our quotation specifies an Ingathering of Israel and of Judah (as does the rest of this text clearly confirm). The 10 Northern Israel tribes referred to in the Tanach as 'Israel' (or 'Ephraim', as opposed to Judah), were exiled two centuries earlier in 721 BCE, and dispersed over a period of many centuries, amongst the nations across the entire world. These Northern 10 Tribes are to this day regarded as 'lost' (refer to chapter 8 hereafter).
2. The exile in 598 BCE was from the Southern kingdom of Judah and the Return 70 years later was that of the exiles of the tribe of Judah mainly.
3. Our quote refers to an Ingathering from "the four extremities of the earth." The 598 BCE dispersion was to Babylon only as was the Return from there.
A signal, normally is a sign that is given between two or more parties under certain formerly agreed upon circumstances or conditions, to indicate to the other party that the moment has come for certain actions or happenings to take place. It signifies change, or completion of promised undertakings. It warns of impending danger.
Our prophetic summary, at the start of chapter 4, predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be "trampled on" (desecrated, misused, neglected) by the nations - but for a specified allotted time only, which had been "appointed" to them. It further indicates that when the rule of these nations over Jerusalem and its people would one day end, it would be final and conclusive ("completely over"). It does not however indicate how their rule would be put to an end.
Isaiah's prophecy above, links on to this theme and gives the missing clue - an astonishing and impossible seeming probability, namely, that the worldwide dispersed and 'captive' Israelite nation would be gathered by God and returned to their ancient Homeland, after their astonishing long exile of almost 3000 years. So staggering an event it would be, that it would serve as a "Signal" from God to the nations, to carry a message or warning.
From the above mentioned prophecy of Isaiah, we may therefore conclude that:
The ‘ingathering’ or return of Jews from all over the earth to their ancient homeland, Israel, should therefore logically signal the beginning of the end of foreign, non-Jewish rule over Jerusalem and the Land. The prophet Ezekiel and various other Hebrew Prophets specified that this Return of Jews will be from the "four corners of the earth", where they had been gradually and progressively exiled over a period of 19 centuries, back to the very same Land of their forefathers.
The unprecedented miraculous nature of this Divine Sign or Signal, would be better appreciated if one would contemplate for a moment on the following:
How do you regather a nation which had been spread all over the earth for such a long period? How is it possible that such an exiled and widely dispersed mass of people could possibly still retain its identity after those many centuries and still be around when the time of regathering should come?
The Prophet Jeremiah stated: “The God of Israel says this:...’See, the days are coming when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah, and bring them back to possess the Land I gave to their ancestors.’” (Jeremiah chapter 30:1).
Today, in looking back, we can assuredly say, that 1948 certainly was that turning point in the history of that ancient “Nation of the Book”, the Israelites. After almost 2000 years of exile from their ancient Homeland, dating from the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70, the Jews’ persistent festive prayers for being “next year in Jerusalem”, were finally answered when the modern State of Israel was proclaimed in May 1948.
A yet greater event awaits the world when the Lost Ten Tribes will be re-identified and returned to their ancient heritage and homeland. This process has already begun. Since the last decade or two, towards the closing of the 6th century (2000 CE) increasing numbers of Bible students across the earth have tended towards the tenets of the Jewish Faith (Sabbath, Feast Days, Torah). Without fanfare, thousands have converted to Judaism and returned with the Jews to the Land of Israel. This tendency has developed into a flood which became a threat to the pure foundations of Judaism. Resultant restrictions by the Jewish authorities increased to a stage where conversion has become almost impossible for the re-awakening Ten Tribers. Coming from various opposing faiths and cultures, there is a common tendency amongst these converts, born from the general Christian anti-Semitic spirit and religious convictions to have to convert Jews for their salvation.
Yet, Prophecy clearly confirms that this Final Return will develop into a Second Exodus, greater than the first: Jeremiah 23:7 "So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
This "rebirth" of the modern State of Israel was preceded by horrifying birth pangs, which were the culmination of a demonic onslaught, in which millions of Jews were annihilated and maimed by Hitler during the 2nd World War.
In looking forward at the effect of this Signal and its implications for the other nations, Jerusalem, Israel and the Jews will certainly raise many burning questions regarding the future. We have witnessed over the last few decades, the much impeded installation of various Peace Processes between Israel on the one hand, and the Palestinians and Arab neighbours on the other hand. The other nations are pushing for an enforced declaration and recognition of a Palestinian State which will share Jerusalem with the Jews, as the Capital of both these warring nations. In this way, they hope to turn the age-old Arab-Israel Conflict around for the better of all the world. No one seems to contemplate on the alternative - if the Peace Process fails.
The Prophetic Scriptures also abound with predictions of the leading role that Israel is to play in the world after the universal ‘Ingathering’ of the Israelites to their ancient Homeland.
The miraculousness of this Signal deepens further when one considers the history of the Jews in dispersion from the year 70 to 1948. It forms a subject of astonishing interest.
Territorial restructuring of the nations after the 1st World War (1914 - 1917), led to the designation of a ‘Homeland for the Jews’ under the Balfour Declaration. This swelled the already trickling ‘return’ of Jews - but not without great turbulence and hardship for those who ventured it. The culmination of the 2nd World War in 1945, saw the release of the survivors of the persecuted Jews after millions had been brutally murdered in the Death Camps of Hitler in Europe. This advanced the return of exiles to Israel in great numbers - but simultaneously their hardship also increased. It seemed as if there was no escape from their doom.
But as the Land gradually took new root after 1948 and sprouted under their dedicated labours and sacrifices, so also did their fortune take new root - and a New Nation was born on the estates of their forefathers.
The crowning miracle of this Sign to the nations, no doubt, rests therein that not only does the Land of Israel once again exist today, but it also certainly makes its influence felt throughout the entire world.
And as if this regathering of the Jewish exiles and the re-erection of the ancient State of Israel and its Capital Jerusalem on its old foundations is not sufficient enough proof of God's existence and the exactness of Prophetic Script, the Divine Challenge at this stage of our discussion, entails only 16,6% of the overall 'proof' that He shall render. The other 83,4% content of His Signal to the nations (representing the share that the Ten Tribes will bring to the table) of 'gathering the dispersed ones of Israel', promises to be even more astonishing than the ingathering of the Jews!
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