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*Articles 2018

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    Jerusalem - City of Peace

    The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
    and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
    Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
    There is no speech, nor are there words;
    where their voice is not heard.
    -Psalm 19:1-3-

     

    As described on Wikipedia.com*

    Jerusalem
    is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

    Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as the State of Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the State of Palestine ultimately foresees the city as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

    One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem was named as "Urusalima" on ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, probably meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BCE (BC)). During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE..., and in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.

    During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE (BC).

    In 1538 (AD), walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.

    *Italics and underline added.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem

    The Old City (2017)

    https://wikitravel.org/en/Jerusalem/Old_City

     

     

    Graphical overview of Jerusalem's historical periods

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Jerusalem

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/4cfe1a61907b74801e81606146be6ec3.png

     

    Recent Boundaries of Israel and Jerusalem (1916-2017)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/v3_israel_palestinians/maps/html/british_control.stm

     

     

     

     

    British control: Sykes-Picot (1916)

    The Sykes-Picot agreement was a secret understanding concluded in 1916 between Great Britain and France, with the assent of Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement was not implemented, but it established the principles for the division a few years later of the Turkish-held region into the French and British-administered areas of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

     

     

    British control: Mandate Palestine (1920-1948)

    Palestine - comprising what are now Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan - was among several former Ottoman Arab territories placed under the administration of Great Britain by the League of Nations. The mandate lasted from 1920 to 1948. In 1923 Britain granted limited autonomy to Transjordan, now known as Jordan.

     

     

    Israel founded: UN partition plan (1947)

    The United Nations General Assembly decided in 1947 on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem to be an international city. The plan, which was rejected by the native Arabs, was never implemented.

     

     

    Israel founded: Armistice (1948)

    War broke out in 1948 when Britain withdrew, the Jews declared the state of Israel and troops from neighbouring Arab nations moved in (attacked). After eight months of fighting an armistice line was agreed, establishing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as distinct geographical units.

       

     

    Jerusalem: Before 1967

    The armistice line drawn at the end of the 1948 war divided Jerusalem into two. Between 1949 and 1967, Israel controlled the western part of Jerusalem, while Jordan took the eastern part, including the old walled city containing important Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.

    Jerusalem: After 1967

    Israel captured the whole of Jerusalem in 1967 and extended the city's municipal boundaries, putting both East and West Jerusalem under its sovereignty and civil law. In 1980 Israel passed a law making its annexation of East Jerusalem explicit. The city's status remains disputed, with Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem considered illegal under international law. Israel is determined that Jerusalem be its undivided capital, while Palestinians are seeking to establish their capital in East Jerusalem.

    Recent Historical Boundaries of Jerusalem (1923-1993)

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/map-of-jerusalem-municipal-boundaries

     

     

     

    Selected Biblical References (far too many to recount all!)

    Jerusalem = City of
    Peace

     

    1.      ~1500 BC
    Melchizedek, king of Salem, brings out bread and wine for Abraham and blesses Abraham. (Type of Christ.) 
    Gen. 14:18

    2.      ~1500 BC
    Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice on a mountain in Moriah. (Type of Christ.)

    Gen 22:1-2, 8-14

    3.      ~1000 BC

    Sons of Korah (David’s musicians) sing of Zion (Jerusalem), declaring Mt Zion to be the city of God the Great King. The singers sing: “Great is YHWH and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mt. Zion in the far north, the city of the Great King!”

    Psalm 48:1-2
    Matt. 5:35

     

    4.      ~1000 BC

    Sons of Korah (David’s musicians) sing of Zion (Jerusalem), declaring God’s attention to those who are born in her. The singers sing: “All my springs of joy are in you.”
    Psalm 87

    5.      ~1000 BC

    David prophetically sings of the gladness of going to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem and asks us to pray for her peace: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love you.”

    Psalm 122

     

    6.      ~1000 BC
    Solomon builds first temple on Mt. Moriah.
    The Holy Place was a type of Gods abode in heaven where Christ now dwells:
    “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with Hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in
    the presence of God for us.”
    II Chron. 3:1, Heb. 9:24

     

    7.      ~730 BC Isaiah prophetically speaks of the peaceful kingdom age when all nations would learn the beautiful law of the LORD: “For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD form Jerusalem…and never again will they learn war.”

    Isaiah 2:3, 4

     

    8.      ~730 BC Isaiah further prophecies of the rejoicing in Jerusalem upon our Heavenly Father’s creation of the new heavens and new earth: “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for rejoicing. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people!”

    Isaiah 65:18-19

     

    9.      586 BC After first temple was destroyed, Jerusalem sung of as the chief joy of the captives in Babylon! “Jerusalem above my chief joy.”
    Psalm 137:4-6

    10.   538-450 BC Persian king Cyrus releases the Jews and decrees rebuilding of temple. The Jews subsequently rebuild the temple and dedicate it.  “In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid…
    And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity,
    kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.”
    Ezra 6:3,16

     

    11.   ~520 BC Zechariah prophesies twice that Jerusalem would be the central focus of conflict and a burdensome stone to the nations prior to Christ’s return and that He would defend Jerusalem and usher in His kingdom:
    “Behold I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples round around; and when
    the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Jerusalem. And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples, all who lift her will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
    And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
    And I will pour out my Spirit upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over him like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”
    Zech. 12:2-3, 8-9

    And again...

    “Behold a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and half the city will be captured, the houses plundered and the women ravished, and half the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

    Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fights on the day of battle. And in that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east…And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one and His name the only one.”
    Zech. 14: 1-4

     

    12.   ~30 AD Jesus prophesies concerning Jerusalem for not dealing peacefully:
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
    who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a chick gathers her chicks under her wings and ye would not. Behold your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see me, until you say “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! ... Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

    Matt 23:37-39

     

    13.    ~33 AD Jesus also prophesied that the captivity of Jerusalem would last throughout the times of the Gentiles: “and Jerusalem will be trodden under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

    Matt. 21:24

    14.   ~33 AD Jesus crucified outside Jerusalem’s walls:
    “They took Jesus therefore and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.
    There they crucified him.”
    John 19:17, 18

    “Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people
    through his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hence let us go out to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

    Heb. 13:12-14

    15.   ~33 AD Jesus raised from the dead at garden tomb just outside Jerusalem:

    “And the angel answered and said to the women,” Do not be afraid for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen just as he said. Come see the place where he was lying.”
    Matt. 28:5-6

     

    16.    ~50 AD Stephen reminds the leading religious rulers that God does not dwell in physical buildings built by men: “And David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob, but it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands.”
    Acts 7:48

     

    17.   ~ 50 AD Paul writes to the Galatians to explain the difference between Jerusalem of the time (representing trying to serve God by Law) and the true Jerusalem of God (service of God in hope of the promise):  “The present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.”
     Gal. 4:25-26

     

    18.   ~ 60 AD Paul writes to the Ephesians letting them know that Jesus is our Peace:

    For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which is the law of commandments contained in ordinances that in himself  he might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”
     Eph. 2:14-15

     

    19.   ~90 AD John speaks of the new Jerusalem the Jerusalem from above, the glorious fulfillment of the city of peace established in Christ before the foundation of the world; “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
    And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and he shall wipe away every tear form their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain; the first things have passed away!

    And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.””

    Rev. 21:1-5

    Conclusion

    God dwells in the heavens. Our Lord Jesus Christ has entered the most holy place of His presence to make intercession for us, and also bring us into our Heavenly Father’s presence. This purpose will be culminated in the descending of New Jerusalem from above when our Heavenly Father will transform the repentant from mortality to: immortality, righteousness and love, and make His abode with us by His grace!

    Jerusalem, the city of peace, represents the true peace of our Heavenly Father’s presence. In the present age, our Heavenly Father has established physical Jerusalem and its temporary temples to typify this hope. When we men were looking to God with a humble spirit (such as David) He allowed temples to be built on Jerusalem to symbolize His desire to redeem us and dwell with us. God, in his love, even provided His own son as a sacrifice for us outside the city walls when we were yet sinners! When we were unwilling to turn from our ways, God removed the physical temple from Jerusalem and left it desolate, that we might still see our ways and repent.

    Our Heavenly Father in His great love and mercy has set physical Jerusalem as an object lesson for us to understand His plan. The current contention of the nations over the City of Peace is meant to reveal our hearts to us, the contention of our prideful self-will vs. His glorious and good will; that we might learn of His righteous mercy, repent and participate in Jerusalem’s rejoicing to be established by our Heavenly Father on His appointed day.

    Our Heavenly Father is calling us, seeking us, through His son. If we do not listen and continue in contention (vs. submission) we will not endure the brightness of his coming. If we hear Him, and humble our hearts, Jesus will be our peace both now and for all eternity as we look forward to the establishment of New Jerusalem where there will be no darkness at all.

    Hallel YHWH

     

     

     

     

    Jerusalem Thought Questions

     

    1.     Is there peace now in Jerusalem (the city of peace)?

    2.     Are nations currently trying to secure Jerusalem by force?

    3.     Can the Kingdom of Heaven be taken by force (Matt11:12)?

     

    4.     Will there ever be true peace on Mt. Zion?

    5.     When?

    6.     Can we have any peace now?

    7.     Why should Jerusalem be our chief joy?

     

     

     

     

    Indicated actions

    1. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”

    2.
    “Let us go out to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach!!

    For here we do not have a lasting city,

    but we are seeking the city which is to come.”


    Hallelujah, Praise the LORD!!

     

    Philip Sweeny, Atlanta, Georgia USA


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