Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.(Ezekiel 5:5)
Are You Come to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.(Ezekiel 37:12)
In the passages of Ezekiel above, Jerusalem and Israel, are each literally said to be set in the center of all nations. Certainly they are the center of God’s attention and increasingly they have become the center of world concern no matter how hard people try to ignore them. THe Passage in Ezekiel 38 literally says that the people of Israel are set in “The navel” of the Land.
The Sages say, “Israel is the center of the world, and Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the temple mount is the center of Jerusalem”. I don’t always agree with Rabbis and Sages, but in this case they are spot on.
The temple mount is the true “ground Zero” of the world, being the place where Abraham offered Isaac, and was told that God would provide Himself a Lamb…” (Genesis 22). It was also on the temple Mount that the Most High chose to place His holy name and presence, that Israel might be the nation of priests and that the whole world might come and pray there, to the Only True God.
When the Temple of Solomon was sanctified, and God moved in, te Shekinah glory of God filled the place, the priests were prostrated, truly slain in the Spirit, and so too were the worshippers assembled. No one was able to stand, Thus the Light was set on the lampstand, and the city set on the hill that the whole world might walk in its light.
But Israel proved faithless, and her faithlessness would at times have the effect of covering the light with a bushel basket, as time and again the prophets and finally Jesus would warn them. Eventually Ezekiel had a vision of the lifting of the Shekinah,
Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.(Ezekiel 11:22-23)
The Lord’s throne lifted from the temple and settled for a time on the Mt. of Olives, as the sign of a sure judgment on Jerusalem.
The Temple would eventually be rebuilt, after the punishment of the 70 year Babylonian captivity. The day came when “The LORD WHom You seek…” came suddenly into the temple, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He warned of a second judgment and destruction of the temple, in Matthew 23.
Echoing Ezekiel’s prophecy, the LORD Jesus pronounced woe upon Jerusalem, destruction of the Temple, and announced that “Your house is left to you desolate”, calling the temple an empty house. He then left the Temple and proceeded to the Mount of Olives. The last thing He told Israel from the temple, in his capacity as the Messiah, was that they would not see Him again, until Israel would truly say unto Him, “Blessed is HE that comes in the name of the LORD”, the priestly greeting from the temple to the Messiah.
From the Mount of Olives, He warned that the Temple Mount would be desecrated, an “Abomination of desolation” as Daniel called it. Thus it has been ever since, for the Romans built a temple to Jupiter on the razed site, then the Muslims built the “Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of Omar, which sports a blasphemous lie inscribed in Arabic around the dome, “God has no Son”. This is the very center of the earth!
Shortly after Jesus pronounced this judgment, He offered himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of the whole world, hanging on a cross between heaven and earth,on a spur of the Moriah range of mountains,within site of the Temple and of the place where Abraham offered Isaac.
Thus at this spot, did God deal to Satan the fatal blow.The seed of the woman did crush the serpent’s head, and the serpent indeed bruised his heel.
“Now is the judgment of this world and now is the prince of this world cast down, and I , if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself”(John 12)
We know that the Lord accepted his sacrifice, because on the third day after He was crucified and was buried, God did raise Him up from among the Dead! Jesus is alive!
It was on the Mount of Olives, forty days later, that Jesus ascended up to Heaven, just as Ezekiel saw the Shekinah glory ascend from the Mount of Olives. The Prophet Zechariah saw a gleam of blinding light penetrate a very dark day, when he beheld the LORD himself rise from te throne of glory, to save his besieged people. Where does He touch down? The Mount of Olives.
Consider Jerusalem itself. The Divine Psalmist teaches us to sing,
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.(Psalm 48:1-2)
Jesus quoted this in his Sermon on the Mount, when He said, “Swear not at all, neither by Heaven for it is God’s throne, nor by earth for it is God’s footstool, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King”.
Jerusalem is the only city on earth of which it could be said, God has put his name there forever. The final abode of all of the redeemed of humanity is “The New Jerusalem”, the city of peace. We know that currently, peace has been hard to come by for the Jerusalem which is below. The city is referred to in Revelation as “Sodom and Egypt, the city where our Lord was crucified”. But Yet it remains set in the center of the earth, and as the center of prophetic and divine dealings.
The U.N. has divided the city in two, and the Catholic church wants to take custody of it. The Royalty of Europe have vied for the ancient title, “King of Jerusalem”.Though it is never mentioned by name ,not even once in the QURAN, Islam claims Jerusalem as its third holiest site.
The future of Jerusalem is grim at first but ultimately glorious. The Evil ones are building a siege about it, on many levels. Economically, morally(through false witness in the press) Spiritually, (through corrupt and backslidden Christian clergy), politically, because of the moral reprobates who currently run this world, and yes they will be beseiged militarily.
The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.(Zechariah 12:1-3)
Jerusalem will eventually be taken, (very temporarily) and over run by savages. Many will flee into the wilderness of Jordan and relive the literally days of the tabernacles in Exodus, and will know God’s provision in the wilderness. Many of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem will be captured and imprisoned, perhaps to be used as slaves or hostages as bargaining chips.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 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…(Zechariah 14:1-4)
But the Messiah of Israel will then come to her as in olden times, to save her. This over running of Jerusalem will be the last straw, by that time the children of Israel will have recognized the One whom they have pierced and will mourn for him as for an only son.
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,…(Zechariah 14:3-4)
Are you ready?Who may abide the day of his coming, and who will stand when He appears? Maranatha Lord!