Jerusalem still not under Jewish Control
THE JEWS AND JERUSALEM - Part 1
are generally two questions which have occupied the minds of some of our
1 - Should we go to
old Jerusalem? Is there something special about the place, or some
special event to take place there which should attract our notice?
"Then I was pointed
to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to
go to old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the
Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from
the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel. ,
Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord
into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing
their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause
them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.
"-Early Writings, 75-76.
2 - Was the
retaking of Jerusalem by the Israelis in 1967 a fulfillment of prophecy,
that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount would once again be fully under the
control of the Jewish people?
One prophecy was that the
crown of governmental control would be removed from the Jewish people,
and never would it be restored-until He came, whose right it is.
"Thus saith the Lord
God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the
same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high,
"I will overturn,
overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until He come whose
right it is; and I will give it Him,"-Ezekiel 21 :26-27.
Another prophecy was
stated in a very strange way, yet, in the fore-knowledge of God, was
"And Jerusalem shall
be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be
fulfilled," Luke 21:24,
Let us now consider the
meaning of this:
In chapter 3 of this
present book, you will travel along the 4,000-year history of the city
of Jerusalem and view its sometimes glorious, but often tortured,
How was Christ to
foretell the future of that fated city? With what words could He frame a
one sentence statement which would describe the utter futility of the
Jewish hope of ever regaining Jerusalem and the Temple Mount before the
Down through the
centuries which followed, at times
the Jews would appear near success. In AD. 135, it appeared that they
were about to rebuild their Temple, but they were stopped by Roman
During the Islamic and
Crusader conquests, they hoped to slip in and rebuild their Temple, but
were never able to do so, In 1948 when they retook western Palestine,
they came so near their objective, yet they had not retaken eastern
In 1967, it surely did
appear that, at last, they had achieved their goal
and God had let
them have the city again as a reward for their treachery against Christ.
But no, they were not
able to regain genuine governmental control of the Temple Mount; so all
their efforts have been for nought. Only Arabs can worship on it, and
Gentile visitors tread upon it in greater numbers than ever before in
history. And, by Israeli governmental edict, no Jew is permitted to open
his mouth and pray aloud on the sacred Mount!
So Jesus said it well,
and His prophecy spells the doom of all Jewish attempts to rebuild the
Temple on the sacred Mount and banish the Gentiles from treading on. But
when He comes, whose right it is, the land will be purified and the New
Jerusalem will never be trodden down by the profane and ungodly.
"And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.
Do the Jews need to return to Jerusalem? Should Seventh-day Adventists go there? Will Christ set up an earthly kingdom there in the near future? Will the Jews be key players in final events? Will events concerning Jerusalem affect final events, prior to Christ's Second Advent?
The Evangelicals say that the Jews will be vindicated as Gods special people in the final rapture crisis. The proof is that they have regained control of Jerusalem. Houteff and his Davidians teach that they must return to Jerusalem in the end-time; so, from there, they can rule the world. Some Adventists teach that probation ended when the 1967 Six-day War took place; so we do not need to do missionary work anymore.
Several months ago, the present writer completed a small book, to be printed eventually, which will clearly show that events, people, and places in the Near East have not been the subject of Bible prophecy for several hundred years.
Never again will old Jerusalem be a focal point of prophetic events until, after the millennium, Christ returns to this earth and sets His feet on an adjacent hill, the Mount of Olives.
But Jerusalem is very much in the news today. And all the news militates against the various Christian theories about old Jerusalem. (Keep in mind that "old Jerusalem" is the one on earth; the "New Jerusalem" is the one in heaven, which, a thousand years from now, will come down from out of the skies.)
All the theories, whether Protestant, Jewish, or Adventist require that the Jews regain control of Jerusalem in these last days. That has not happened and will never happen.
When they crucified Christ and stoned Stephen, the account was closed on the Jewish people as a group. The prophecy of Daniel 9:25-27 ended and the Jews are no longer the special people of God. They were to be scattered through all the nations till the end of time, and never again were they to regain control of Jerusalem or all of the Holy Land.
The Jews and Jerusalem
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What would it take for the Jews to regain control of Jerusalem? Three things:
First, they would have to once again have supreme authority over the entire city of Jerusalem. This has not happened in over two thousand years, and it will never happen again. they would have to once again have supreme authority over the entire city of Jerusalem. This has not happened in over two thousand years, and it will never happen again.
The prophecy cannot be changed. Israel lost Jerusalem in A.D. 70 because it slew Christ, and the Lord has no intention of giving it back to them now. When "He comes whose right it is," the New Jerusalem will be given to Him and His people.
The land (Jerusalem included) was always promised to them on condition of obedience to Gods laws. Failing to do this, they lost the land. Take a concordance and check all the promises to the patriarchs. They were all conditioned on obedience, and the reward was always the land.
They lost part of the land when the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Samaria (2 Kings 18:9-10) in 722 B.C. (the first overturning), and they lost the southern part and Jerusalem when the Babylonians took it (2 Kings 25:1-21) in 586 B.C., in the eleventh year of Zedekiah (the second overturning). The final loss (Matthew 24:1-2) came in A.D. 70 (the third overturning). (A small effort by the Jews to retake Jerusalem, in A.D. 135, did not amount to anything and was quickly put down.)
Second, the Jews will not have regained control of Jerusalem until they have supreme control over the Temple Mount. Do not underrate this! In answer to questions as to why the Jews no longer have the required animal sacrifices, the rabbis explain to their people that they cannot do so until they can once again sacrifice them in a restored Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. the Jews will not have regained control of Jerusalem until they have supreme control over the Temple Mount. Do not underrate this! In answer to questions as to why the Jews no longer have the required animal sacrifices, the rabbis explain to their people that they cannot do so until they can once again sacrifice them in a restored Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
But that will never happen. Never again will they rebuild their Temple. Never again will they offer the required animal sacrifices. All the rabbis can now do is to instruct the faithful to kill a chicken at home once a year on Passover evening, as the father waves it over the heads of the family, prior to its being roasted and eaten. Until they regain control of the Temple Mount, the Jews cannot even have priests!
What is the holiest place in the world for a Jew? It is no longer the Temple Mount, for that is no longer theirs. They go to the base of the Temple Mount, before the Wailing Wall (now called the Western Wall). Why do they not go up on top and hold their religious services there? Because the Arabs, who control it, would riot and slay them.
Recognizing their helplessness in the situation, the highest governmental authority in Israel decreed, after the Six-day War in 1967, that only the Arabs may hold religious services on the Temple Mount and that all other Gentiles may trample, day after day, over its once-sacred precincts. The only churches up on top are Islamic ones, where Mohammud, the man who hated the God of Israel, is worshipped along with a false god.
I have seen an air view of a hundred thousand Arabs kneeling on their faces before the Mosque of Omar on the Temple Mount. You will see no Jews up there with them.
Instead, Jews stand before an old rock wall, down at the base of the Temple Mount, while the two Islamic mosques on top are second only to the mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia the holiest place in the Islamic world. The Dome of the Rock (also called the Mosque of Omar) is the large golden-domed one. Just south of it is the Al Aqsa Mosque, from whence, according to Islamic legend, Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged horse. Every faithful Muslim wants to journey to Mecca once and, hopefully, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem also, so he can be assured a place in heaven.
Every Muslim on the globe is taught to come and fight in defense of either of these holy places, if the call ever goes out.
What makes the Temple Mount the second most sacred place in the world to the Muslim? That legend about Mohammed taking flight to heaven from there.
And all the while, by mutual agreement, the Jews stay off the Temple Mount. The Arabs have their methods. One or two white robed ones can move close to a worshiping Jew who is in the wrong place, and slip a knife from beneath long robes into ribs; then walk away as the man crumples to the ground.
Third, the Gentiles must be kept from treading on the Temple Mount. It is an abomination for Gentiles to stand on, or near, the holy place. Not even Jewish women or children were permitted near it. the Gentiles must be kept from treading on the Temple Mount.
The Bible says:
That is the carefully worded prediction of Christ, and it is being fulfilled to the letter. Jerusalem all of it, including the Temple Mount continues to be trodden down by Gentiles. More foreign tourists tramp across its face than ever occurred before in its 4,000-year history. This will continue until Christ returns.
Intriguingly enough, the Jews today excuse the fact that they are not permitted to worship on top of the Temple Mount, by saying the opposite of what Christ said!
Their excuse is a mammoth effort at self-deception, since tourists from all over the world daily tramp all over the Temple Mount, and the worst people of all the Arabs who regularly kill Jewish people are by Israeli law the only group permitted to pray and worship on the Temple Mount!
Who are the "Gentiles" of Luke 21:24? The Greek word for this means "nations"; that is, all non-Jewish races. Everyone not a Jew is a Gentile. This includes nearly all the tourists from Europe and North America. It also includes all the Muslims. Although descendants of Ishmael, they are not Jews! They are Gentiles. The Greek word for this means "nations"; that is, all non-Jewish races.
The Temple Mount was overrun by Babylonians when they razed it in 586 B.C. Later, upon their return, although they never again regained supreme authority over the land, the Jews were permitted at various time to control access to the Temple and its environs. But all this ended in A.D. 70 forever.
Never again will the Jews be able to have the authority to say who can step on the Temple Mount and who can not. The feet of the Gentiles have trodden upon it from that day to this. Indeed, since the 1967 Six-day War, more Gentiles than ever have been treading on the Temple Mount!
Although the Jews know better than to visit it very often, a continual horde of Arabs and tourists flock to the Dome of the Rock. In order to placate the Western powers, the Israeli government decreed that people of all religions could walk on the Temple Mount. Does that sound like the treading of Gentile feet on its sacred precincts has stopped? When they retook West Jerusalem in 1946, to placate the Western powers, the Israelis declared that all portions of Jerusalem were "internationalized." Does that sound like Jerusalem is really theirs?
The truth is this: There is nothing sacred about the top of the Temple Mount anymore to Protestants, Catholics, or Jews. It just represents where something used to be, but no longer is.
What would happen if the Jews tried to stop the treading of Gentile feet on the Temple Mount? Every Muslim in the world would arise in warfare.
What would happen if the Jews tried to rebuild the Temple, so they could once again proclaim that they had truly returned to Jerusalem? A holy gihad would be sounded; Israelis would be attacked by guns on land and missiles from the air. (Five nearby Arab nations are loaded with advanced weaponry.)
Let us now turn our attention to the current situation in regard to Jerusalem: Right now, that city is in the headlines, as the Jews and Arabs try to work out a plan for peace. Right now, that city is in the headlines, as the Jews and Arabs try to work out a plan for peace.
Here are several significant facts:
The single most controverted point, on which both sides refuse to yield, continues to be the control of Jerusalem. The Arabs demand total governmental control of all of East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem includes the entire Temple Mount and lots of land north and south of it. (The Arabs also demand everything east of Jerusalem.)
In the current peace talks at Camp David, Maryland (July 2000), they have expressed a willingness to let the Arabs have managerial control of portions of East Jerusalem, including the top of the Temple Mount. (Interestingly enough, one current news report disclosed that, by mutual agreement, the Arabs have had that managerial control of portions of East Jerusalem for years now!)
Both sides declare that they will never yield on the point of who is to have supreme rule over East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Yet Israel really does not have it now, and has not had it for thousands of years.
In reality, there are large sections in East Jerusalem where only Arabs live. Not only does Israel not control much of East Jerusalem, they do not even live in most of it.
You might be interested in the inner workings of Palestinian leadership. Arafat has a terribly corrupt government, which both on the West Bank and Gaza Strip is continually stealing from its citizens, as well as siphoning off, for personal use, funds from foreign powers to help the Palestinians. The people know this and are tired of it, yet the only thing that keeps them from rebelling is Arafats continual efforts to grab more land from the Israelis. When that is not happening, he must keep warfare looming or taking place. Ultimately, when all that stops, Arafat will be in serious trouble.
As for the Israelis, they foolishly think that, by giving away more and more land, they will achieve "a lasting peace." But peace will never come. The objective of destroying Israel entirely is written into the Palestinian constitution! Everyone knows that.
Grab more land, then riot and demand more. On and on it will go till the end of time.
Listen not to those who tell you that the Jews have returned to control Jerusalem and Palestine, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. They have not done so, and there is no Bible prophecy saying they ever will. All favorable Bible prophecies about the restoration of the promises to Israel are to spiritual Israel, and will be fulfilled after the Third Advent, when the meek inherit the earth. The God of heaven does not plan to reward the Jews for killing His Son and never afterward repenting for having done so., and will be fulfilled after the Third Advent, when the meek inherit the earth.
The Arabs want four things:
First, the Arabs want all of East Jerusalem, including all of the Temple Mount (and even the Western Wall).
Second, they want a Palestinian State which includes all of the West Bank, all of Gaza Strip, and all of East Jerusalem.
Third, they want 180,000 Jews, living in West Bank territory, to abandon their nice homes, ranches, farms, orchards, and condominiums and get out entirely.
Fourth, they want their own people to be able to return to any part of Israel and permanently live there.
The North fought the South in the Civil War over issues far simpler than this. The South just wanted to be left to itself; it didn't want half of Washington, D.C., and rights for its citizens to live in northern states under Southern sovereignty!
The stakes are high.
Continual bickering, rioting, warfare, and giving in by the Israelis will continue on down to the end of time.
Three additional facts bring the situation to an incendiary level:
First, the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jews) violently hate the Arabs and want to burn down the Islamic temples on the Temple Mount. They have a very high birth rate, and will constitute 40% of the Israeli nation by 2010. By 2025, they will have a clear voting majority.
Second, The Waqf (the Palestinian authority which, by Israeli authorization, today governs parts of East Jerusalem and all of the Temple Mount) forbids a Jew to pray on top of the Mount, on pain of death.
Third, anticipating a sudden attack by the Haredi to burn down the Islamic temples on the Temple Mount, Muslims stand ready for instant action.
Here is a brief history of events from 1948 to the present time:
1948 The British mandate ends and the Israelis fight the Arabs. Israel gains the western part of Palestine and the western part of Jerusalem. But it does not have the Temple Mount. To placate the world powers, David Ben-Gurion agrees to "internationalize" Jerusalem! So from the very beginning of the Jewish State, they gave away control of Jerusalem.
1964 The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) is established with Yasir Arafat (only 37 then) as its head. Its charter, made at that time, calls for the total destruction of Israel and the retaking of all their territory.
1967 During the Six-day War, Israel captures the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, and starts building settlements in occupied areas. Palestinian guerrillas launch attacks. Moshe Dayan immediately ordered that no Jew could pray or worship on top of the Temple Mount, and gave civil authority over the Temple Mount to the Arabs.
1978 Jimmy Carter summits with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem begin at Camp David for 13 days. They sign the Camp David accords, which requires Israel to give up the Sinai peninsula to Egypt. To get them to sign the peace treaty, the U.S. agrees to pay both nations a total of $3 billion a year. This yearly amount is still being paid! It is just more "land for peace," with the Palestinians never giving anything, and the U.S. paying heavily.
1987 Palestinians begin the intifada, an ongoing uprising against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
September 13, 1993 After secret talks at Oslo, Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin sign a "Declaration of Principles" at the White House, requiring that each recognize the other as a state. Territorial lines of potential agreement were drawn on a map. Rabin was later slain by an Israeli for doing this.
1998 After nine grueling days, Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu sign the Wye River accords, requiring Israel to turn over yet more land in exchange for security guarantees.
Later, the two sides set September 13, 2000, as the target date when a final peace settlement must be made. Arafat and his men plan to get everything they possibly can, or return to intifada or an open war. Grab, never give, is the motto.
July 2000 Back to Camp David again, and Clinton is telling the nation that "America will have to make a great sacrifice" in order to achieve this peace (The offer of billions more in future yearly payments is what brought the two leaders back to the U.S. for these negotiations.) The Israelis offered to let the Palestinians fly their flag over the Temple Mount, but Arafat confided in Clinton that if he, Arafat, yielded the slightest in his demand for total return of the Temple Mount and East Jerusalem to the Arabs, he knew he would be assassinated on his return home.
Late July 2000 The Jews and Arabs begin more meetings. But both sides will refuse to yield on supreme governmental authority over the Temple Mount.
September 13, 2000 For nearly a year, Arafat has said flatly that he will declare the West Bank, Palestine, and East Jerusalem part of "the Palestine State," if his demands are not met by September 13, 2000. Both sides are already preparing for war.
The major Near East oil nations are bankrolling the Syrians and Palestinians, enabling them to acquire all the weapons they need. In addition, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt have missile sites. Both Egypt and Iran have publicly announced that the Palestinians must regain all of East Jerusalem.
If he decides to start a war in September:
Normally, Arafat could be expected to keep on with lower-level riots, attacks, and suicide bombers while continually extracting more land. But Arafat is now 70 and in poor health. He may decide it is best to let a full-blown war begin. That may turn public opinion in his favor. Then, when he retires, he might otherwise have to face major graft charges in the Palestinian courts.
As for the Israelis, they have wanted to rebuild their Temple on the Temple Mount for centuries. They still do. Nearly twenty years ago, I saw a diagram of one of their architectural designs for it. But they cannot move ahead, for they do not have the Temple Mount. And, as long as it is not really theirs, they do not have Jerusalem.
You can ignore the Evangelical and Davidian claims that there are any prophecies about Jerusalem in the last days. But remember Ezekiel 21:26-27, and the words of Christ (Luke 21:24) that Jerusalem will remain a place defiled by all nations. Not until Christs third advent will that defilement be removed, when it finally becomes a "place purified" (read Great Controversy, 662-663). -vf
THE JEWS AND JERUSALEM
Statements about Jerusalem after A.D. 70
The first century destruction of the city is discussed in detail in Great Controversy, pp. 17-38.
What does Ellen White say about old Jerusalem, after a Roman army under Titus destroyed it in A.D. 70? Here are the statements:
Old Jerusalem has no meaning for the people of God today:
Here is an appendix note on the above statement:
"Page 75: Duty to go to old Jerusalem. Mrs. White refers to erroneous views then held by a very few. The next year, in the Review and Herald of October 7, 1851, James White writes of the distracting, unprofitable views relative to old Jerusalem and the Jews, etc., that are afloat at the present time. and of the strange notions that some have run into, that the saints have yet to go to old Jerusalem, etc., etc. "Appendix note, Early Writings, p. 300.
We should not even waste our money traveling there to sightsee.
"Money has been expended in sending men to Jerusalem, to see the place where Jesus traveled and taught, when we have the precious Saviour nigh us, His presence with us, and we may have a Jerusalem in our own houses and in the churches. We can discern His fresh footsteps, we can eat His words and have eternal life. We need more study, more earnest meditation and communion with Christ. We need to listen for the still small voice, and to rest by faith in the love of Christ. We should have a much more healthful experience, and become much more vigorous Christians."Testimonies to Ministers, 345-346.
Unfortunately, we are making large Jerusalem centers right here in America, far more than the Adventists had back in Battle Creek.
"There was danger that Battle Creek would become as Jerusalem of old--a powerful center. If we do not heed these warnings, the evils that ruined Jerusalem will come upon us. Pride, self-exaltation, neglect of the poor, and partiality to the wealthy--these were the sins of Jerusalem. Today when large interests are built up in one place, the workers are tempted to become lifted up in selfishness and pride. When they yield to this temptation they are not laborers together with God. Instead of seeking to increase our responsibilities in Battle Creek, we should bravely and willingly divide the responsibilities already there, distributing them to many places." 8 Testimonies, 133.
Old Jerusalem has forever been rejected by Christ. Instead, He will land on the Mount of Olives, when He returns the third time. (The angel promised that, as He ascended, so He would return, and He will return to the very same place, from whence He ascended (cf. Desire of Ages, 830-831)