The Biblical Importance of Jerusalem and The Temple Mount
Elmer A Josephson, RIP
“Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem” (Psalm 51:18).
What is the most important thing you can do today, according to the Scriptures? Some might answer, “The will of God.” But how can we know His will? For this purpose He gave us His Word, the Redeemer and His Spirit to guide into all Truth (John 16:13) that we may know and do His will.
Consider one promise: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper [develop, improve, progress, grow and blossom] that love thee” (Psalm 122:6). The name, Jerusalem, is all-inclusive, taking in not merely the city but the entire land and the people. Jerusalem represents the whole nation, as Washington does America, as London does England, etc. Yet Jerusalem represents far more than any other nation’s capital.
First, here the Lord tested Abraham by requiring his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice “upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Gen. 22:2). This is Mountain Moriah upon which Jerusalem is built. On this mount only, God provided the substitutionary sacrifice, “a ram caught in a thicket by his horns” (V. 13).
“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehova-Jireh (God will provide), in the MOUNT OF THE LORD it shall be seen” (V. 14).
Jerusalem is the Mount of the Lord where we shall see God provide for mankind’s need (forgiveness and reconciliation).
Because of Abraham’s sacrificial obedience at Jerusalem, the Almighty confirmed His original covenant to him in verse 18: “In thy seed shall ALL THE NATIONS of the earth be blessed”—made happy.
King David desired to build the first Temple in Jerusalem. “The Lord commanded David…set up an altar in the threshing floor of Ornan” (I Chronicles 21:18). God confirmed this place of sacrifice by fire from heaven upon the altar. In 22:1, David said, “This [floor] is the house of the Lord God and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.”
Here King Solomon, his son, built the Temple and after his prayer of dedication (II Chronicles 6 and I Kings 8), God answered, “I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put my name there FOREVER and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there PERPETUALLY.”
The Almighty confirmed this as the only place of sacrifice.
“…fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house” (II Chronicles 7:1).
Jesus in the Temple
It was in the Temple at Jerusalem Jesus drove out those who were selling oxen, sheep and doves for sacrifices and said, “Take these things hence…Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” When asked His authority for this action, He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…but He spoke of His body” (John 2:16, 19-21).
What the Temple was to Israel (sacrifice, sin-atonement and reconciliation to God) so CHRIST became the fulfillment of all the Temple symbols (the sacrificial lamb, the bread of life, the light of the world, the high priest) to the whole World (John 3:16; I John 2:2). The Gospel of Christ makes salvation simple—so that Gentiles might be joined to the true “Olive Tree” (Romans 11), and thereby come together with “The Kingdom of Priests” (Exo. 19:6), who will proclaim “The word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2).
Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, “smiting the shepherd [Jesus] and the scattering of the sheep [Israel]” (Zechariah 12:7-9; Luke 21:20-24).
The Romans did smite the Shepherd and in 70 AD, scattered the sheep and Jerusalem was trodden down of Gentiles 1900 years (literally until June 1967). Now the Lord is regathering Israel and preparing to restore all to them.
Ever since the Redeemer-Messiah (who must be of Abraham, Judah and David) was smitten at Jerusalem, thereby becoming the world’s only sin-offering, that place of sacrifice has not been available.
But the prophets predict the Temple worship will be restored—and directed by Messiah, Who is uniquely King AND High Priest—the “Prince” of Ezk. 40 through 48.
Someone has said, “Wisdom is knowing what God is doing in the world and going with HIM.” One has to be spiritually blind to miss seeing God’s promises being fulfilled in our day to His people Israel. This Is Israel’s Day
The Lord God’s revelation and eternal contract with Abraham and his seed states, “In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” How could we better show our love and pay our debt for all the light and knowledge of God we have? All has come through them—His precious Word and our blessed Redeemer, Christ the Lord.
Events in Our Day
In Ezekiel 34, God speaks of the regathering of His sheep.
Chapter 36 predicts The Revival of the Land, fulfilled in World War I.
Chapter 37: The Revival of the Nation—World War II; the retrieving of Jerusalem in the Six Day War (Luke 21:24).
There is to follow the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon Israel (Ezekiel 39; Zechariah 12:10) and the coming conflict with the confederacy from the North predicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
All nations are being set against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1)—to force Israel to make it an international city!
Much is made about Jerusalem being sacred to three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But the Lord hasn’t changed His mind and He makes it clear in the Book of Zechariah “So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not,” (Zechariah 8:15).
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
“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 in Jerusalem and the Lord shall be king over all the earth and on that day shall there be ONE Lord and His Name ONE” (Zechariah 8:23; 14:3,9).
Key to Revival
Finally, may I challenge pastors to new revitalized spiritual life in your church through taking the people of Israel on your heart. In the midst of much division and indifference today, the church that incorporates God’s ancient people into their program cannot help but be blessed of God. He who made the promise cannot lie! Test your God and His promises. He will not fail, for you shall know HIS will according to His unfailing Eternal Word, “I will bless them that bless the” and “they shall prosper that love thee” (Genesis 12:3 & Psalm 122:6). Amen! -