Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem

You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come. Psalm 102:13

I can’t help think about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. I have had much sorrow over what is going on in Israel and the war with Palestine/Hamas (yes I know my sorrow doesn’t touch theirs, but Jesus is man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, He cares – Isaiah 53:3). The blatant evil we see right before our eyes, the subtle evil that we might suspect — only the Lord knows the plotting that has gone on to put Israel in this situation. They are living proof of God, not just because they were gathered back to their land in unbelief, but also the sheer hatred of others for Jews. Yes, it proves there is a God. I am proud to know that I have Jewish blood in my lineage, a great grandfather who was a Rabbi. I am also very thankful, that I came to believe upon Jesus as the Messiah that was prophesied in the Tanakh. I stand in support of Israel in Christian love.

(For those who say Israel are all atheists, yada yada, I want to remind you, we have a number of them in America. For those who say they are of the ‘synagogue of Satan’, we too were children of the enemy. For those who say, ‘not all Israel is Israel’, Again, Pray for ALL (1 Tim 2:1-6). For those who speculate about the powers behind the war, none of that negates praying for the peace of Jerusalem, or praying and caring about Israel coming to belief in their Maker). Tread lightly in what you say. God will restore Israel, and He loved them while they were yet sinners.

The Bible tells us:

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. Zech 12:3-4    

This one little nation seems to occupy so many with hate. Even those claiming Christ have had some things to say which are upsetting. This should never be.

God chose this nation for many reasons.

For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure.  Adonai didn’t set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people — on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples.  Rather, it was because Adonai loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that Adonai brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 (CJB) 

The Jews were to be a light to the world. They were to be the salt of the earth, but they had lost their savor. Their good works should have glorified their Father in heaven (Matt 5:13-16). They were given the responsibility for many things; The Word of God (Romans 3:1-2), the adoption as sons, the glory, the Covenants, the giving of the Law, the service of God, and the promises, along with the Messiah promised from the beginning (Gen 3:15), who would descend from Israel (Rom 9:4-5). They were to bring others to Him, but that’s not what happened. Often, they veered off into idolatry and other sins. As it is written; All we like sheep have gone astray, everyone to His own way, and the Lord has laid on Him, (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6 — One of the frequently ignored portions of the Hebrew Scriptures by the Jews).

But the Jews hated Jesus

Yes, and many today hate the name of Jesus in Israel. But many don’t. My dear friend Avis (now with the Lord), told me some of the things they said about Him (tears). But God’s Word tells us that back then His citizens hated Him and would not have Him rule over them (Luke 19:13-14). He was not surprised. Joseph was a type of Christ, and his brothers hated him too and had the same attitude towards him regarding him ruling over them.(Gen 37:8-11). As you may know from the story, they sought to kill him, but instead sold him to slavers for 20 pieces of silver (sound familiar?). But what they did to Joseph, God meant for their good. Like Jesus, Joseph wept deeply for his murderous brothers too (Gen 43:30; 45:14-15) But what they did to Jesus, this will be the same as it was with Joseph. God meant it for good, to preserve a remnant for Israel (Gen 45:4-15), back then, and also in the near future (Rom 11:1-12).

God has not cast away His people

Jesus came unto His own people, (who rejected Him – John 1:11; Luke 17:24-25). The religious rulers were supposed to be the ones to identify the Messiah. They ignored every sign and asked for more signs instead. They followed Him around seeking to trip Him up, and that never worked. He spoke to them as one having authority and they were astounded at Him. I don’t know what more they were hoping to see. Even their hardness towards Him was prophesied. Similar hardness that we see in people concerning the truth today about so many things. They believe what they hear from the news or from their circle, and they don’t bother to examine it for themselves.

I find myself asking what the Lord is thinking right now with what is going on with His Chosen People and the attack on His Promised Land. Not just the terrorist attack, and the horrific loss of life, but the sheer hatred in which lives were taken. 

And what does He think of the shame of some of His people in the church (or possibly may not be His), who make all sorts of ill-informed or even hateful comments about Israel? One man called them ‘vile’. I shake my head. If it were true, does he not realize how vile he was in God’s sight before he believed upon Him as His Savior? We were once dead in our sins, sons of disobedience, children of wrath (Eph 2:1-3). Israel is His firstborn son (Ex 4:22). We were adopted as children (Rom 8:15,23; Gal 4:4-6; Eph 1:5). Again, shall we who were grafted into the promises, included in the covenants of promise, boast against the branches (Rom 11:16-18; Eph 2:11-18)? Should we not love and pray for all men, as He was a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:1-6)? That includes their enemies, and those that may be caught in the middle.

Jesus loves Israel

Jesus not only loves the whole world and gave Himself for it, He loves Israel too (John 3:16; John 15:13; 1 John 2:2). And with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).

Don’t tell me who the remnant are, you do not know. Only God knows. And I know He desires none should perish (2 Pet 3:9). As mentioned, Jesus wept over His brethren, over Jerusalem. They should have known the time of their visitation (the Messiah in their midst-Luke 19:41-44). Just like the Lord wept over Israel in Jeremiah 8:12, 18-22, also not knowing the time of their visitation (before they were to be dragged off to Babylon).

How tender is this, the way He sees them, in spite of themselves?

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 

 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 

for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ” (Hosanna) Matt 23:37-39

Parable of the Vineyard

Jesus had just spoken to these same people who would reject Him, about the Parable of the Vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46; see also Isaiah 5, which speaks of Israel as the Vineyard which does not produce). They were the ones who killed the prophets and stoned those sent to them. It was exactly what He conveyed to them in this parable, the tenants, beat, stoned and killed the servants He sent to them. They knew He was speaking of them (and He was). The parables were spoken of them, and to them for a reason. His disciples asked why, and Jesus said in Matthew 13; Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  In the parable of the Vineyard, Jesus told these unbelieving sons of the Kingdom (in vs. 43) that “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

What? They were the sons of the promised Davidic Kingdom, they were the sons of Abraham. This infuriated them and they wanted to seize Him right then. But the people thought He was the prophet so they waited (He was the ProphetDeut 18:18-19, just not only a Prophet, but High Priest and King as well). Hadn’t God promised that their Kingdom, their House and their Throne be established forever? (2 Samuel 7:16). It will be, so, this desolation of their house (Matt 23:38), this taking away of the Kingdom (Matt 21:43), is not permanent, but iy speaks to the upcoming grafting in of the Gentile nation to the promises (Rom 11). Again, Israel are the natural branches, Gentiles are the wild branches, we should not boast against the original branches.

The Olivet Discourse

(Matt 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 17:22-37; 21:7-36)

In the Olivet Discourse, right after Jesus wept over Jerusalem, He predicted the fall of their temple (in AD 70 — Matt 24:1-2; Luke 19:44). And then He proceeded to tell His disciples of what would happen when He came again (second coming), along with what would happen at the end of the age. He used the term from Daniel 7:13, Son of Man, along with Prophecy that was upon Israel for their transgression (Daniel’s 70th week). There is Seven Terrible Years left of that prophecy. It is called the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Days of Vengeance, the Day of the Lord, and many other things. Daniel was a brilliant historian, but he was a prophet, even though many modernists sought to claim this prophecy was just historical recording. (Many reasons why that has been debunked, but I won’t delve into that now).

Jesus mentioned the land (Jerusalem and Judea), He told them to pray they wouldn’t have to flee on the Sabbath. Jesus warned of the false Messiahs that would come (the church is not looking for a Messiah in an inner chamber), we will see Him again, when are caught up to meet Him in the air as His Word promised (Titus 2:13; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:50-58). Jesus warned of the desolation that would happen in the upcoming Temple. This happened in AD 70 for a second time, and there is yet a future fulfillment in the next Temple. Israel, these prophecies are for you and about you, even though non-believers left on the earth with you, will also suffer these things.

I always think on His great love for His people Israel, shown in Him weeping for them even as spitefully as they treated Him. Demonstrated to them by His death on the cross while they were sinners without strength (Rom 5:6-8). His citizens hated Him and wanted to kill Him and yet He loved them and still does. He fulfilled the prophecies He was supposed to (over 300 alone in His first coming – see just the prophecies of the crucifixion here). So why did they reject Him? Caiaphas, was the High Priest of the year, responsible to identify the Messiah, was complicit in plotting to kill him, yet, prophesied without meaning to, (kind of like Balaam). Caiaphas said this in John 11, and yet, immediately thereafter, they talked on how to kill Him.

Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad (John 11:49-52).

Jesus died for the sins of Israel as well as the sins of the whole world. He was the Lamb of God, that Abraham prophesied God would provide (Gen 22:8, 14). No one was left out, we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and that sin causes eternal death. But we can justified freely by His grace, for eternal life is a free gift (Rom 3:23-24; Rom 6:23). The Jews definitely planned to, and did succeed in killing Him. But so did you and I. We are Barabbas, the murderers who were let out in lieu of Jesus taking our place. Jesus rose from the dead again as He prophesied He would. To this day the Bible tells us they report that His disciples stole Him in the night (Matthew 28:12-15). Jesus prophesied that the life He freely gave, the one no one took from Him, He would take it back up again (John 10:17-18). You know why? Because He is Immanuel, God in the flesh (Is 7:14; Matt 1:23). He is the Savior, Only God is Savior. He had the victory over sin, death and the grave because He is God.

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:54b-57 (See also: Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8)

The Time of Jacob’s trouble

Dear Jewish friends, there is much is your Scriptures about Him coming (although you are not expecting Jesus, it will be Him). And you will look upon the one you pierced and mourn (Zech 12:10). But you can believe upon Him as your Messiah now, and you will have eternal life, and you will not face that seven horrid years (if you live through it). Whatever you do, do not take the mark, and remember the Scriptures of the Olivet Discourse above. Only 1/3 of you will survive that time (Zech 13:7-9). Now is the day of your salvation, don’t wait. God will restore the believing remnant of Israel for His Holy Name’s sake (Ez 36:21-26).

Paul, a Jew, a disciple of Gamaliel, and one who persecuted and killed many Christians, came to belief in Jesus as the Messiah. He said,

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)


What should the church do/say concerning Israel?

Well the church should definitely not boast against the original branches. The remnant will be grafted back on in belief.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (as He asks us to) – Psalm 122:6-9

God’s blessing and curse regarding Israel still stands (Gen 12:3; Gen 27:29; Num 24:9).

God is not through with Israel (Rom 11:1-2).

The Church is not Israel, and has not replaced Israel. Supersessionism (replacement theology) is a lie. There is the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God. The Church is not Israel (1 Cor 10:32).

How long should we cry out? Don’t stop. Read Psalm 62 below for advice.

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The Lord has sworn by His right hand And by the arm of His strength:
“Surely I will no longer give your grain As food for your enemies;
And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine, For which you have labored.
But those who have gathered it shall eat it, And praise the Lord;
Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.”

Go through, Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people;
Build up, Build up the highway!
Take out the stones,
Lift up a banner for the peoples!

Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world:
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.’ ”
And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord;
And you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.

Isaiah 62

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem

  • Cynthia Busciglio
    8 months ago

    Amen and amen, and God bless this very timely article. God will save His people, Israel. And, sorrows are in process right now for remnant Israel. They are preparing to seek and trust in their Messiah, their Savior, very very soon. We the Church will be raptured any day now, in advance of Daniel’s 70th week, at the end of which, praise God they will seek and find Him, the very one who IS the fulfillment of the law.

    • Cynthia, Thank you. God will save His beloved people. I believe it is very, very soon too, we are living in quite a perilous time, but we serve a mighty God. For those of us who have trusted in Him our catching up to Him is very near. They scoff, and say ‘when is He coming’? (pp 2 Pet 3:2-3). He’s coming for us and then He will fulfill the last of Daniel’s 7 years prophecy, and He’s coming for them. May the Lord draw them to Him as He is even now. God bless you, yes! He is the fulfillment of the law. One of my favorite passages I’ll share from Luke 24, the Road to Emmaus, after He rose from the dead, and He is speaking to Cleopas and another, and asking them questions. Then He chastens them for being slow to believe all the the prophets had spoken. And He expounded the Scriptures that all spoke of Him and their hearts burned with in them. They go find the 11 and others with them, and all of the sudden Jesus appears in the midst of them and they’re all afraid.

      38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

      50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24)

  • Holly,
    Thank You for your articles and blog. I watch online every Sunday to Pastor Thomas Cacuzza’s sermons from Northland Bible Baptist Church, because there isn’t any churches in my area (San Juan Capistrano, CA.) that correctly teach the Bible. Been watching Ralph “Yankee” Arnold for years and years before he retired. Thank You for your recommendation section. I recently came upon that and enjoy listening to Grace Global Radio while at work (I am a night custodian for an elementary school) and have a lot of time to listen while doing my job. If you know of any Bible teaching churches in my area, please let me know- I pray that one will come to my area and teach biblically as a free gift, By grace, Through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and the once saved , always saved message of God’s simple and clear salvation. God Bless You Holly for what you faithfully put out in your articles! Let this be an inspiration that you are indeed having an impact for the furtherance of the gospel and fulfilling the great commission.
    In Christ,
    Bryan

    • Bryan, I am so sorry that it took me awhile to approve this, I didn’t know I had a comment sitting. I’m familiar with the area, but not knowing if there is one near you. Have you looked them all up and checked out their statement of faith? I go straight through to the salvation part, and see if they have additions like ‘repent from sin’ (incorrect meaning of repentance), or ‘public confession’ (usually incorrectly understanding Rom 10:9-10), or ‘making Him Lord of your life’ or ‘surrendering all’ etc. I’m guessing you’ve already done that though.

      I’ll ask around and see if anyone knows someone there. I’m so glad you have something to listen to. And really happy that any of the recommendations have helped.

      God’s clear and simple message of salvation… seems harder and harder these last days doesn’t it?

      Yes, thank you, your encouragement was indeed an inspiration and a blessing, thank you so much. God bless you brother in Christ. May we meet soon. Maranatha!

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