Yesterday the United States President Donald Trump made history. He officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also ordered his State Department to begin the three-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City. I thought, ‘Are you serious?, President Trump?’. Most of the world does not want this happen. They want to keep this as it is. They want to bring peace between Muslim Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. They want to divide Jerusalem between Muslims and Jews. But Trump is disrupting the worldview of secular West and of Islam.
The future of Jews and Jerusalem was foretold by God in the Bible. But the modern world does not accept God or His plan for Jerusalem. It wants to achieve peace without God. It wants to establish peace between the Jews and Gentiles without Messiah. The modern, secular false prophets of peace became enraged by President Trump’s decision to give full sovereignty of Jerusalem to Jewish people.
Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylonians. God sent prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to warn His people: I am going to destroy Jerusalem. But the false prophets told people not to worry about God’s warnings. They were telling people that the the people of Israel were going to have peace. We have similar false prophets in our world today. They are telling people, ‘Don’t worry about God. God will not intervene in our world’s affairs. We have United Nations. We have European Union. We can fix all our problems without God.’
They think the world is getting better and better with each passing year. G.K.Chesterton said, ‘this is the age of pacifism, but it is not the age of peace’. We have fruitarians. They don’t even want to ‘hurt’ plants, let alone animals. They wait under the trees for falling fruits. They eat only fallen fruit and they think we are entering into an age of pacifism. Like John Lennon, they sing for a world without a religion. I think, ‘Is this for real? North Korea just warned that they have intercontinental ballistic missiles to hit us with, and you want to pick up just fruit? You really think we are in the age of pacifism? Apostle Paul warned us in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5:3, ‘For when they shall say, Peace and Safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape’
After President Trump’s announcement to move embassy to Jerusalem, all hell broke out. There were warnings, there were protests, there were denouncements. We are seeing people in Muslim nations burning US and Israeli flags. Hamas has called for violence. 90 percent of the world is condemning Trump. There are thousands of web pages asking, ‘Is Donald Trump the AntiChrist?’. Donald Trump is not the AntiChrist because you see, most of the world hates him. AntiChrist will be the adorable darling to the world. Most of the world celebrates his coming, his rise and his decisions. AntiChrist will be the most popular person ever appeared on the world stage. Trump is not even popular among most Americans. So, President Trump is not the AntiChrist. Put it rest.
It’s Religion, Stupid.
The Israeli-Palestinian problem has pestering the world for many decades. Thousands of people were killed. Hundreds of peace treaties were written. Nobel Prizes and big speeches were given. Billions of dollars of foreign aid was given. But it seems nothing is working. How can we solve this problem? How can we establish peace between Jews and Palestinians? First recognize one thing: Everyone goes to the table with their own worldview.
Our world is dominated by secular marxist worldview. The secular Marxists see this problem as a capitalist Jew robbing poor peasant Palestinian of his land and opportunity. This secular Marxism has taken over much of the European elite, Russia, China, and leftist academia in the United States. For the secular Marxist, God has no role in this problem. In fact, bringing God of the Bible into this problem makes things worse. They say, if only the Jews give up their occupied lands, if only we provide more economic opportunities to Palestinians, the Israeli-Palestinian problem will be over. All 28 EU foreign ministers warned Trump not to move embassy to Jerusalem the day before he did it.
This secular Marxist view creeped into even mainline Christian denominations. In mid-August 2007, Fox News reported that seventy-one-year old Dutch Catholic Bishop Muskens of Breda ‘wants everyone to call God Allah’. There are so called ‘Christian’ leaders today in both Protestant denominations and Catholic church who teach that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God. He can be called either Allah or Jehovah. It makes no difference. Many people think that this religious pluralism was born out of respect for all religions. In fact, it was born out of contempt for all religions.
Hal Lindsey wrote these words, “The doctrine of Satan is that all religions are equally valid, that all paths lead to God, that God is impersonal, unknowable, and it is therefore irrelevant to Him what we call Him or how we worship Him. If Allah and god are one and the same, then wouldn’t the worship of the Hindu chief gods, Vishnu and Shiva, also be the worship of Allah and God, only by a different name? Pretty soon, everybody is God…which is the same as saying that nobody is”
If everything is God, nothing is
If everybody is God, nobody is
God becomes irrelevant. We can sit in Geneva or New York or Tokyo and solve our problems on our own. We are building a modern Tower of Babel to reach to our heavenly utopias. Not surprisingly, the secularists, marxists, multiculturalists, pluralists get enraged if we talk about the problem of Jerusalem from a biblical viewpoint.
Then there is racism view. There are leaders who see Jewish-Palestinian problem in racial terms. They think the Israeli Jews are racists discriminating against helpless Palestinians. Zionism is bigotry. Jews being racist trample on the civil rights of Palestinians. Then helplessness drives Palestinians to dress up their kids with explosives. This view is espoused by the United Nations and many leftist groups like NAACP. After President Trump’s decision, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu said, “God is weeping over President Donald Trump’s inflammatory and discriminatory recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Bishop Desmond Tutu is a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. South Africa has a history of racial oppression. Racial oppression is a real problem around the world. I am not denying it. But the problem is many bishops like Desmond Tutu, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson look every problem through racism lens. So, not surprisingly, Desmond Tutu decried Trump’s decision.
Then there is Islamist view. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD by Romans. The Temple was destroyed as Jesus predicted it would. So, Christians did not build a church on the Temple mount site because they wanted to leave it as a silent testimony for the fulfillment of God’s prophecies in Jesus Christ. But Muslims hold a different worldview. They believe Muhammad went to heaven from Temple Mount and came back. In 7th century in their global campaign to spread Islam, the Muslim armies occupied Jerusalem. They built Al-aqsa mosque over Temple Mount. Ever since, a mosque has been standing on the Judaism’s most holiest site. The Muslim occupation of Holy City lasted for 1400 years from 7th century all the way up to 1967, when Israel conquered Jerusalem. Most of the world’s Muslims would love to see Jerusalem in the hands of their Muslim brethren. After President Trump’s announcement, the Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan shouted, “Jerusalem, Mr.Trump, is a red line for Muslims”.
Note those words. He did not say, ‘Jerusalem is a red line for Palestinians’. He said, ‘Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims’. Imagine the outrage if Trump had said, ‘Jerusalem is a red line for Jews and Christians’. In our politically correct world, associating Jerusalem with the Jews and Christians is nothing but bigotry. But associating it with Muslims is a human right.
Most Muslims look at Israeli-Palestinian problem like it is a problem for the whole Ummah, the world body of Muslims. The secular Marxists and liberal theologians play useful idiots to these hardcore Muslims. Bernie Sanders condemn Christians for looking at Israeli problem from Biblical angle. But why is Bernie silent now? Why is he not condemning Erdogan for making this a redline for all Muslims?
You see folks, the question of Jerusalem is conflict between Bible and Quran. Bible says it belongs to Jews, Quran says it belongs to Muslims. And Muslims know that very well. Only secular left, multicultural Europe, and morally blind civil rights leaders and liberal theologians see it in materialistic terms.
But Muslims do not see it that way. They see Jerusalem in religious terms. I was flying to India yesterday. I embarked on a Qatar Airways flight. A 13 hour flight from Philadelphia,PA to Doha, Qatar. I was told the onboard food was prepared according to Islamic principles. The announcements were preceded by Muslim prayers. Most of the passengers were not Muslims. But Qatar Airways served us lot of inflight Islam. The flight maps show us where Mecca is located. You would know how far is Mecca from that particular location of the plane. We are not heading to Mecca. But we were ‘entertained’ with these ‘Mecca-in-your-face’ flight maps all along the flight. When we landed in Doha, Qatar, there was another Muslim prayer. I had a 13 hour layover in Doha. In Doha, we were told what we can wear, and we cannot wear if we go into the city. I thought within myself, ‘I am going to India. I paid for my ticket. Why are you serving me this non-stop Islam-in-your-face displays?’
In Islam, there is no such thing as separation of church and state. The King of Qatar has two wives. Islam allows it. In Qatar, homosexuality is punishable by death. That is from Sharia. After Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem is the third holiest city for Muslims. That is also from Quran and Sharia. Muslim leaders like Erdogan knew this very well. Jerusalem is a red line for all Muslims because Quran dictates it.
Jerusalem under Jews
So, at the center of the storm gathered over Jerusalem is the conflict between the Bible and Quran. It’s a war of the worldviews. In the Bible, Jerusalem has a special place. It is the most important communication center between God and humanity. From this city, God spoke to us through His prophets and finally through the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We read in Ezekiel chapter 5, verse 5 :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.
So, Lord God established Jerusalem in the midst of the nations.
We read in Psalm 48, 1.Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, on the mountain of His holiness.2. Beautiful in situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion; on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces as a refuge. So, Jerusalem is the joy of the whole earth. It is the city of our God, the city of our great King. In her palaces, God is known as our refuge.
We read in Psalm 137: 5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cleverness.6. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
So, Jerusalem became the chief joy to the heart of God. In the Book of Ezekiel, Jerusalem is described as the wife of God. God loved this city like a good husband loves his wife.
Jerusalem under Gentiles
But Jerusalem did not maintain its faithfulness towards her husband. She went after foreign gods and defiled herself. She became an adulterous woman unfaithful to her husband, God Himself. God sent his prophets to warn her.
Prophet Isaiah walked naked in Jerusalem. Jeremiah walked wearing a soiled loincloth, smashing a clay vessel and wearing a wooden and then an iron yoke on his neck (Jeremiah 27-28). He warned them of coming slavery in Babylon. God told prophet Ezekiel. We read in Ezekiel 4:1, Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4:1). God told Ezekiel to take a tile, and draw Jerusalem on the tile. God was going to reveal the future of Jerusalem to Ezekiel.The sins of Israel were so evil that God decided to destroy Jerusalem. He said even Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they would save their own souls, but Jerusalem would be punished (Ezekiel 14:14).
In 597 BC, Ezekiel was taken captive to Babylon at age twenty-five. In 586 BC, Jerusalem was finally destroyed by Babylonians. In 585 BC, the news came to Ezekiel of Jerusalem’s destruction. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, the times of Gentiles have started. Jerusalem would be trampled under the feet of Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, arabs, Muslims, French and British.
God told Ezekiel that times of Gentiles will end in the future. In Ezekiel chapter 37, 1-14, God gave a vision to Ezekiel. In this vision, he saw the bones of the dead coming alive, covered with flesh, blood vessels and nerves and becoming a new human body. There is a future to Jerusalem and its people. In chapter 24, we see Jerusalem besieged, but from chapter 25 we read about the Judgment of God on the nations, from Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistines, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt. God first judged his people, then the world. The same cycle will repeat in the last days. First, Jerusalem will be besieged and then the judgment on the nations will come. We read in Zechariah 12
- “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.3. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
This is a future prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Donald Trump made a great decision today. It revealed what is in the hearts of gentiles around the world. CAIR, Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, European Union, British Government, Russia, China they are all condemning Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Jewish city. When was the last time you found British government and Muslim terrorists agreeing on the same thing? When was the last time you found European Union and Turkey’s Prime Minister and Muslim Brotherhood agreeing on the same thing? The world is uniting in its hatred towards Israel. And it will pay a big price. God said to Zechariah, that he will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people.
Jerusalem under the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ
Wars, missiles, nuclear attacks, terrorist attacks. Is there any good news? Yes, there is. God gave a vision to Ezekiel in chapter 40. In this vision, Ezekiel was transported to Jerusalem. He saw the glory of God filling the temple. There will be a day when God will live among His people in Jerusalem.
Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Soon, Jews will build a Temple. The Christian church will be raptured into heaven. Then the AntiChrist will appear. He will defile the temple with his abomination of desolation as Lord Jesus told us in the Olivet Discourse, we read in Matthew chapter 24. AntiChrist will unleash unprecedented terror, mayhem, death and destruction upon this world. Then Lord Jesus will come again to this world in all His glory. He will put an end to the rule of Antichrist and rule this world as King of kings and Lord of lords.
He will rule from earthly Jerusalem. Even in heaven, we will be constantly reminded of Jerusalem because heaven is called New Jerusalem. In Revelation chapter 21 and 22, we read about heavenly Jerusalem. The heavenly Jerusalem has twelve gates and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on those gates. The wall of the heavenly Jerusalem has twelve foundations, and the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are written on those foundations. The Old Testament patriarchs and the New Testament apostles. The Heavenly Jerusalem is a product of God’s message to humanity through earthly Jerusalem.
Conclusion: So, please don’t get disturbed when you see the world burning after President Trump’s announcement to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. God is working behind the scenes. Once again, the Jews will inherit the eternal city of Jerusalem. After some trouble, their Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will rule from Jerusalem.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. Through your prophets, you’ve given us a complete blueprint for the city of Jerusalem which you chose to reveal to humanity. You spoke your precious words in Jerusalem. You visited its temple. You condemned its leaders. You comforted its people. You wept for the city. You shed your holy blood in this city. You died for our sins in this city. You rose again from the dead in this city to give hope for all human beings who receive you as their Savior, Redeemer and Lord. If any one of our listeners lost in their sins, we pray that you open their eyes and help them see you as their God, as their Creator and as their Savior and Lord. In your precious name, we pray, Amen.
Paul Kattupalli MD
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