Jerusalem: A Cup of Reeling

Zech 12 2-3

We’re a week beyond President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Not since President Harry Truman became the first to recognize Israel as a newborn nation in 1948 has a President so solidly and profoundly declared America’s position regarding Israel.  Praise God for the stand taken by the American administration.

However, on Wednesday, Muslim leaders declared East Jerusalem the capital of “Palestine.”

Could it be that we have now stepped into a whole new dimension when it comes to God’s plan for the last days?  We are living in the time of the Gentiles…that time between the “cutting off of the Messiah” (Daniel 9:26), when God pressed the pause button on His plan for the Jewish people; and the rapture, when God will release that pause button to complete His plan for the Jews.  (See God’s Prophetic Pause, or check out Week 2 of the Bible Study, Looking for the Blessed Hope)

We are obviously talking about end times outlined in the Bible, and as we consider the ongoing battle over Jerusalem, particularly in light of announcements by President Trump, and then by Muslim leaders, we come face-to-face with Zechariah 12:2-3 (above).  The prophet Zechariah prophesied that, in the end:

  • Jerusalem will cause reeling (“stumbling” or “trembling” in other translations) to all the people around.
  • Jerusalem will become a heavy stone (“burdensome”) for all the people.
  • All who lift that heavy stone will be severely injured.
  • All the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

The end-time battle over Jerusalem is just beginning, and people (nations) are going to get injured!

But I’m reminded of something else.  We (followers of Jesus) are called to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.  Isaiah 62 commands that we not be silent, but rather take no rest for ourselves, and give Him no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth!  Jerusalem WILL ultimately become a praise in the earth when every knee bows and every tongue confesses and gives praise to the Lord!  (Philippians 2:9-11Romans 14:11)

Surely, we are approaching the time when Jerusalem will become more and more a burdensome, heavy stone which causes injury to those who try to move her.  That battle will last into and throughout the Tribulation…after Christ followers have been taken in the rapture!  So, believers, as long as we are on planet Earth, our job is to give the Lord no rest in our prayers on Israel’s behalf!

Now, a final thought.  Ezekiel 36-37 describes God’s preparation of the land and the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.  That prophecy, highlighted by Israel’s new birth as a nation in 1948, is happening PHYSICALLY, as Jews continue to return to their land.

However, Ezekiel 36:27 and Ezekiel 37:14 describe a SPIRITUAL rebirth.  With the exception of relatively few Jews who have met Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, that spiritual new birth is still  to come.  It will come after God resumes His plan for the Jews…during the Tribulation.

So, we’re seeing prophecy fulfilled right before our very eyes!  Jerusalem will become a larger and more burdensome cup of reeling, and people and nations will injure themselves messing with God’s people and the Holy City He gave them.  Our job, Christian friends, is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Pray for the Prince of Peace to rule and reign in the hearts of those who will believe.  Our job is to take no rest, and give the Lord no rest, until He completes His work with His people and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Then, and only then, have we fulfilled the responsibility we have been given!  Pray on, dear friends!

Update from Jonathan Greenberg

Dear friends, please continue to pray for Jonathan Greenberg and his family.  As you know, Jonathan is a significant voice in Jewish-Christian relations and was scheduled to be in Phoenix this coming weekend for a major event, then to join us at Calvary Community Church for an open discussion.  Those events were cancelled due to a family emergency in Israel.

I received an email from Jonathan this morning, reporting the “healing into death” of his sister-in-law.  He expressed deep gratitude for all who have prayed for him and his family, and I assured him we mourn with him and continue to pray for his brother and the young children left behind.

One of the things that strikes me most about Jewish people is their zest for life.  Despite even the depths of evil during the Holocaust, there is example after example of the extent they will go to make the most of life, and to enjoy all it has to offer.  Life is a big deal!  They care for and honor the lives of loved ones, mourn appropriately when they pass, then move on with life.  At this difficult time, though, let’s pray for this family.  What better way to show Christian love for Jewish friends.

If you would like to express your condolences and kindness to Jonathan, feel free to comment on this post and I will gather and send those to him Sunday night (12/10/2017).  (Comments will not appear publicly.)  Thanks for reaching out in prayer.

For Zion’s Sake – December 2017

Isaiah 62 December 2017

Tomorrow is the first Wednesday of the month, which means time to pray!

Actually, I hope you pray often.  However, the first Wednesday of every month is designated as a day of prayer for Israel.  The International Christian Embassy’s Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative is our guide and I hope you will find a local group to join with in prayer.

PRAISE: We praise the Name of the LORD, who seeks, redeems, sanctifies and saves. We praise You LORD for new names and new beginnings. We praise You for Your plan for Israel and for the nations, for it is glorious. Amen.

PROCLAIM: 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 62:12)

PONDER: New names are evocative of new beginnings, clean breaks, forgiven pasts, and a transcended future. We count four such names in this one wonderful passage: “The Holy People,” “Redeemed of the LORD,” “Sought Out” and “A City Not Forsaken.” In sum, the Jewish people shall be sanctified, delivered, pursued and favored! God will bring this to pass. We hold Him to His word to bring forth all He has promised, relentlessly reminding Him with our prayers.

PRAY: Find this month’s prayer points here.

Please be faithful in prayer today!  Blessings!

Surprising new survey reveals a generational shift in Evangelical views toward Israel. Leaders form “Alliance For The Peace of Jerusalem” to educate the Church on God’s love for Israel & the Palestinians.

Long-awaited survey results from Joel Rosenberg and LifeWay Research! A key take-away: how do we reach our young people?

Read and pray…

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Alliance-NatlPressClub-Dec2017(Washington, D.C.) — This morning at the National Press Club, several colleagues and I released a ground-breaking new survey on “American Evangelical Attitudes Towards Israel and the Peace Process.” Below, I’ve posted links to the survey, our analysis of the data, and articles that have already been published this morning.

I had the honor of joining Scott McConnell, Dr. Mitch Glaser, Dr. Darrell Bock, Bishop Harry Jackson, Rev. Tony Suarez, Larry Ross and Kristin Cole in presenting and analyzing the data.

We also announced the formation of a new organization — the Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem — with 25 prominent Evangelical seminary professors, Bible scholars, authors and ministry leaders. More on that to come.

The following is the text of the prepared statement I made:

Good morning, my name is Joel Rosenberg, and I am honored to join my colleagues today as one of the founding members of…

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