• The Arch of Titus in Rome
Teachings

The Signs of the Times (5): Frightening

Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 8 July 2018

“…For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His dwelling, saying: “This is My resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it…” Psalm 132:13-14 NIV

Frighteningly accurate was fulfilled what the greatest of the prophets – the Lord Jesus Christ – said in response to their first question. More than a million Jews were slaughtered by the Romans in the year AD 70, and hundreds of thousands were sold as slaves on the slave markets of the Middle East, making the price of a slave dramatically drop due to the vast supply of Jewish slaves. Thousands were deported and many were dragged to Rome in triumphal processions. As were the Temple treasures which are still visibly chiselled on the Arch of Titus in Rome after 81 AD, showing the spoils of Jerusalem being brought into Rome. The Emperor Titus used these stolen goods and the money and the gold that he took as spoils of war – stolen from Jerusalem, from Israel and the Jewish people – and financed with it the building of his Arch of Triumph and of the Colosseum in Rome. Both buildings still stand in the heart of Rome, as silent witnesses of the great crime the Romans committed to the Jewish people.

Thus began the Roman exile and the Jews were scattered among all the nations. Even though there have always been Jews who remained living in Israel in the last 2000 years. But Jesus says: one day there will come an end of the trampling under their feet of Jerusalem by non-Jewish people. One day the ‘times of the Gentiles’ will be over.

Following the Six-Day War of 1967, the city of Jerusalem was liberated on by Israeli soldiers on June 27th . Subsequently  on July 30th1980 Israel enshrined in law the fact that the reunited city was to be the official capital of the independent Jewish State of Israel. The eastern part of the city had been occupied by Jordan for 19 years, from 1948-1967. In that year 1967, Israel liberated East Jerusalem from the terrible occupying force of Jordan within the city through which that it had suffered shortly after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. In those 19 years the old city and its Jewish Quarter was terribly treated and dozens of Jewish synagogues were destroyed or turned into public latrines.

It was the only, short period of time in which Jerusalem has ever been a divided city in its over three thousand years of existence, so that any Arab claim on that Eastern part of the city has historically no ground to stand on whatsoever. Israel has declared Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the independent Jewish State. That’s the reason why some say that the ‘times of the Gentiles’ that Jesus speaks about, ended in 1967. After all, they say, at this time Jerusalem is no longer being trampled on by Gentiles, and it’s the capital of the Jewish State of Israel again.

But is this really the case? Are there no more Gentiles in Jerusalem that trample the city under their feet? Yes, there are.. The heart of the city, the Temple Mount, Mount Zion or Moriah, is still occupied by Arabic, Islamic Gentiles, who in that sense still trample the city under their feet.

What makes Jerusalem to be such a special and unique place? Jerusalem is the place the LORD has chosen as a dwelling for His Name. Deuteronomy 12:10-11 and 16:5-6 (NIV): “…But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and He will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for His Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord…” “…You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you except in the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversaryof your departure from Egypt…”

That holy place, Mount Zion, is what makes Jerusalem to be Jerusalem, the centre of the whole earth. And in that place where the Temple once stood, are now two Islamic shrines, two mosques. So that place is still trampled on by Gentiles (non-Jews). It’s where the Arabs rule. Today Jews have no access to the most holy place of Jerusalem in the heart of the city. The UNESCO in October 2016 even has declared that there never was a Jewish Temple – following the falsification of history by Islamic authorities. They say that the site no longer must be called: The Temple Mount, but only by its Arabic name: Al-Haram al-Sharif. And Jews and Christians if they get permission at all to visit the former Temple square, are forbidden to pray there. The Islamic world controls the Temple Mount. Their rule in practise is: forbidden for Jews. It reminds one of the times the Nazi’s in Germany put up signs: Für Juden Verboten.

Scripture therefore seems to point in another direction when it comes to the fulfilment of the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles’: only at the coming of the Messiah, the return of Jesus Christ, will the ‘times of the Gentiles’ be over for Jerusalem. And we today are on our way to that wonderful moment. Because the Jews are starting to return home to the Promised Land of Israel. To Israel and to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem celebrated its 50thanniversary as a re-united city in 2017, and Israel celebrated its 70thanniversary as the independent Jewish State of Israel in 2018.

 

The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible.The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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