For “Scripture Sunday”;
Jerusalem: A Paradox of Biblical Proportions
“Jerusalem is ground zero for Bible history, end-time prophecy and a beautiful, peaceful future to come. Here’s what you need to know about the Holy City.
The “ticking time bomb”
Many of the 800-plus references to Jerusalem in the Bible show how it figures prominently in the events that usher in the coming return of Jesus Christ and His millennial rule. Among them are some incredible prophecies recorded more than five centuries before Jesus’ birth that God gave to His servant Zechariah.
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From my balcony perch one Friday evening just before sunset, I gazed down on the hundreds of Jews gathering at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to usher in the Sabbath.
The camera I was holding silently told the story and explained the problem. Slowly tilting up, then panning to the left, the scenes shifted dramatically. First, the Jewish worshippers at their revered wall, then up to the Muslims’ golden Dome of the Rock mosque, then to the silhouetted domes and crosses of Christian churches only a stone’s throw away.
At first, I had simply wanted to capture a nice panoramic shot. But then I realized the camera was catching the essence of the paradox—and the problem—that is Jerusalem.
In this tiny one-square-kilometer portion of land known as the Old City, those iconic religious images stand symbolic of the deepest religious, cultural, political, social, historical and ethnic conflicts facing humanity today.
Just what is Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is arguably the greatest paradox on earth!
If any city evokes images of disunity and division, as well as unity and peace, it’s Jerusalem.
If any city evokes images of disunity and division, as well as unity and peace, it’s Jerusalem.If any city pictures historical suffering, it’s Jerusalem. If any city portrays future healing, it’s Jerusalem.
More than anywhere else, Jerusalem embodies at once the human capacity for hatred and the godly capacity for love.
Even the Bible characterizes it in extremes as both sacred—“the holy city” (Isaiah 52:1)—and the epitome of sin—“Sodom and Egypt” (Revelation 11:8).”
Jerusalem: Why Three Major Religions Claim It
“Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim Jerusalem as holy to their faith. Why do they hold it in high regard? What are the differences that separate them?
The city of Jerusalem has a long and extensive history of being the center of religious conflict. More than 50 wars have been fought in and around Jerusalem in the past 4,000-plus years, and most have been religiously motivated.
To understand why three major religions claim Jerusalem today, we have to look at the history of these religions.
A brief history of Judaism
Judaism is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion, arising in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium B.C. Abraham is traditionally considered to be the first “Jew” and to have made a covenant with God (Genesis 17). He was actually a “Hebrew” (a descendant of Eber, Genesis 11:15-27; Genesis 14:13). Abraham worshipped and sacrificed to God in Salem (Jerusalem, Genesis 14:18; 22:2; 2 Chronicles 3:1).
Because Judaism, Christianity and Islam all recognize Abraham as a prophet, they are called the “Abrahamic religions”; and all of them claim Jerusalem as a center of worship.
After Jerusalem became the capital of ancient Israel and Judah, King David moved the tabernacle to this location (2 Samuel 6). King Solomon built the first temple here (2 Chronicles 6). After the division of Israel, the nation of Judah (the Jews) continued to worship in this temple.
In 586 B.C. the nation of Judah fell, and the temple was destroyed. It was rebuilt by the Jews during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 12:27; Ezra 9:9). Later, because of extensive renovations by Herod (John 2:20), this second temple became known as Herod’s temple.”
U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem
”The recent announcement to move the the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a big decision and it has met a great deal of controversy. What does this mean and what should we understand about this as we look at the situation of Jerusalem, Israel, Bible prophecy and what it means for the world today?
[Darris McNeely] “U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced his decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is a big decision and it has met a great deal of controversy because of concern about appending any peace process and also what will happen with riots and unrest within Israel in the Middle East as a result of this. Many leaders have opposed it, but the president pledged that he would do it during his campaign and he has done this. Now, what does this mean and what should we understand about this as we look at the situation of Jerusalem, Israel, the Bible prophecy and what it means for the world of today? Let’s understand a few points.
First of all, this decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a long-standing decision that has been put off by many past presidents of the United States. It is actually a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. And virtually every president of the past 30 years has said they would do it as part of their campaign or in other comments but when they held the power, they didn’t do it. President Trump has decided to do that. So, it is a matter of U.S. law that is being fulfilled here and enacted by the president.
From a biblical perspective, Jerusalem was an important and it is an important…but from the historical biblical perspective, Jerusalem is extremely important to the nation of Israel. It was chosen by King David and became the capital of the united monarchy of the nation of Israel in the Bible story, in the Old Testament. The original name of Jerusalem was Salem. It was a fortress, a small fortress, a Jebusite fortress. King David overcame that, planted his capital there, and it was the capital of the united monarchy. And until the fall of Jerusalem, it was the capital of the kingdom of Judah. So it’s very important to the history of Israel, and in fact, the modern state of Israel does have a connection to that. And that’s the third point that I want us all to understand regarding this.
Today’s state of Israel, existing since 1948, represents the remnant of the holy people of the Bible, the covenant people, the nation of Israel. And the Bible tells us in many different areas that God still has unfinished business with Israel, the people that He claimed as His own and upon which His name was placed during that time.
There are many prophecies that show that in the events and days leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ, that time ahead of us, Jerusalem and the presence of that remnant people in that land are critical to those prophecies. And so, when it comes to prophecy and understanding this, Israel’s claim is bona fide and it connects in with a lot of what we understand about prophecy.
So, this is important from a number of areas. I doubt that the present decision is going to erupt in some major conflagration and another war there. There’s already been enough unrest and my guess is that it is going to settle down. I don’t think it’s going to undermine any present peace process because, at the present, there is no credible peace process that is taking place. What we need to understand, we need to be appreciative of the history, the biblical connection and the geopolitical importance of Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is the bull’s-eye of Bible prophecy, and we need to understand and pay attention to anything that takes place connected with Jerusalem.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/us-embassy-move-to-jerusalem
Well, another trip to a different chiropractor still didn’t get my back properly aligned. Yes, they pretend to work on it, but don’t fix it, and it still hurts. I am tired of these doctors “milking the system”!
I have another cat, she is a rescue, a young, really pretty and sweet Lilac-point Siamese, with crossed eyes and all! She will find a forever home very quickly, I am sure. She has had to stay in my dog room since cat-hating cat “Flower” is back in the house now. Every now and then, I lock Flower in my bedroom and let the new one in the living room. She is so cute and loving, and she walks with her tail straight up like a lemur!
Each morning I have been going to a local fitness center 5 miles away, trying to get ready for my stress test. I stick to the treadmill, and it is going OK. It tells you how far you have walked and how many calories you have burned. If I walk on it for 15 minutes, I only use 60 calories so I’ll never lose weight that way, but I am trying to step up my stamina.
Thusday, I cooked a jimaca. It takes a long time to cook, so I cut it up and put it in a crockpot overnight, and “mashed” it with cream and butter in the food processor the next day. Standing cooking in the kitchen burns 74 calories an hour, and on Friday afternoons, “Preparation Day”, I cook food for the Saturday Sabbath church potluck. I cooked a whole head of cabbage with bell peppers, spices and onions, and also made Chicken Taco Pie with Bisquick. (Still trying to get all that chicken out of my freezer). Everything was enjoyed and I came home with clean crockpots and dishes, with no left-overs. I didn’t even have any food to give Zach, my neighbor, like I usually do. The pastor’s wife was better and she took over the kitchen.
The Bible readings were Gen. 47:28-50:26, 1 King 2:1-12 and 1Pet. 1-12. The Teaching was about “First Things First”, and even in Isa 9:6 is the prophecy of our Christ’s coming.
The sun was shining, it had warmed up, and as usual it was a very enjoyable day.