Prophecy in the Making: Jerusalem Israel’s Capital
U.S. President Declares Jerusalem Israel’s Capital
By Pastor Hal Mayer on Dec 11, 2017 12:30 am
The world is up in arms over the U.S. President’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The White House is breaking with years of precedent and people are bracing for violence. U.S. embassies around the world have been told by the State Department to bolster their security. U.S. government employees have been told to avoid Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank until further notice.
To plan and build a new embassy is no small task, especially in that particular city. In 1995, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Though every U.S. President since then has signed six-month waivers to the legislation to avoid derailing any progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
“For a long time the United States’ position held that ambiguity, or lack of acknowledgement would somehow advance the prospects of peace,” a senior administration official said. “It seems clear now that the physical location of the embassy is not material to a peace deal… So having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgement of reality seems like an important change.”
Mr. Trump’s decision is one of several breaks from his predecessors, coming after his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, to abandon multilateral trade negotiations with Europe and Asia, and his threat to cancel the U.S.–Iranian nuclear deal.
Jerusalem is the place where the three Abrahamic faith’s meet. No city stirs passions like Jerusalem. But what is its significance to Bible prophecy?
Keep in mind that evangelicals whose aspirations and ideals, at least in terms of prophecy, involve a role for literal Israel are advising Mr. Trump. Never before, has a U.S. President worked so closely with evangelical leaders. To fulfill their prophetic predictions Jerusalem would be restored as Israel’s undisputed domain. Involving the United States in bringing stature to Israel’s claim over the city would lend a hand toward the fulfillment of those prophetic dreams. Keeping the uncertainty and conflict between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arabs going, would not fulfill evangelical false prophecy.
Another factor is the Papacy, which has had an interest in controlling Jerusalem too. But Pope Francis said he was “profoundly concerned” about recent developments and called for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected. That would be expected. However, in the conflict that may arise from this decision, the pope may well find a way to extend greater influence over the city and its destiny. Remember, the Catholic bishops influence evangelicals to a considerable extent.
The White House insisted that Trump’s announcement would not derail efforts at peace, currently being spearheaded by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. “Nothing in this decision speaks to a final status resolution, or boundaries or sovereignty issues,” a senior administration official said. “It doesn’t change the status quo with respect to the holy sites and other very sensitive issues. We are leaving space for the Palestinians, for this peace process to move forward.”
At the very least, the move could lead to violence on soft U.S. targets around the world. More dangerously, it could lead to another war in the Middle East.
Evangelicals misinterpret the prophecies as applying to literal Israel when they now apply to spiritual Israel. Consequently their interpretations of Bible prophecy are skewed to support this underlying error. The enemy can use them and the United States to fulfill erroneous prophetic interpretations and set the stage for Satan to appear as Christ in his final deception, and perhaps including Jerusalem in his global tour.
Paul strenuously denies that Jerusalem and Israel have a role to play in prophecy. Hebrews 13:12-14 says, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
A correct understanding of the Bible makes it clear that we cannot view Israel as having a salvational role, nor should we look to Jerusalem in the fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecy.
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ… Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.” The Great Controversy, page 625.