Today in Prophecy
Jerusalem: A Burdensome Stone for all People
This headline quoting Israel’s Ariel Sharon appeared in today’s news. "Sharon: Peace talks dead, Jerusalem won’t be divided!" About four weeks ago, on Sept. 28, Ariel Sharon went to what the Israelis call the site of Solomon’s temple, and upon which sits an Islamic shrine, and triggered a new spate of violence in Jerusalem. Another headline in today’s paper reads, "Cease-fire fails to take hold." The violence continues even though much effort has been exerted by U.S. leadership and others toward stopping it.
The latter article by Keith B. Richburg, in the Washington Post reads, in part, "As the deadline passed for a U.S.-brokered cease-fire to take hold, Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters engaged in some of their fiercest and bloodiest battles in weeks, leaving at least 10 Palestinians dead (the toll to date is 120 dead and thousands wounded) and the prospects for an early resumption of the Mideast peace process in tatters.
"Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly voted last night to condemn the ‘excessive use of force’ by Israeli troops against Palestinians and called for a truce and resumption of peace talks."
This is the second time during this upheaval that the U.N. has stirred themselves to make a resolution concerning this matter, and it provokes one to consider some prophecies which have not been fulfilled up until this time. One in particular, which could be fulfilled only by a body such as the United Nations, is found in Zech. 12:3, and reads, "In that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people." As it was reported in the news after the first resolution against Israel a few weeks ago, it took a long time and a lot of pressure to get the U.N. to finally involve themselves with decisions concerning Israel. But they have done it. They have done it twice now.
There are many prophecies in the Holy Scriptures concerning Israel, some of which are just now coming into focus. All of the prophecies concerning Jerusalem which pertain to these last days are for signs to them who look for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Israel was restored to their land in 1948, it fulfilled the prophecy in Matt. 24:32-34 which Jesus couched in a parable about the fig tree. "When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves ye know that summer is nigh."
That event was a sign to Christians everywhere to be aware that the time of Harvest , which Jesus prophesied of in Matt. 13:39, was near. (That harvest is a forty-nine year process which is prophesied of in the O. T. in the forty-nine years harvest between the years of Jubilee as well as the forty-nine day Feast of Weeks which led up to Pentecost.) This "Time of Harvest" began in 1962, when Pope John XXIII launched the Ecumenical program during Vatican II.
There is another important prophecy, the fulfillment of which we still await. That prophecy could not be fulfilled while Israel controlled only part of Jerusalem. So, in June of 1967, the nation of Israel, because of whatever provocation, took East Jerusalem by military force. The prophecy is so vivid and specific concerning the United Nations and Jerusalem. As you know, although the Arabs still lay claim to all of "Palestine," it is not all of Israel which is the center of today’s contentions. It is Jerusalem.
The Prophet said, in Zech 14:1,2, "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city." It is evident that this is not a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. It is rather a time immediately preceding the coming wrath of our God upon this "wicked and adulterous generation" at the close of our 6000-year mandate to rule and care for the wonderful creation of God in which we live and which we are.
The stage is set. The forces of prophecy are working mightily. The signs of which our Lord spake continue to flash across the screen of historical development, and that with greater frequency as we "see the day approaching." What I say unto one, I say unto all: Watch!