(This article was updated on 5th October, 2017)
Pastor Reuven Berger had spoken on Jerusalem mystery at the ALS which held in Ile-Ife in 2016 (see CA! Vol 19 Qtr 2, No. 104). He took the subject to new depths at the recently concluded ALS held in the city of Jerusalem (Aug 27-30). One major conclusion of the talk is that the city of Jerusalem is currently in spiritual bondage and that Christians are duty-bound to pray for her.
In another article in this edition of CA!, we address the troubling statistics in Europe and the United States of churches closing enmasse, and mosques replacing them. Does Planting Churches matter?
As Pastor Agu Irukwu pointed out, it’s all about exercising territorial dominion (see http://churcharise.blogspot.com). Even if there are only a dozen worshippers, what heaven sees is a worship centre.
The issue is particularly well-illustrated by the ongoing fierce spiritual battle for Mount Moriah. Expounding on this and ongoing efforts to build the 3rd Temple, Pastor Reuven Berger pointed out that the very existence of two Islamic shrines on Mount Moriah is a literal depiction of Jerusalem being currently in bondage with her children. As illustrated in Gal.4.25 Agar is clearly currently having the upper hand. The spiritual world is desperate to prevent a change in status quo on the mount. Who is worshipped on Mount Moriah would be God: Satan or Jehovah. Hence the raging conflict.
In a previous write-up, Pastor Bill Randles captures these issues concerning Mount Moriah in the following words.”There is something so spiritually sensitive about this mountain, that the dark powers of the earth fear a change of status on it. Much of the final controversy and horrifying judgments of the last days are called by Isaiah, "The controversy of Zion." http://www.raptureready.com/2017/08/22/unesco-fulfills-ezekiel-36-temple-mount-bill-randles/
Pastor Reuven explained that “Zion” literally means a designated place. However spiritually, “what makes “Zion” “Zion” is God’s promise that it would be His resting place. God seeks a resting place in His people. Pastor Reuven then spoke of three “Zions,” depicted respectively as ZION, Zion, and zion. ZION represents the heavenly Jerusalem that is coming. The one described in Hebrews 12:22 comprising the entire community of saints gone and present. Zion refers to the current earthly Jerusalem (currently in spiritual bondage). Lastly, zion refers to each child of God anywhere on the planet at this glorious Church Age. According to Pastor Reuven, the will of God is that Zion be delivered from her bondage and be aligned (vertically) with the heavenly ZION. Likewise, all the zions are to align (horizontally) with Zion, praying into existence, the will of God over Her. These vertical and horizontal alignments, centred on Zion, is represented by the Cross. As the Enemy gathers his forces against Zion, God is also gathering His Mahanaim, 2 camps comprised of a heavenly and an earthly squad.
As alluded to by several other speakers at the ALS, more or less just as a key and its lock need to be properly aligned for a functional fit, alignment of the “Zions” is required to if Heaven is to come inhabit Earth. Such as was demonstrated when the Holy Spirit visibly came to inhabit the Lord Jesus Christ during His baptism at Jordan, and the Church at Pentecost.
For now, it is Homecoming approaching, both for the Church and for Israel. According to Pastor Reuven, “The homecoming of the Bride is the homecoming of Israel to the Lord.” As Israel gets enlightened and returns to the Lord, her Messiah the Lord Jesus; it will also be time for the Church to return to the Lord, being joined with Her Head, in the Rapture.
The focus therefore for now, is the building of the Temple of Men, the Church. (1 Peter 2:5). Thereafter, with the Rapture accomplished, the focus can shift back to the Temple of Stones – to be located on Mount Moriah. (Interesting to note that Mount Moriah is on the same range as Calvary).
The gentile Church therefore needs to pray for Israel, that God’s first son, estranged for our sakes (Exo. 4:22, Rom 11:26) would soon be reconciled back to Him. Temporary estrangement between God and his first son Israel happened so as to give us opportunity to be grafted into the covenant and be reconciled to God. It is our responsibility to share in God’s burden that reconciliation between Him and His first son be not delayed. The stock into which the gentiles are grafted is the Messianic Jews, starting from the early Apostles. Currently, orthodox Jews object seriously to Messianic Jews who they consider to be cults. (see http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/234849 )
In a nutshell, our ultimate assignment for this age is preparing the Highway for the soon-return of the Great King. Israel’s being graffed back into her own tree will literally be “resurrection from the dead.” Not only for Israel, but for us all! (Rom 11:15).