cannot remember another time, in my lifetime, when the world was so
completely unified in anger. From France to Turkey, from Hamas to
Bernie—the majority of the world believes that President Trump’s
recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was, at best, a mistake
and, at worst, the end of the world!
But don’t fear. This is exactly what the Bible speaks of. Parallel to
the restoration of Israel is the rejection of Jerusalem from the
nations (Zech. 12:2-3). And nations are irrationally angry over a Jewish
Jerusalem. This is a perfect picture of Psalm 2, when the psalmist
asks, “Why do the nations rage?” Well, why do they?
And why do the “kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed…”
The answer, in a word, is: Jerusalem
We see in v. 6 that the Lord rebukes these kings and rulers saying,
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” Zion or Tzion in
Hebrew, is synonymous with Jerusalem. The kings of the earth take issue
with God’s Son (verses 7 and 12) and Jerusalem.
It is interesting that the Muslim world has called for days of rage—
the exact word from Psalm 2.
And yet, I’ve seen many believers fret over President Trump’s
announcement, saying it is irresponsible, racist towards Palestinians,
inconsequential, a impediment to peace, etc., completely missing the
spiritual significance of it. The word Zion means signpost
. Jerusalem is a sign to us.
- From the 1880s to the present, the Jewish people have been returning en masse to Israel.
- In 1920, the League of Nations (U.N.) adopted the Balfour Declaration as international law, saying that the region of Palestine would be developed into a homeland for the Jewish people.
- In 1947, the U.N. voted to partition the remaining 20% of Palestine
(80% was given to create the new nation of Jordan) into another Arab
state and a Jewish state. (The Arabs rejected it.)
- In 1948, Israel became a nation.
- In 1967, Jerusalem was reunified after the Six Day War and the Old City was recovered.
- From 1984 to 2000, tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and around one million Russian-speaking came home to Israel.
- Fast forward to December 6th, 2017: Jerusalem is recognized by the most powerful nation on earth as Israel’s capital.
Also in the New Testament
The full restoration of Israel is prophesied not only in the Old
Testament, but in the New Testament. When Yeshua was asked by His
disciples after His resurrection, “Lord, are you at this time going to
restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), He does not rebuke them for
asking a stupid question. For any student of prophets, this was the most
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very
jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her … I will return to
Zion and dwell in Jerusalem … I will save my people from the countries
of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem;
they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as
their God.” (Zech. 8:2-3, 7-8)
There are dozens of passages such as this. So, of course the
disciples would ask about the restoration of Israel. Yeshua responds:
“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But
you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will
be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth.’”
Did you see that?
Many people miss it. Yeshua clearly indicates that the Father has set the time and date for Israel’s restoration.
why I have said, if President Trump is truly a type of Cyrus (to be
clear, no one has ever said that Isaiah 44-45 was referring to Trump,
but merely that Trump may have a Cyrus-type calling), then he will favor
Zion. That is what Cyrus is known for. A Gentile head of state gets
behind the restoration of Israel. And while Trump did not do this when
we expected it in May, during Jerusalem’s 50-year anniversary, he has
done it now.
My friend and mentor Asher Intrater paraphrases Yeshua’s response in his new book Alignment (free download here
) and I think it is brilliant.
“You have asked Me to restore David’s kingdom to Israel.
The prophets envisioned a much wider kingdom which would cover the whole
earth (Is. 42, 49). Let’s not settle for just David’s kingdom; let’s go
for the whole vision of the prophets. Let’s not set up the kingdom in
Israel until we offer salvation to all the peoples of the earth. When
they all have a chance to be part of the worldwide kingdom, let’s return
and restore the kingdom to Israel. The kingdom will start in Israel as
Isaiah said, with its capital in Jerusalem, but it will cover the whole
“I will establish the kingdom government on earth when I return. For
now, proclaim both personal salvation and kingdom authority, from
Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. In the meantime, there is no need
for the nation of Israel to be here until it is time for My return and
the kingdom restoration. Therefore, Israel will be scattered while the
gospel goes to the Gentiles (Matt. 24:14). Then in the period before I
return, the nation of Israel will be restored, so that there will be
a place for Me to return and set up the capital of My kingdom.”
I heard a replacement theology pastor share the other day from
Matthew 23, how God is not really concerned anymore with Jerusalem and,
in fact, the Jewish people rejected the Messiah in Jerusalem. He quotes
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and
stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children
together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not
willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.” (Matt. 23:37-38)
Well, if we stop, it sure looks like Yeshua is done with those pesky Jews
That is what I call intellectual dishonesty. My dear brother was
manipulating his hearers because he didn’t read the next verse.
“For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matt. 23:39)
Read differently, Yeshua was saying to the Jews of Jerusalem, “You
will see me again when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of
the Lord.” The phrase in Hebrew, Blessed is he who comes
greeting. When someone comes back to Israel from traveling, we say,
“Baruch haba” or “Blessed is he who comes.” And Zechariah clearly says
that the Jews of Jerusalem will welcome Him back.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and
they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve
bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech. 12:10)
Yeshua left the Mount of Olives
angel saying, “He’s coming back the same way.” (Acts 1) Zechariah 14
shows a restored Jerusalem being attacked by the nations, and “then
the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a
day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem
.” (Zech. 14:3-4)
Beloved, again, Zion means signpost
and each step of restoration in Israel is a sign that we are one step closer to His coming. Maranatha. Come, oh Lord!