The flags of Israel and America projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem during President Donald Trump’s historic speech declaring the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. (Reuters)
This should be rather simple.
What is a capital?
Answer: It is a city in a country where the government is situated, including official residences of its president or prime minister, its Supreme Court and its legislative branches.
What’s so hard about that? Really, nothing.
In this world of chaos, believe it or not, there are 124 nations which actually have border disputes, and some are occupying disputed territory. Yet 123 have chosen their own capital without any question from the rest of the world. Only Israel doesn’t have a capital—that is, a capital recognized by the world.
Its appointed capital, Jerusalem, also has leaders, officials, administrators, politicians, advisors, lawyers, lobbyists, Knesset committees, policy-makers, buildings, offices and even window-washers, fully functioning with regular work hours.
But for the world, this place does not exist. So, ambassadors appointed to serve in Israel dutifully rent a place to live and open their embassy offices in Tel Aviv. If they want to meet with Israeli officials, then their drivers gas up and take their occupants up to Jerusalem. When meetings end, the driver picks up his boss for a two-hour drive in heavy traffic, back to his home in a Tel Aviv suburb.
So, why this game of make-believe?
Only one explanation: This is a spiritual war.
The “why” is so clear. The world is in a battle between good and evil. Between the Bible and the Koran. Between the God of Israel and the god of this world.
The strategy of Satan has always been to replace God. And the number one place to do it is in Jerusalem. The prophet Isaiah foretold that “when the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land…” it is at this time that Satan, together with his followers, will raise himself up against God, only to be ultimately defeated. Isaiah 14:14-16 reads:
“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the congregation… I will make myself like the Most High.”
When Yeshua the Messiah descends on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and His Jewish people say, “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!” it will be all over.
Having many God-fearing members, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly voted in 1995 that the United States acknowledge Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Bill Clinton was president at the time. Even though he had previously said he would support Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, he didn’t like the new law at all, and actually never signed it. Obviously embarrassed to veto it in a nation with many Bible believers, he just let it become law by default to show his disapproval.
In the 2000 election campaign, George W. Bush clearly promised to move the embassy and attacked Clinton for failing to deliver on his promise. But Bush did not keep his promise either.
In 2008, then Democratic candidate Barack Obama called Jerusalem the ‘capital of Israel’ and that was it.
It took a very different kind of person to have the courage, and the audacity, to go up against the entire world.
THE UN DOESN’T GET IT
The war of Islam against Israel is not about the division of land. It is a war for the extermination of Israel, and Jerusalem is central to its strategy.
The god of this world, who certainly dominates the United Nations, has allied itself, almost from day one, with the Palestinian cause. With its millions and billions of dollars it spends annually, it literally spews out propaganda against Israel and is busy educating the world with a new history about Palestinians living in Palestine for thousands of years. Truly fake history. Without a doubt, the god of this world has worked incessantly to make sure the ancient city of Jerusalem never becomes the accepted capital of Israel.
The UN completely ignores the fact that wherever there is Muslim rule, there is no freedom of religion—or even normal human rights. During the fourteen years “moderate” Jordan ruled East Jerusalem, no Jew could come to the Western Wall to pray. In fact, no Israelis could enter Judea and Samaria and their ancient capital city. In fact, Jordan utterly destroyed the synagogues and Jewish institutions in Jerusalem where Jews had lived for many centuries.
And so Israel has been, in the eyes of the world, without a capital. Until Trump. From Israel’s viewpoint, President Trump’s strategy in presenting his decision was prudent and reasoned. He didn’t use the words “undivided Jerusalem,” a term that would automatically generate rage among Palestinians. He didn’t have to. He understands, as Europeans don’t, that Israel will never accept a divided Jerusalem again. Nor will they hand over the Western Wall or the Temple Mount where the Holy of Holies once stood. Do you recall that recently the UN gave the Western Wall and the Temple Mount to the non-existent nation of Palestinians?
Neither did Trump mention anything about the borders of Jerusalem. And he said he would accept a two-state solution, if both sides agreed. (Sure.) Nevertheless, to do his part, he has sent his son-in-law on a mission to make the ultimate deal. Hopefully they both understand it is a hopeless assignment.
A recent article by Barry Shaw was titled, “Why Jared Kushner is on a fool’s mission.” To turn a dysfunctional, corrupt, rejectionist, ideological, violent Palestinian political divide into a peace-loving nation is beyond the pale. The establishment of a dysfunctional Palestinian state would soon be annexed by Hamas—the terrorist organization created for one single reason—to eradicate Israel. That is not a panacea for peace. We pray that the Trump family totally gets it. (jpost.com)
As for Israel, the government has spent years making sure Jerusalem will remain a united city. It has filled both west and east parts of the city with government buildings, industry and housing, not to speak of nearly 600,000 Jewish Israelis—making it impossible to separate. On the other hand, Allah will never give up his claim to “ascend on high.”
Anyone who has picked up a Bible or a history book on the Middle East would find that the rightful owner of Jerusalem is the ancient people of Israel. It is God’s city. The Holy of Holies is the center of Jewish passion and heritage. For Christians who love the Bible and the Jewish people, much of the New Testament takes place in Jerusalem—including the death and resurrection of Yeshua. President Trump is on the right side of history.
EUROPE DOESN’T GET IT
Unfortunately, Europe’s rulers are far from the Bible, and thus the God of the Bible. Britain, France, and Germany have positioned themselves as the strongest of deniers of the reality of Jerusalem’s ancient capital belonging to the ancient Jewish people.
What do they care that the Old Testament mentions Jerusalem and Zion 661 times? That the New Testament mentions them 156 times? That the Koran mentions them zero times?
Neither do Europeans understand that appeasement of Islamic rulers brings more violence—even after 70 years of experience.
Israel’s most serious attempt to make peace with the Palestinians resulted in the Oslo Agreement. Seven years later, Yasser Arafat’s wife admitted on Dubai TV that Arafat confided in her that he was about to start a national insurrection because he did not want his only daughter to grow up knowing that her father had agreed to a peace agreement with Israel. It was the bloodiest Intifada ever. (jpost.com)
Europe also chooses to forget that Israel’s evacuation of twenty-one Jewish villages from Gaza birthed Hamas. Its evacuation of southern Lebanon birthed Hezbollah.
The EU forgets the reality of history: In 3,000 years, the Jews are the only people for whom Jerusalem has ever been the capital of their national homeland. Muslims had 1,200 years of opportunities to make it their capital, but they never did.
The rulers of Europe no longer promote even a Christian culture. Blinded, they cannot see that Islam is overtaking their continent. Europe is on the wrong side of history. God’s Word still stands when He told Abraham, “I will curse those who curse you.”
They are still living in a fantasy world.
A NATION OF HAPPY CAMPERS
Israelis are elated! Even the left-leaning Labor party head, Avi Gabbay, declared, “preserving a ‘united’ Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is more important than clinching a peace deal with the Palestinians.” He praised U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and said over ninety percent of Israelis “yearn for a united Jerusalem.” In light of this, he said, “A united Jerusalem is even more important than peace.”
Most astounding, a Kuwaiti writer, Abdullah Al-Hadlaq, recently said on Kuwaiti TV that Israel was an independent and legitimate sovereign state, and that there was no occupation, but rather “a people returning to its promised land.”
Kuwait is one of the Arab nations that does not recognize Israel—let alone Jerusalem!
“Like it or not,” Al-Hadlaq said, “Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel are the countries of tyranny and oppression,” he continued. (israelnationalnews.com)
In signs of other gently warming ties, a Bahraini delegation visited Israel right after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. There are reports that Bahrain is on a path to normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel. It is well-known that Saudi Arabia is working together with Israel because of the mortal threat to them from Iran. It appears they understand more than the Europeans do.
While Arab leaders continue to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, it has slipped in importance, displaced by the Arab Spring uprisings, the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the threat of the Islamic State, and especially Iran’s race for regional dominance.
The long and the short of it is that President Trump had to have guts. Daring and nerve. Courage to stand up against the world. But people like Franklin Graham understood the spiritual implications. He told CNS News, no president in his lifetime had taken such a “strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith” with the exception of President Trump, and that he needs our prayers.
HOW I FELT ON DECEMBER 6, 2017
I know many millions of believers felt like I did as I wrote a Facebook post right after we heard the news about Jerusalem:
Can you believe? I can hardly express my feelings as we sat in front of the TV and heard President Trump state that his government was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. First, I felt tremendous relief—not only for Israel, but also for the U.S. I believe God will bless Trump for this act. Of course I am not saying that he will have no more trials and tribulations, but that God will keep His promise to bless those who bless Israel.
Secondly, it was clear that we were experiencing a day that will go down in the history books. Trump will always be remembered for declaring the 3,000-year-old city of Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish State.
I sat there savoring the moment—that I had lived to see Israel become a state, (actually I heard the news on the radio at age 7!) then was alive to see Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria come back into the hands of their rightful owners in 1967, and am now witnessing Jerusalem being recognized by the U.S. President. One thing I am sure of: it was America’s evangelicals that counseled and encouraged Trump to make this leap that no other president dared to do.
Was God’s hand in this? Our daughter, Shani, brought it to our attention that Trump made this declaration 70 years and 7 days after the UN voted to accept the new-born State of Israel! Interesting times.
I ignored her passionate online plea for mothers, grandmothers, and Christian women to attend the Arise Day of Awakening and Rise Up events to be held on the National Mall in Washington, DC last October 2017.
The call to action had come from a trusted friend and spiritual leader, Devi Titus, co-founder of Kingdom Global Ministries.
Then, that same evening, as I was getting ready for bed, a picture came to me that I had seen on the news the day after the Trump inauguration—a women’s march that was heavily attended by women activists—who called themselves “nasty” women. One of the women, in particular, was wearing an obscene hat she had knitted to wear for the occasion/protest. It was vile.
All night long I kept revisiting this picture of this “nasty woman.” (Her label, not mine.)
The following morning at breakfast I told my husband about my night/nightmares. And I told him I MUST attend this gathering…it was not an option for me. He concurred, saying, “You HAVE to go!”
I knew I wanted someone to go with me, and the first person I thought of was my daughter-in-law and my two oldest granddaughters, age 17 and 12.
I emailed them, and they, too, said “YES! We want to go!”
We all knew that God had a plan for each of us during this eventand we were not disappointed. If “nasty women” have no hesitation to stand and march and cheer for their twisted beliefs of secular feminism, I can certainly do the same regarding my belief system of a woman’s role in society, in the family, in the business world, and in the Kingdom of God.
So off we went!
The National Mall in the middle of Washington DC was surrounded by 50 tents, representing 50 states—filled with worship teams and worshippers from Friday evening at 9:00 pm to Monday morning at 9:00 am…in other words, 60 hours of continuous praise and worship emanating from the National Mall! It was glorious…and unprecedented! They also held evening events, geared toward the youth of our nation, calling for repentance, praying for healing, and believing for boldness and courage to achieve their God-given destiny. Some 3,000 women flew or drove in from all over the U.S.
On Monday morning, it was pouring rain, but that did not deter the crowd of women who gathered to intercede for our youth, our babies in the womb, and our nation—that we would turn toward Jehovah God! Among the speakers were Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Lisa Bevere, Devi Titus, and a host of other talented and gifted communicators who spoke clearly and deliberately about faith…about womanhood…about courage to stand for what we believe.
I asked my oldest granddaughter, Stella, to write a paragraph about our time together in DC…she has been part of our family since she was 14, adopted from Uganda…here’s her impressions:
“The four-day visit to Washington, DC, the Capital of the U.S., was a memorable experience. The Awaken the Dawn conference has left a constant awareness (to me) regarding the continuity of the rise of Christian girls and women in the U.S. (and the world), to stand firmer in Jesus as their rock and rise up in prayer. My mom and grandmother are two of the women who show me every day that pursuing Christ is the ultimate gift…”
Well, her words are the ultimate gift to me…confirming that we as believers should take the opportunity to STAND, SPEAK OUT, and BE BOLD in our faith and our beliefs. Our children and grandchildren are watching us.
Christy Wilkerson is the International Administrator of Maoz Israel Ministries in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Wednesday President Trump recognized what has been a reality for decades: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
“Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.”
“For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of State and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.”
“However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.”
“But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
The news reports varied from excitement to incitement. Some claim it is prophetic, while others say it will destroy the peace process. Below are ten points based on current events and biblical prophecy that will hopefully help you process this.
1. Many people say that there is no need to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Would it matter to you if virtually every nation in the world refused to recognize Washington DC as the U.S. Capital, but instead chose L.A., Detroit or Chicago?
2. Turkey is saying that recognizing Jerusalem is a “red line” and that if the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem, then they will cut off ties with Israel. If they had any real courage they would cut off ties with the U.S., as it is the U.S. action. Israel has claimed since January 23, 1950 that Jerusalem was our capital.
3. Hamas and other terror groups are saying Trump’s actions on Jerusalem are an atrocity. They are calling for a new intifada. Meanwhile they’ve had nothing to say about Assad using chemical weapons, ISIS murdering Muslims and Christians, 500,000 dead in Syria, 10 million refugees, the treatment of women in the Arab world, etc. There are real atrocities to be angry about—this is not one of them.
4. God predicted (or foreknew) thousands of years ago that the Old City of Jerusalem would be the most controversial city in the world. Psalm 2 speaks of the nations raging against God over Jerusalem, saying “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
5. Zech. 12:2-3 speaks of the nations suffering judgement for standing against Israel in the end-times:
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling … On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.”
(The passage speaks of a specific war, where God will give Jerusalem victory, but the principle is the same: Be careful, nations who mess with Jerusalem.)
6. For all the outrage, people seem to forget that Jerusalem has hardly been important to the Arab world. It has never been the capital of any Arab nation; it was only when the Jews began to return to Israel that this counterfeit zeal for Jerusalem was birthed in the Arab world. The Islamic Ottomans controlled Jerusalem for 400 years and let it become desolate.
7. On the other hand, God chose Jerusalem to be a place where His house would be built (1 Chronicles 28) and it has been the capital of the Hebrew nation since King David, more than 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem (or Zion) is mentioned nearly 1,000 times in the Old Testament and ZERO times in the Quran.
8. The entire New Testament centers around Israel, and Yeshua’s final days—his death, resurrection and birth of the early congregation—were in Jerusalem. Mohammed never visited Jerusalem; there is only a vague mention of a one-time night visit in a dream to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, which Muslims claim is Jerusalem. (Quran 17:1)
You will not find anything close to this in the Quran:
“How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
“If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem, my highest joy.” (Psalm 137:5-6)
9. The Arab League leader said a U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be an “unjustified provocation” for Arabs. See point #3. There are so many atrocities in the Arab world and you do nothing, but this (and cartoons) is a provocation!? Really?
10. BONUS POINT! I have heard from leftwing congressmen and congresswomen and world leaders throughout the day that this will significantly hurt the peace process. WHAT PEACE PROCESS!?!? The Palestinians are forming a unity government with Hamas terrorists. They will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They teach their children to hate Jews. They name city squares, streets and schools after terrorists who blew up innocent Jewish women and children. You can’t damage something that doesn’t exist. There is no peace process.
In conclusion, for those of you who are alarmed by the news reports and reactions from around the world, take heart. We are closer than we were before. Our redemption is drawing close.
Ron Cantor is founder of Messiah’s Mandate and elder of Congregation Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv.
As you know, we are working in the most difficult Islamic areas. Our ministry is based on the last words of Jesus when He said: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
Our vision is to see lives changed and communities transformed, first by meeting the needs of people through education and health-awareness programs. We are seeing—one by one—Muslims and nominal Arab Christians (culturally-born into Christianity, but without knowledge of Jesus or the Word of God) receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Clearly, we cannot share details of those coming to faith, but here are a couple of stories—how God is really bringing salvation to those who seemed hopelessly lost in a culture dominated by hatred of the God of Israel and the Bible, as well as Jewish and born-again Christians.
Our goal is to plant congregations and to be part of the Great Commission. Here is what the Lord has been doing in the last two months…
We held a retreat for Arab believers, most of whom are part of our weekly prayer meeting. A number of non-believers joined us, as well. Our focus was on priorities in the life of a believer. God’s presence was evident as the leaders shared powerful Gospel messages. As we say, “They felt the love!”
One man who had recently began attending our weekly Bible study meeting was convicted of his sin. He was addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, and was physically abusive to his own father, his wife, and his children. He told how he would break things in his house and beat his children.
At the retreat he gave his testimony of how, after accepting the Messiah into his life, he had become a “new creation.” The old things had passed away, and all he wanted now was to be committed to live a true Christian life. His wife, along with his children and Mother, has seen a great change in him. After the retreat he was baptized in Jericho. Please pray for this family: his wife is close to believing, but he is facing persecution from other relatives and friends.
We also held a one-day women’s conference for non-believing, nominal Christians. Fifty-three women attended. We started with teaching about how to raise children the Christian way based on the Bible, and how to deal with teenagers in the spirit of love.
After four hours of discussion and questions, with a very positive response, my wife invited the women to accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, and challenged them to begin reading the Bible.
At the end one woman stood up and said, “I am an educated woman, and my husband was a famous doctor for many years. I want to tell you that this is the first time in my life I have understood the Gospel. Thank you! I promise you that I will start reading the Bible, and I hope in the future to come to more of these conferences. I am so encouraged; you have made an impact on my life.”
In one of the villages there is a Muslim girl, thirty-four years old, single and living with her father, who is a very religious Muslim. Her mother died and her two sisters are married.
After she attended our educational meetings and we established a good relationship with her, she felt safe coming to our center. She told me, “You are the third Christian I have ever met in all my life.” She began to share about her suffering and struggle.
We spent quality time with her and answered her questions—especially about hell and paradise. One of our team invited her to his home with his family. She wanted to know more about Christ, and how to pray. After being in their home, she decided to accept Jesus as Savior. She has started to read the Bible in secret. Please pray for her as her life is at risk. Her village population is around 4,000 people and she is the first one from her community to come to Christ.
The Lord overwhelms us with joy through your faithfulness to us. Thank you that you care for us so much and show it so beautifully. We really feel your love.
Our co-workers in the Palestinian Territories