Tale of Two Cities – Babylon & Jerusalem
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times - it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness - it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity - it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness - it was the spring of hope, it was the spring of despair - we had everything before us, we had nothing before us - we were all going direct to heaven – we were all going direct the other way – in short , the period was so far like the present period, that some of the noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in a superlative degree of comparison only.” Charles Dickens
“A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens, was written in 1859 about London and Paris before and during the time of the French Revolution. It was a tragic story of life and injustice …in a very dark violent period of history. As a result, the novel seems somewhat modern, despite being set in the 18th century and written in the 19th century.
The Bible could be called “A tale of two cities” because two cities; Jerusalem and Babylon… are so frequently mentioned, literally and symbolically and right the way through are seen as opposites. This isn’t a co-incidence as the Holy Spirit has taken these two cities to symbolize two diametrically opposite principles. Jerusalem represents the eternal, redemption, fellowship with God and the heavenly …whilst Babylon represents, sin, bondage and things with no abiding value, and earthly. Both represent fallen mankind, but there are a great divide of good and evil and flesh warring against the spirit and show us that the two can’t exist together. Babylon was the most infamous enemy of Israel. Many of the prophecies of Babylon were fulfilled …but there are an amazing and extremely significant number of them yet to be fulfilled in Iraq.
Babylon (Iraq) confirms the accuracy of the Bible… The history of Babylon was told in the Bible hundreds of years before it happened! God’s Word is true and in fact speaks of Babylon from the beginning - Genesis to the end - Revelation. In Genesis 11:1-9, we read about how fallen men sought not only to build a city but a tower that reached heavens to make a name for them …a city called “Babel”(meaning – the gate of the gods) – and this was the beginning of Babylon. The first Babylon was the heart of the Ancient World and centre of power. At Babel God came down and brought confusion and thwarted their plans by confusing their language so that they couldn’t understand each other and so they left the building of their tower and were scattered over the face of the earth. Nimrod built the first kingdom recorded in the Bible and was a mighty warrior and a tyrant. Ultimately Babel and Babylon are synonymous with everything sinful and rebellious against God and His Kingdom. Though man is created in the image of God …there is Satan who hates God venomously …and will always use an element of evil men to threaten the human race. As the human race turns its back on Almighty God, like the city of Babylon, a city without foundations, they too, are in fact built on sand! And, like the words they used in Genesis 11:4, “let us” or “ourselves” shows the spread of disorder within God’s world and when a society breaks the boundaries of God’s Word and has forsaken God, like Ancient Babylon, the results are frustration and society begins to disintegrate!
Shortly after the account of Babel, God raises a God-fearing man – Abraham, living in one of the neighbouring cities who received a revelation (Acts 7:2) from God and told him to move out of Ur, that anti-God place and be led to a land where God could be honoured…Canaan (Israel). It was a major step as we read about it in Hebrews 11:8, 10; “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place which he was afterward going to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he went. By faith he lived in the land of promise as a stranger, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of the same promise with him. For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” From this point there are only two cities to which man can belong to… Babylon or Jerusalem! We can choose to follow good or evil – broad or narrow way – faith in God or unbelief!
The history of Babylon was told in the Bible hundreds of years before it happened… How did the prophet Isaiah know the future? Isaiah began to prophesy the year king Uzziah of Judah died in the year 740 BC (Isaiah 6:1, 8) and one of his predictions was about Babylon; “The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.” God told Isaiah that Babylon would be completely destroyed (Isaiah 13:17-20). During Isaiah’s lifetime the Assyrian Empire ruled most of the Middle East and controlled many foreign cities including Babylon. Isaiah’s prophecy was not fulfilled when Sennacherib destroyed Babylon because he had predicted that the Medes would attack Babylon … but it was the Assyrians who attacked and destroyed the city first. When Isaiah wrote his prophecy the Medes were weak and most of the Medes were not unified but ruled by other nations. It would have been impossible for them to capture and destroy the strong city of Babylon and so Isaiah’s prediction especially seemed wrong and almost impossible when the Assyrians destroyed Babylon in 689 BC. The Medes could not fight a city that no longer existed! Sennacherib thought that he had completely destroyed Babylon forever …but after his death it was rebuilt by his son Esarhaddon. In 626 BC, Babylon rebelled against Assyria again and this time the Babylonians were successful and began to grow in strength. Nebuchadnezzar focused on expanding his empire and Babylon became the greatest and most magnificent city in the world in that day until his death in 562 BC.
The rise of Babylon as an Empire… Cyrus the Great became king over Persia, a region under the rule of Media, in 559 BC as they were closely related peoples. Cyrus’s father was a Persian prince (Herodotus 1.107, 122) and his mother the daughter of the King of Media and so he became king of both Persia and Media and quickly began to build an empire. In 546 BC he conquered the Greek kingdom of Lydia (in western Turkey) and in 539 BC, Cyrus’s army came to fight against Babylon. Because, Babylon was a very strong city with two thick walls and a large moat that protected the city making it extremely difficult for an enemy to attack though it was divided in two parts. The larger part of the city was on the east bank of the Euphrates River and the smaller part on the west bank of the river and though it relied upon the strong walls for protection it also relied upon the Euphrates River and the moat around the city to protect it.
Greek historian Herodotus wrote about Babylon about 100 years later describing how Cyrus’s army captured the city. They dug a trench to drain the water from the Euphrates River into a nearby swamp and while the Babylonians were confidentially celebrating a feast, the strong river and moat became very shallow …and so they would enter the city (Herodotus 1.191) and capture it without a battle, and Darius the Mede was put in charge (Daniel 5:31). Finally, nearly 200 years later Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled (Isaiah 13:17) and the Medes captured Babylon just as Isaiah had predicted. However, the other part of the prophecy had not happened yet as Isaiah had prophesied that the Medes would kill many people; Isaiah 13:18-19, "…And bows shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not pity sons. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the majestic beauty of the Chaldees, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah," and this prediction was fulfilled several years later. An inscription on a rock cliff in Bisotum, Iran …made by Darius, king of the Medes and Persians, describes the event.
The fall of Babylon as an Empire… In 521 BC the Babylonians appointed their own king and the city rebelled and then Darius’s army defeated the rebel army and captured Babylon and their rebel king and his main followers were impaled inside the city. In about 482 BC Babylon rebelled against their Persian and Median rulers again and Xerxes the king sent his army to capture the city. The army destroyed the pagan temples and took away the idol of the Babylonian god "Marduk" and also destroyed the outer walls of Babylon. After this punishment the city began to decline in importance and when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians 150 Years later much of Babylon was still destroyed but many people still lived there. Alexander decided to make Babylon a great city again and by rebuilding the temples …but, he died before he could accomplish this plan. After Alexander’s death, Seleucus 1 gained control of a large part of the Middle East including Babylonia but did not share Alexander’s vision; instead he built a city called Seleucia, nearby the Tigris River and most of the population of Babylon moved to this new city. Babylon was no longer a major city and about 250 years later the Roman writer Strabo wrote, "Seleucia at the present time has become larger than Babylon, whereas the greater part of Babylon is so deserted that one would not hesitate to say…’The Great City is a desert!’" Before long Babylon was completely empty!
In 1899, German archaeologists went to the area in Iraq called, "Tel Babil" (Babel), and they began to dig and uncover parts of ancient Babylon. In 1978, then president Saddam Hussein also began to rebuild some of the ancient buildings of Babylon and some of the temples were rebuilt, also a palace, some walls and an amphitheatre but today Babylon is still an empty city and have remained empty for almost 2,000 years just as Isaiah had prophesied; "It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation, Isaiah 13:20. How could Isaiah know that the Medes, a weak tribe, would grow in strength and conquer the strong city of Babylon almost 200 years later…? How could he know that one of the greatest cities in the world would be abandoned and remain empty for thousands of years…?
Historical events in Babylon prove without a doubt that the Bible is true and really did come from God!
In Babylon the then Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein was cast as the modern-day Nebuchadnezzar who came into power in 605 BC at the tender age of 25. The western world remembers Babylon best for its role in capturing and destroying the nation of Israel in 586 BC. In Ezekiel 24:1-2, we read the date and day that the Babylonians would destroy Jerusalem. The Torah counts the months of the Jewish calendar beginning with Nissan (March/April). The tenth month, "Tevet" occurs in January on the Gregorian calendar as a fast and on this important day, the ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, (2 Kings 25:1; Jeremiah 39:1, 52:4; Ezekiel 24:1-2) began the siege of Jerusalem and ended with the city’s destruction on the 9th of Av, 586 BC and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. The 10th day of the 10th month (Tevet) is therefore considered as part of the cycle of fasts connected to these events… Shivan Asar B’Tammus and Tisha B’Av …and this day of fasting will fall this year on the 22nd December, 2015. On this same day 9th Av, 70 AD Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. The First and Second Temple destroyed on the same day 9th Av which falls in July/August according to Gregorian calendar and many other significantly sad events also occurred on this day. This year the 9th Av fell on 25th July, 2015.
The rise of Babylon (Iraq) - Saddam Hussein… Babylon was resurrected in our time. By 1990 over sixty million bricks inscribed with Saddam Hussein’s name were on top of the very bricks that Nebuchadnezzar had laid, and so during his lifetime considered himself to be the modern successor of Nebuchadnezzar. Oddly enough, again in modern times, Saddam Hussein launched an attack on Israel with scud missiles between 17th January and 23rd February, 1991 and tried to draw Israel into the Gulf War. Before that in 1980, Saddam Hussein, invaded Iran and triggered a bitter 8 year war which destabilized the region and devastated both countries. In March 2003, the U.S. joined by the U.K. and several coalition forces invaded Iraq and launched a “shock and awe” surprise attack without declaring war and this was to be the down-fall of Saddam Hussein and liberated Iraq from the dictator on the 30th December, 2006 when he was hung in a place what the American’s called; “Camp Justice” in the Bagdad suburb Khadimiya – a facility where under Saddam Hussein’s regime many dissidents were executed … but after Obama was elected he vowed to withdraw all the American forces, and this had a devastating impact on Iraq leaving it ripe and open for radical Islamists to take-over!
Militant Islam has come out of nowhere in the last few years to become the greatest threat to world peace… This Islamist movement didn’t just happen! It began in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini and was quickly exported to other Muslim nations …and today it is Israel’s greatest concern. Iran has infiltrated many countries through ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haran and other terrorist groups …and is even operating in the US, UK, France, Germany, Belgium and other western countries. The Bible predicts that a group of Islamic nations surrounding Israel WILL invade Israel in the End Times. What we have witnessed so far is the stage being set for this invasion. Babylon (Iraq) MUST rise again and be totally destroyed in the final Day of the Lord. The prophecies of Isaiah 14:1-4 and Jeremiah 50:2, 4-5, cannot be fulfilled until Babylon rises so that it can be destroyed. Today we are seeing prophecy before our eyes in Iraq and the Middle East and the setting of the stage for the rapid rise and ultimate fall of Babylon! The Book of Revelation is a majestic Messianic book that tells us about the judgements of the coming Tribulation period; the Antichrist, the Second Coming of the Lord to the earth and His 1,000 year reign in the New Heavenly Jerusalem and the Great White Throne Judgement. It might surprise you what topic is mentioned in 44 verses of Revelation…? Babylon! Just to think that the final book of the Bible devoted so much time to warn us of Babylon in the future. Babylon is the most mentioned book in the Bible after Jerusalem! Whilst the Book of Daniel is not the most frequent quoted in Revelation 4 – 22 it is almost a continuation of Daniel and is the KEY background for Revelation and then we should assume Babylon is literally the city of Babylon unless told otherwise. Babylon was (a) First city where man began to worship himself (Genesis 11:1-11). (b) The Capital City of First World ruler (Geneses 10:8-10; 11:9) - Babylon here in the beginning represents both a literal city on the Euphrates and a false religious system that began at the Tower of Babel. (c) Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC and Babylon was the capital of the first four Gentile world empires to rule over Jerusalem. (d) Babylon is rising again, in End Times (Revelation 17 – 18) …as a literal city and a false religious city!
Risen to fall again…. Babylon was also the captive home for Daniel during the days of Nebuchadnezzar when he was asked to interpret a dream for the king (Daniel 2:45). Daniel’s interpretation of the dream began with Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold and also depicted the world empires from that time onwards. In the end of the dream (the End of the Age), Daniel saw that the Kingdom of God would crush all these man-made kingdoms (Daniel 2:45). There is much about Babylon in Bible prophecy and much more than just representing the city of Babylon (Revelation 17:1-18). The tower of Babel is where Babylon began …and so shall it once again play a part in the end as “Mystery Babylon!” This event takes place at the very end of Daniel’s 70th week at the final destruction of “Mystery Babylon” (Revelation 18). In a nutshell, Daniel’s 70th Week is the final package of major events in God’s calendar before the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus) when He comes back to earth to set up His Kingdom. The seventy weeks (Daniel 9:25) are divided into three divisions: 7 + 62 + 1 = 70. The first division was 7X7= 49 years; the second division was 62X7 = 434 and the last division is 7 years (Daniel’s 70th week). All three divisions add up to 70 weeks off years or 490 years. The first 69 years of Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled when Yeshua (Jesus) died on the cross. How can we know when the 70th Week will begin…? We have three key events that will identify this: First – The confirmation of the Covenant (Peace agreement signed with Israel) will begin the seven years (Daniel 9:27). Second - The Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) – half way through (42 months or 3.5 years). Thirdly – The Battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 12:2-3,6 ; Matthew 24;22; Ezekiel 38) and Second Coming of our Lord which occurs at the end of the seven years.
Iraq - Babylon today… Islam has struggled to control geographical Babylon and Syria …today is being taken over and over-run by evil that is unprecedented in modern times. This century had seen two world wars, and with a third on the horizon, nothing has really changed for every generation has seen war and uprisings in different parts of the world - but nothing compares to the immense evil and heinous crimes we are witnessing in Babylon (Iraq) today! Crimes against humanity of beheadings, torture, drowning, raping, burning alive, burying children alive, and slavery …all committed against Christians, Jews and even Muslims in Babylon that don’t agree with the Islamic ideology of radical terrorism caused by ISIS …a Wahabi or Salafi, strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect, founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–92) and advocates a return to the early 7th Century Islam of the Quran and claim to be the true Sunni’s rejecting later innovations; the sect is still the predominant religious force in Saudi Arabia.
To a Wahabi-Salafi Muslim all those who differ with them, including Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Christians, and Jews, are infidels who are all fair targets and a hindrance to them re-creating the caliphate! They are supported by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Their alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood (and its various factions and offshoots) and the Wahhabi’s in Saudi Arabia was strengthened during the 1950s and 1960s in the struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt’s Nasser’s regime. The Saudi’s had provided refuge for some leaders of the Brotherhood, and also provided assistance to them in other Arab States. The Wahhabi-Salafi alliance was further strengthened as a response to the growing threat of Shi’ah power when the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran revolted and overthrew the U.S. allied Shah in 1979. Lastly, the alliance made itself manifest in the holy struggle (jihad) against the atheist/Communist Soviets in Afghanistan. Salafis of all strains worked together as the so-called “righteous Sunnis” to counter the Shi’ah-Communist threat, from proselytizing to killing to make their Salafism prevail.
Indeed, the Salafis have used both proselytizing and revolutionary means to express their message using both political and apolitical approaches. So-called, “Sunni terrorism” today is perpetrated by radical terrorists who desire to replace “infidel” governments with myopic “scholars” who adhere to their fanatical interpretations and ideologies. Their tentacles are spread to all corners of the globe, including Bosnia, Albania, Indonesia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, England, Malaysia, South Africa, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In some cases are sleeping giants yet to be awakened! These terrorists in the name; Salafi – Wahabi, have demonstrated the havoc they are capable of wreaking in recent decades and currently across the Middle East. They originated in the time of the caliphates (of Uthman and Ali), among the closest companions to the Muslim’ Prophet Muhammad and were the earliest group of fanatics who separated themselves arising in opposition to Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law) because of his willingness to arbitrate with Mu’awiyah the governor of Damascus at that time, over the issue of the caliphate!
Modern Babylon will NOT escape the vengeance of God any more than Ancient Babylon did! When Ancient Babylon fell they were “drunk!” It happened during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s descendent, Belshazzar feast in Daniel 5:27 and while they were drinking wine and praising their gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone (Daniel 5:1-5). In that same hour the fingers of a man’s hand wrote on the wall and Daniel interpreted the “message of doom” to them that the kingdom would fall. That night while still drunk the Medes and Persians conquered them … and in the same way modern Babylon will be conquered when judgment comes they too will be drunk (Revelation 18). God judged the builders of the tower of Babel; He judged Ancient Babylon and will – make no doubt about this – judge modern Babylon. One of the reasons God says He will judge “Mystery Babylon” and the nations (Revelation 18:3)! From the United Nations, Islam intends to rule the world and we will most definitely see a power struggle in the very near future between the West and Islam who has its tentacles in most western countries …but the “kingdoms of this world will soon become the Kingdoms of Christ!” Just as Yeshua (Jesus) gave Judas over to the devil, God is giving this generation to the Babylonian spirit and it will come to a “drunken” demise! And, just like then, it is now! People refuse to believe that judgement is coming even though the writing is on the wall! We as Bible believers must remain sober! (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)
Jerusalem - The Psalms and prophetic books of the Bible have many references to Jerusalem or Zion as the city or dwelling of God… and are in contrast to Babylon! There is no town as Biblical as Jerusalem. It was first called “Salem” in a Canaanite town and the first time it is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 14:18 where Abraham and Melchizedek met. Jerusalem was first mentioned by name in Joshua 10:1. David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and annexed it as his capital (2 Samuel 5:6-7) …and is still known as the “City of David.” Jerusalem comes from the graceful Hebrew word “Shalem” meaning; “wholeness, completeness, un-brokenness,” and is used to characterize the uncut stones of the Altar (Deuteronomy 27:6) and the Temple (1 Kings 6:7) It tells of a “full” or perhaps “righteous” wage (Ruth 1:12) and the entirety of a population (Amos 1:6). It also tells of “full” and “just weights” which are God’s delight (Deuteronomy 25:15; Proverbs 11:1) and of “whole” hearts devoted to the Lord (1 Kings 8:61). The masculine noun “Shalom” means “peace” (Isaiah 32:17; Psalm 49). Peace in the Bible doesn’t just indicate a warless state but rather a state of “completeness” and “harmony” or “rather un-dividedness.” It also covers “completeness” (Jeremiah 13:19), “prosperity” (Genesis 43:27) “health” and “safety” (Psalm 38:4). Jerusalem was to be the radiating heart of a world of completeness and wholeness! And, Jerusalem is the “heart and soul” of Israel and the Jewish people …and is the eternal Capital of Israel.
For two thousand years people have been saying Yeshua (Jesus) would return at any time… even the apostles and the first century church thought that He would return in their lifetime. Some people even ask why we should even be concerned with Israel or Bible Prophecy and that the church should rather carry on reaching out to the lost. Yes, but we need to do both! “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the Prophets,” Amos 3:7. The prophets are called God’s servants or messengers (Haggai 1:13; Isaiah 44:26; Malachi 3:1) and if we ignore or reject the messages that God has given us through His prophets we are in fact rejecting God …not the humans that God used to deliver His instructions to us for the past, present …and for the future! Even Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of what was to come after His death and resurrection (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), so if it was important to Him …shouldn’t it be important to us too? Prophecy is what makes the Bible unique among other religions! God made a bold challenge to all the other pagan religions and as a test the prophets of the Bible by which to measure these religions (Isaiah 41:22-23) and so far there has been NO credible challenge for any of these religions to put its reputation on the line by accurately predicting the future! Only the Bible the Word of God is able to do so – accurately predicting the future even thousands of years ahead of time!
Did you know that one of the most interesting accurate prophecies is the birth of Cyrus? 150 years before he was born God told this through Isaiah 45:1-4 in advance of the punishment He would bring on Jacob’s descendents – the people of Judah …God planned for the man who would eventually come to power and release the Jews from captivity in Babylon. Daniel 1:21 clearly confirms the year of the proclamation Cyrus would make allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. And, this holds true today that all the unfilled prophecies and especially those for Israel WILL come to fulfilment too! A third Temple WILL be built in Jerusalem just as prophetically predicted in Daniel 9 and Revelation 11::2, half-way through the Tribulation …it’s just a matter of time since the Jews are today re-gathered and back in Israel their homeland - final!
So what is different with this generation…? The answer is easy; “The Fig Tree!” Jerusalem had not been in Jewish hands for 2,000 years and the signs are all around us and in fact intensifying. The Lord said that gentiles would control Jerusalem for a specific period of time (Luke 21:24). Who had Jerusalem in the time of Yeshua (Jesus)…? The Romans – Gentiles and until World War 1 was held by the Turks – Gentiles and even after World War 2 it was in British hands – Gentiles. After 1948 when the “fig tree blossomed” and Israel was reborn as a nation, Jerusalem was still divided …until the six-day war in 1967 finally completely in Jewish hands for the first time in 2,000 years.
The Mystery of God is the Gentile Church becoming heirs with Israel (Ephesians 3:6)… members together as one body in Christ. Paul refers to the church as “the Bride of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). The New Jerusalem… In the book of Revelation we read about accounts of war yet to come upon the earth with a picture of the sea in a storm-tossed condition symbolizing the nations of the world in their conflict and unrest …but in the last chapter John tells us, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband,” Revelation 21:1. Here we have two symbols; “the bride” suggesting intimate union, and the “Holy City” the New Jerusalem representing a community of people under God’s government. Together they speak of God’s desire that His people, the successors in the faith of Abraham who moved out of Babylon at the call of God. The New Jerusalem is the symbol of eternal. The earthly city of Jerusalem was and still is deeply loved by God but is the shadow of the New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26; 1 Peter 5:10) and of the coming “to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God” (Hebrews 12:22). The foremost characteristic of this city is that God is in the midst of her. John tells us that, “the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp,” Revelation 21:23. Just as our Lord said in, Luke 13:28, 29 that “Men will come from the east, west, north and south to join Abraham, Isaac and Jacob there, Jews and Gentiles, united in the heavenly Jerusalem.” The Holy City’s walls are encrusted with precious stones and every gate a single pearl, the buildings and streets are crystal clear gold! John Wesley on his deathbed caught this vision when he exclaimed, “the best is yet to come!”
The world is full of people who have no regard for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob …the God of Israel! Jerusalem and Israel continues to be a priceless pawn between good and evil as politicians negotiate God’s land for the “promised peace” in exchange for the “Promised Land!” The Lord says, “…there will be no peace to the wicked,” Isaiah 48:22. Eventually the whole world will be forced to face this fact and tensions over Jerusalem will escalate until the “Prince of Peace” returns and resolves this conflict once and for all. They can talk about Gaza, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights …and they can talk about Palestinian Arab refugees, settlements, security fences, occupation, terrorists or anything else that makes headlines every day… but in the end it’s all about Jerusalem! The United Nations wants Jerusalem – The Roman Catholics want Jerusalem – The Muslims want Jerusalem – The Jews want Jerusalem as it was given to them as their inheritance … but in the end Yeshua (Jesus) will get it and there will be NO peace until He comes so we encourage you to; “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem,” Psalm 122:6 …and when doing so you are also praying for the return of our Lord! Maranatha Yeshua (Jesus) may it be soon!
Charles Dickens’ - “Tale of Two Cities,” story ends with the act of redemption and self-sacrifice as the victim in this story was condemned to a cell, waiting to be executed by guillotine, but his friend who had lived a wasted life, resolved to make amends in an act of bravery …so he took the victims place instead. That’s only a faint shadow what Yeshua (Jesus), who was the sinless Son of God, did for us as He died on the cross, giving His life in atonement for our sins. The call of God to mankind is an invitation that we can either accept of reject, but then we must accept the consequences of our decision …which of the two cities of life – Babylon or Jerusalem!
We most sincerely believe that God WILL bless you for your faithfulness and love for His land and His chosen people. God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them… This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet… sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner, as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today… and a despisable nation continually turning away from God but nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was “despised and rejected by men,” …and there is that despised element, “things that are despised God has chosen,” 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people… the Lord’s Brethren!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information.
With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st September, 2015
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