JEWS & GENTILES IN CHRIST

jezus-christusJews and Gentiles are one in Christ Jesus grafted together in covenant with the God of Abraham as a promise to bless all nations on earth. Old and New Testament shows Jews and Gentiles called to live as disciples of Lord Jesus. In Christ there is no Jew, Gentile, slave, free male or female only brethren in the Kingdom of God. During Passover and Easter this unity in Christ is celebrated to reaffirm the Messiah’s death burial and Resurrection. As earth’s population celebrate the Passover or Resurrection Sunday miraculous event’s redemption remind us of the close spiritual bond of Jews and Christians. Celebrations are God’s deliverance from despair of slavery and from despondency of sin. The Passover and Resurrection Sunday shed light on deep roots of Judaism and Christianity representing Supernatural hope in God in Christ’s love for His people. Celebrate this sacred season with family, friends, as Christians United for Israel together share Godly love with joy and peace. So our unity is a sign of our unconditional love for God and each other. Israel’s GREAT COMMISSION Blesses all nations of earth by freewill. All who bless Israel are blessed but all who curse Israel cursed in GENESIS 12:1-3. So 1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country, from your relatives from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” in Genesis 12:1-3.1 God Chose to bless Abraham and all his descendants2 above other nation,3 not because of prominence or powerful pious4 or faithful after being chosen.5 God Chose to bless Abraham’s seed as testimony of His grace to bless and channel blessing to “all families on earth in Genesis 12:3. God’s blessings gifts of HIS grace not earned. Blessings belong first to Israel as a gracious gift shared with others. The stewardship of God’s gift than matter ownership.6 God made it clear the land of Canaan did not belong to Israel but BELONGS to God: So Land reclaimed because Land Belongs to ME you are foreigners residing with me in Leviticus 25:23God removed the Canaanites from the land because of sin He does the same to Israelites if defiled the land by committing the same sins.7 God’s blessings poured out on Abraham and his descendants so that His chosen people could be instrument God blesses the world through. This blessing comes to through nation Israel as blessings to Gentiles. The Israelites relate to other nations through blessing to them. But do not confuse Canaanites and Gentiles. Distinction between Gentiles Canaanites is important as Israelites possess land of Canaan God commands HIS people to annihilate them: 14 Israel is blessed beyond all peoples with no barrenness among them or livestock after 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers obliterated once thriving Jewish towns, none allowed to escape the Roman sword except two men. In 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers led by General Vespasian destroyed this Jewish towns. The untouched ruins are the awful price paid in human terms of Magdala, Gamla, in north suffered same fate as Jerusalem prophesied by Jesus, and Masada. Th commander of Jewish Resistance in Galilee Yosef Bar Mattityahu escaped slaughter in Yodfat became historian Flavius Josephus. He wrote 4 books to fill in historical gaps from 0-100 CE/AD like New Testament. Standard text of His Antiquities XV111, 63 contains the most famous passage:06850-2

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man achiever of extraordinary deeds was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks as Messiah. Indicted by principal men and Pilate condemned Him crucified, who came to love Him did not cease to do so; for He appeared on third day restored to life, as prophets of God foretold these countless marvelous things about Him. Tribe of Christians named after Him did not disappear to this day. At Passover we rehearse Exodus 12. “And   they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on lintel of the houses where they eat it. I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and will strike all the first born in the land…Now the blood shall be for you a sign……when I see the blood, I will pass over you…Keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations…Exodus 12:7,12,13. Those believe instructions of Moses obeyed and took action by putting blood of the lamb on door posts and lentils of their humble homes, not all did. Obedience of God after long journey, nation of Israel was born at Sinai and given her Charter of Rights; The Ten Commandments. Let all Christians who say they worship Jesus, LISTEN and OBEY his warnings and admonitions. Remember when you are blessed, you are blessed through Israel, chosen and called to walk  before you. Christians are grafted into Christ true olive tree. Israelis saved love God and Jesus’ truth revealed. Jesus returns their first born son and Messiah. “And I will pour on the house of David and on inhabitants of Jerusalem Spirit of grace and supplication: so they shall look upon Me whom they pierced. Yes they will mourn for Him as grieving for a firstborn…Zechariah 12:10. No one can say to the other’ I have no need of you…1 Corinthians 12:21. So Christians pray for willingness to see Jesus through His roots in Jewish people and in His home-Land, Israel. Do not be high minded but fear God …Romans 11;19  Jews and Christians pray for each other so grateful for the millions of dear believing Jews and Christians. Jew and Gentiles grow in wisdom understanding and favour with God and man. So pray and ask LORD God to help during season of Jesus’ Sacrifice. 15 The LORD protects from sickness and will not experience the terrible diseases known in Egypt instead God inflicts it on all those who hate you. 16 You must destroy all people whom the LORD your God is about to deliver over to you so do not pity them or worship their gods for that is snare to you in Deuteronomy 7:14-16. Book of Deuteronomy talks of treatment of Gentiles and of Canaanites by God. To distinguished Gentiles from Canaanites HIS instructions to Israel is to confront people and cities possessing the land of Canaan. Canaanites lived in the nearby cities but Gentiles lived at a distance: 10 When you a approach city to wage war against it, offer it terms of peace. 11 If it accepts terms and submits to you all the people in it become your slaves. 12 If do not accept terms of peace to make war with you lay siege to it. 13 The Lord God will deliver it over to you and you must kill every single male by the sword. 14 The women, little children, cattle all else in city plunder for yourselves as a spoil. Take from enemies so plunder what the LORD your God gives you. 15 You are to deal with all cities located far from you that do not belong to the nearby nations. 16 Cities the LORD God gives you as inheritance do not allow a single living thing to survive. 17 Instead you utterly annihilate them, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites as the LORD your God commands you, 18 So not to teach you abhorrent ways to worship gods so causing you to sin against the LORD God in Deuteronomy 20:10-18God ordered annihilation of Canaanites not for living nearby but because of idolatory. Those Canaanites contaminated them with sin so had to be exterminated. Idolatry sin plunged them into depths of depravity like Sodom and Gomorrah so children, animals contaminated to be destroyed.8 Jews after victory became complacent, arrogant, self-righteous, despising the Gentiles. Eager to see all Gentiles perish, as Jonah wanted Ninevites destroyed so opposed extension of God’s grace to the Gentiles an attitude that persisted in the New Testament times:israele-today“We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners in Galatians 2:15. This is not attitude of unbelieving Jews, its deeply embedded in the hearts of the apostles, seen from Peter’s resistance to Gentile’s home in Acts 10 and reaction of fellow-apostles to preach gospel to them.9. The Old Testament, New Testament Gospels, Acts, Jews made no distinction between Canaanites pagan or Gentiles. The Jews lumped Gentiles as not deserving God’s blessings. Self-righteous arrogance the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable in Luke 189 Jesus told parable to some confident more righteous so look down on others. 10 “Two men in the temple prayed, one a Pharisee and other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee: ‘God, I thank you I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers or like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tenth of everything I get.’ 13 The tax collector, stood far off, would not look up to heaven beat his chest and said, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you this man went home justified than the Pharisee. All who exalt self will be humbled, but who humbles self is exalted in Luke 18:9-14. Jew and Gentile must acknowledge they are unworthy sinners made righteous by salvation in Christ. Paul’s words in Romans 2 says Jews more responsible and accountable to God because of greater knowledge of Old Testament Scriptures. And so Paul’s attitude after conversion on the road to Damascus changes his pride, arrogance in Philippians 3:1-6 to humility, sinner, saved by grace alone: 12 Grateful to God strengthening him in Christ Jesus our Lord, because considered faithful as put in ministry, 13 though once blasphemer persecutor, arrogant treated with mercy acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 LORD’S grace abundant, brings faith and love in Christ Jesus. 15 Trustworthy so deserves full acceptance for Christ Jesus came in the world to save sinners and the worst of them! 16 Was treated with mercy: so as the worst, Christ Jesus demonstrates His utmost patience, as an example for those going to believe in Him for eternal life in 1 Timothy 1:12-16Paul himself as chosen vessel for salvation he a devout Jew and example as “chief of sinners,” completely unworthy of salvation. God saved him to show ones like him could be saved. No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Paul is a trophy, not of self-righteous works but divine grace. God arranged Abraham and his descendants be a blessing to the whole world.img_2436-01

Law Provides: Gentile Converts

In law of Moses, God made provision for foreigners who embraced Israel’s faith to worship with the Israelites. So before Israelites left Egypt, God’s instructions says foreigner could participate in the observance of the Passover: 48 “When a foreigner lives with you and wants to observe Passover to the LORD, all his males must be circumcised, approach and observe it, and he will be like one born in the land but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 This law applies to native-born or foreigners living with you in Exodus 12:48-49.10 The foreigner wants to participate in celebration of Passover can be circumcised to enter a covenant relation with Israel’s God. It is not physical circumcision an issue it is a circumcised heart that matters most to God. It is important to distinguish God’s inclusiveness to draw unbelievers to church inviting them to participate in worship and ministry. God provides a way Gentiles enter Israel’s worship but participation requires Gentiles to fully embrace by faith the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus as the one TRUE God, the Creator of all things, God alone. One cannot participate in Israel’s worship without first embracing Israel’s faith in God. It is not surprising God permitted foreigners to participate in celebration of Jewish holidays as Feast of Booths:9 Moses wrote down law given to the Levitical priests, who carry ark of the Lord’s covenant, and all Israel’s elders. 10 He commanded them: “At the end of 7 years appointed time of cancellation of debts, at Feast of Temporary Shelters, 11 when all Israel appears before the LORD your God in the place HE chooses, you must read law before them to their hearing. 12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, the resident foreigners in your villages so they hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who have not known this law will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God for as long as you live in land by crossing the Jordan to possess in Deuteronomy 31:9-13. The foreigners invited together with Israel hear reading of law learn to fear God. In the law, God instructs Israel concerning sacrifices, sin offering, atonement of sin for unintentional sins of Israel and for unintentional sins of the foreigners who embraced Him as their God: 22 “‘If you sin unintentionally and do not observe commandments spoken to Moses 23 all the LORD commands by the authority of Moses from day the LORD commanded Moses and your future generations 24 if anything done unintentionally without knowledge of the community, the whole community must prepare a young bull burnt offering for pleasing aroma to the LORD with grain and drink offering, a male goat for purification offering. 25 The priest makes atonement for whole community of Israel to be forgiven, if it was unintentional brought offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD, their purification offering before the LORD, for their unintentional offense. 26 And whole community of Israelites, the resident foreigner who lives among them will be forgiven, since all people involved in unintentional offense’” in Numbers 15:22-26Contact with people of God results in faith of Gentiles.11 For some of Egyptians believed and entered into God’s blessings with Israelites. At the time of the exodus, some Egyptians feared word of Moses, saved their cattle, and midwives saved the male born sons while others did not.12 Some attached themselves to Israelites, accompanying them to the Promised Land. Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin superceding the annual sacrifice of sheep and goats.hqdefault (1)

13Israelites first entered land of Canaan, along with foreigners worshiping God in 2 groups: half on Mount Gerizim half on Mount Ebal as Moses instructed in Deuteronomy 27:1-8:30. So Joshua built altar LORD God of Israel on Mount Ebal, 31 as Moses, LORD’s servant commands Israelites. Moses said, make altar with uncut stones untouched by iron tool, offered burnt sacrifices and sacrificed tokens of peace. 32 In the presence of Israelites, Joshua inscribed on stones a duplicate of the law written by Moses. 33 All the people, rulers, leaders, judges standing on either side of the ark, in front of Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of Lord. Both resident foreigners, native Israelites were there. Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim, other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses LORD’s servant instructed to do for a blessing ceremony. 34 Joshua read aloud all the words of the law, including blessings or curses, written in law scroll. 35 Joshua read commandments Moses gave before whole assembly of Israel, women, and children, resident foreigners who lived among them in Joshua 8:30-35. Temple built to facilitate prayers and worship of both Israelites and Gentiles. I find it interesting Solomon dedicated temple to facilitated prayers and worship of the Israelites. A place of prayer for Gentiles to worship God of Israel: 41 Foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 42 When they hear great reputation and ability to accomplish mighty deeds, they will come and direct prayers towards this temple. 43 God listened from heavenly dwelling place and answer all prayers of foreigners and all nations of earth acknowledge your reputation, obey you do to people of Israel recognize this temple I built belongs to you in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament prophets spoke of Coming of Messiah as a source of blessing for the world, and not just for Jews alone: No foreigner who is a follower of the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will certainly exclude me from His people.’ Eunuch should not say, ‘Look, I am like dried-up tree. 4 This is what the Lord says: “The eunuchs who observe MY Sabbaths and chooses to please ME and faithful to MY covenant, 5 I will set up in MY temple as MY walls monument better than sons, daughters. I set up permanent monument for them that remains. 6 As foreigners become followers of the LORD and serve HIM, love name of the LORD as HIS servants, observe Sabbath so not defile it, faithful to MY covenant 7 I will bring them to MY Holy Mountain make them happy in temple where people pray to ME. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices accepted on MY altar, for MY temple known as the temple all nations pray in Isaiah 56:3-7. Our Lord was disturbed by way temple misused in His time to exclude Gentiles: 12 Jesus enters temple area and drove out all those who selling and buying in the temple courts, and turned over tables of money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said, “It is written, ‘My house is called house of prayer but turned into den of robbers Matthew 21:12-13. And Isaiah and prophets said salvation of all Gentiles is through Coming Messiah: 1 “Arise! Shine! As your light arrives! The splendour of the LORD shines on you! 2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers nations the LORD shines on you; HIS splendour appears over you. 3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:1-318 “I hate deeds thought, so coming to gather nations, ethnic groups will come witness My splendour. 19 I will perform a mighty act among them send all who remain to nations to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, Javan distant coastlands who did not hear or see my splendour. To tell nations of my splendour. 20 They will bring all your countrymen from all nations as offering to the LORD. They will bring them on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, on camels to MY HOLY Hill Jerusalem,” says the LORD, as Israelites bring offerings to the LORD’s temple in pure containers. 21 And I will choose some as priests and Levites,” says the LORD. 22 “As the new heavens and the new earth I am about to make will remain standing before me,” says the Lord, so your descendants and your name will remain. 23 From one month to next, from one Sabbath to next, all people will come to worship me,” says the LORD (Isaiah 66:18-2321 Divide land for yourselves among the tribes of Israel. 22 Allot it inheritance among yourselves and for foreigners who reside among you who fathered sons among you. Treat them as native-born among people of Israel; they will be allotted inheritance with you among tribes of Israel. 23 Whatever tribes the foreigner resides in there you give him his inheritance,” declares the sovereign Lord in Ezekiel 47:21-23.img_2436-01

Jews A Light to Gentiles, World

Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:1-3 says nation Israel is a source of blessing to Gentiles. Israel is called to be a “light to the Gentiles but because Israel failed to accomplish this mission so our Lord came in the flesh to fulfill that mission. Israel’s purpose is to be a “light to the Gentiles in definition in Isaiah 58. So 6 this is kind of fast God wants to remove sinful chains, to tear away ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free oppressed, to break burdensome yokes. 7 To share food with the hungry to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Do not turn back on own flesh and blood! 8 Then your light will shine like sunrise; your restoration quickly arrives; your Godly behavior will go before you, and the LORD’s splendour will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call out, and the LORD will respond; you will cry out and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’ Remove the burdensome yoke from you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully. 10 You must help the hungry and feed the oppressed so your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed to noonday. 11 The LORD will continually lead you; HE will feed you in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength like a well-watered garden a spring continually producing water. 12 Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; you will reestablish the ancient foundations. You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls, the one who makes the streets inhabitable again in Isaiah 58:6-12.14

Israel’s “fasting” ritualistic observances an offense to God because heart of true worship was lacking. First chapter of Isaiah said Israel continued to perform religious rituals practiced and failed to defend orphans or care for widows.15 True fasting not a temporary period of self-denial unbridled self-indulgence, true fasting is love for God and love for one’s neighbour. True fasting seeks the liberation of those in bondage including oppression by men and bondage to sin. True fasting not denying self food for a time without bread given to someone in desperate need of it. Its to deny oneself empty self for Holy Spirit of God to take over.16 Sabbath is kind of fast set aside the pursuit of personal pleasure to have time to delight in the LORD.17 Caring for poor and oppressed not Old Testament obligation: Pure and undefiled religion before Father God is to care for orphans and widows in misfortune, keep oneself unstained by the world in James 1:27.

Old/New Testament Evangelism

Evangelism in the Old Testament from evangelism and New Testament is: Old Testament evangelism says, Come and New Testament evangelism says, “Go.” 3 Nations come to your light kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:318 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Remember, I am with you always to the end of age in Matthew 28:18-20. In the New Testament Jesus invites sinners to come to Him for their salvation.18 in Old Testament, Jonah is commanded to go preach to Gentiles. In Old Testament Gentiles joined Israelites as Rahab and Ruth did by prophets in Israel as Naaman the leper did, came to Jerusalem and temple Solomon built in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament lesson, is Gentiles drawn to land of Israel, blessed find favour with God. So Old Testament law facilitated Gentile evangelism by making Israel the haven for foreigners.

Law Says Israel’s Light Bearing

Old Testament law includes foreigners among Israelites shown charity. When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave themfor the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 23:22In Leviticus 19, the Israelites were instructed to love their fellow-Israelites: “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord in Leviticus 19:18. In Leviticus 19, Israel commanded to love foreign neighbours as themselves: 33 When a foreigner resides with you in your land,you must not oppress him. 34 The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 19:33-34. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 in the light of both of these texts. The lawyer seeks to put Jesus to the test by asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by asking this lawyer what the law required, to which he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” in Luke 10:27. The lawyer ill at ease seeks way out asking Jesus to define term “neighbour as Leviticus 19:18 but Jesus pressed further, to the definition of Leviticus 19:33-34. So his neighbour was in need, or a foreigner like Samaritan. Fellow-Jews in great need so act neighbourly to enemies so Old Testament allowed Israelites to minister to needy Gentiles as required. The foreigner is vulnerable members of society, widows and orphans so widow without husband so defend, protect her, provide for her and orphans, parents, and foreigner with no legal standing or rights, vulnerable in distant lands. Old Testament law, this should not have been the case for a foreigner who lived in Israel. The law assured foreigners the same legal standing as the Israelite:

Both a foreigner and native citizen, I am the LORD your God says Leviticus 24:22. 19.16 You judges pay attention to issues of fellow citizens, judge fairly with one citizen or another resident foreigner. 17 Do not discriminate in judgment, but hear lowly and great not intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If matter adjudicated too difficult bring to me for hearing in Deuteronomy 1:16-17Gentiles come to faith “coming,” to Israel Old Testament draws Gentiles to faith not drive away as unworthy heathens. If obeyed, draws Gentiles to Israel and to faith if people of God live in obedience to God’s law so prosper: 1 “If you indeed obey the LORD your God and careful to observe commandments given you today the LORD your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come to you in abundance if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. 4 Your children will be blessed, as well as the produce of your soil, the offspring of your livestock, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The LORD will cause your enemies who attack you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction but flee from you in seven different directions. 8 The LORD will decree blessing in your barns and in everything you do, HE will bless you in the land HE is giving you. 9 The LORD designates HIS Holy people as promised you, if you keep HIS commandments to obey HIM. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see you belong to the LORD, and they will respect you. 11 The LORD will greatly multiply your children, the offspring of your livestock, and produce of your soil in the land HE promised your ancestors to give you. 12 The LORD will open HIS good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 13 The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be up at the top and not at bottom, if you obey commandments urging you today to be careful to do. 14 Do not turn from all commandments I am giving you today, to the right or left or pursue other gods to worship them in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.

If Israel lived in obedience to God’s law, He promised to bless them greatly. An obedient people means a prosperous land. In the law, God commanded the Israelites to set aside some abundance to minister to needs of poor, Gentiles foreigners poor. Gentiles will be safe, secure in land of Israel not oppressed or victimized, as immigrants in the world. The law required Israel treat foreigners with respect and as people with same civil rights. Israel like all nations to be a place of prosperity, generosity, safety to Gentiles gravitated. Those who “came” to Israel and found salvation like Rahab, the harlot, believed God was with Israel. She joined Israel not own people saved physically and spiritually.20 Ruth too came to faith in the God of Israel, and thus attached herself to Naomi and her people.21And then there was Naaman, the leper, who was also the commander of the Syrian army. He came seeking a cure for leprosy and left believer in God of Israel.22  Naaman did not remain in Israel but returned to Syria, took some Israelite soil with him.23 Gentiles who attached themselves to David like Uriah the Hittite in Israel, married an Israelite woman, one of David’s most competent and trusted warriors.24 Other Gentiles attached themselves to David.25One is favourite one Ittai the Gittite:.19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come with us? Go and stay with new king, for you are a foreigner and exile from your own country. 20 It seems you arrived yesterday, today should I make you wander around by going with us? I go where I go. But you go back and take your men with you. May genuine loyal love protect you!” 21 But Ittai replied to king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord king is, whether dead or alive I will be as well!” 22 So David said to Ittai, “Come along.” So Ittai the Gittite went along, accompanied by all his men and dependents with him (2 Samuel 15:19-22.

Like Ruth, Ittai the Gittite remains with David not desert him. David made Ittai the Gittite commander of one-third of his forces going out against Absalom.26. A Gentile came to Israel as queen Sheba, recorded in 1 Kings 10, not poor and not oppressed woman of great means heard of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth drawn to Israel into Jerusalem: The queen of Sheba heard fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions in 1 Kings 10:1Solomon an exceedingly wise man, whose wisdom came from the LORD.27 Queen of Sheba presented difficult questions to Solomon, wisdom in responss surpassed reports that drew her to Jerusalem in the first place, she acknowledged work of God in his life: 6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight was true! 7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear half the story! Your wisdom and wealth surpass report to me. 8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 10 She gave the king 120 talents of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched (1 Kings 10:6-10).

Conclusion

God set Abraham and offspring Israel apart for blessing so a source of blessing to the nations. God did not set Israel apart to save Jews but send them to rest the world. Israel sey apart is blessed so in turn become a channel of blessing to the nations. Salvation of Gentile, Rahab, Ruth, Naaman, and other Gentiles not meant to be viewed exception. Drawing Gentiles to Israel to faith is the rule not exception. God did not call Israel into existence to be a “reservoir”of all God’s blessings, to store it for themselves and share sparingly at their discretion. So Israel is a “river” of God’s blessings to pass through His chosen people to the other nations. Jesus condemns all those purposed to build bigger barns to hoard God’s blessings; so become distribution channels for gospel to be conveyed to those perishing. 16 He told a parable: “The land of certain rich man produced an abundant crop, 17 so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This night your life will be demanded from you, but who will get what you prepared yourself?’ 21 So it is with all who stores up riches for self, but not rich toward God in Luke 12:16-21.28 Like Israel of old, we are not owners of God’s blessings but stewards of God’s blessings. Do not hoard God’s blessings,29 bury them,30 or sell them for profit.31 We are to give freely.32 To do otherwise of all God entrusts to us is deceive ourselves we are blessed so we are better deserving than others. God’s blessings are the manifestation of His grace not of our goodness. The Christian life is relay race to pass the baton on in order to win. A runner sprinting ahead of his competitors passes baton to next member of his team. The only way to win race is to pass on blessings God has entrusted to us. The blessings of God are not for the elite, but for those who are in great need and know it. Jesus was criticized for associating with sinners than catering to elite, His response was simple and direct: 11 When Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard this he said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are sick do. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners in Matthew 9:11-13. Queen of Sheba was drawn to Israel to observe wisdom of Solomon for herself, most came to Israel in desperate need.and they knew it. God’s law made special provision for weakest, neediest, most vulnerable segment of society: widows, orphans, and foreigners. Focus on the foreigners is a matter of heated debate in countries displacing them. Millions of dollars raised in America and elsewhere to foreign missionaries to places so they proclaim the gospel. If leading to faith in Christ lead fellow-countrymen too to faith as well and the foreign students. If those who came to the U.S. as students met Jesus Christ as Saviour through the witness of faithful Christians who reach out during their stay tudents separated from home, families and culture often curious learn about American culture, and religious beliefs. Open door families in our church with volunteers working with International Students. There are opportunities for many more to build relationships with foreign students. So Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, states near Mexico after destruction of twin towers in New York City on 9/11, feelings run strong about problem of immigrants. No simple political or legal solutions for problem but confident the vast majority of visitors, peace-loving people wish to provide a livelihood for themselves and their families, greatest need is a Saviour. Foreigners in our country are a field “ripe for harvest,”33  Old Testament law instructs we should respond to them and needs. As light to our neighbours involves sharing good news of Jesus Christ. Need for a Saviour is man’s greatest need so meeting this need, address physical needs of those hungry or poorly clothed. Care for their physical needs open door for meeting greatest need. Jesus preached gospel; He fed hungry and healed sick. We should do no less. We pray God strengthens us to obey Him and help our neighbours in Jesus Name to Glory of God. Gentiles in turn bless Israel applying golden rule of loving one another. The Jews and Arabs living side by side in Israel since 1978 as a small community of Wahat al-Salam, Neve Shalom – meaning “oasis of peace” was founded by 4 families of Jews and Arabs on a hill-top between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In pioneering experiment peaceful co-existence within long-term Middle East conflict. Four decades on, it is now home to more than 60 families. 2 long-standing residents, are called Nava Sonnenschein and Daoud Boulus, spoke to share their experiences.


1 Genesis 12:1-3

2 Descendants of Abraham is modern Israel, share Bible, print unlimited copies, give free to others. It is available on the Internet at: www.netbible.org.

3 Deuteronomy 7:14. & Romans 9:6-29, Paul emphasizes the fact that God did not choose to bless all of Abraham’s descendants, but only some of those children of promise.

4 See Deuteronomy 7:6-8; 9:4-6; 26:1-10; Joshua 24:14-15; Amos 5:25-26; 2 Kings 17:40.

5 See Deuteronomy 9:7-29.

6 See this same principle applied in 1 Corinthians 4:6ff.

7 See Genesis 15:12-17; Leviticus 18:24-28;Deuteronomy 9:4-6.

8  Isaiah 28:21 God’s delight, seeks to save lost sinners Exodus 34:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9). Compassion on children and animals (Jonah 4:11).

9 See Acts 11:1-3 and note their apparent surprise that God was now “suddenly and unexpectedly” saving Gentile sinners (11:18).

10 See also Numbers 9:14.

11 Rahab, Ruth, and Naaman are some of the most obvious.

12 See Exodus 9:20-21.

13 See Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4.

14 I have dealt with Isaiah 58 in much greater detail in this message on bible.org:http://www.bible.org/node/3451

15 See Isaiah 1:10-17.

16 See Isaiah 58:7, 10.

17 See Isaiah 59:13-14.

18 See Matthew 11:28.

19 In the context, this refers to offenses against God or society such as cursing, blasphemy, murder, and personal injury.

20 See Joshua 2; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25.

21 See Ruth 2:15-18.

22 2 Kings 5:1-19; see also Luke 4:27.

23 2 Kings 5:17.

24 2 Samuel 12:9, 10, 15; 2 Samuel 23:39.

25 Zelek the Ammonite, for example; see 2 Samuel 23:37.

26 2 Samuel 18:2.

27 1 Kings 3:5-13; 4:29-34.

28 I believe “being rich toward God” is, in this context, being rich toward those in need.

29 Luke 12:15-21.

30 Luke 25:18, 24-28.

31 Acts 8:14-24.

32 Matthew 10:8.

33 See John 4:35.

Copyright © 2007 by Community Bible Chapel, 418 E. Main Street, Richardson, TX 75081. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 13 in the Following Jesus in a Me-First World series prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 21, 2007. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. The Chapel believes the material presented herein to be true to the teaching of Scripture, and desires to further, not restrict, its potential use as an aid in the study of God’s Word. Publication of this material is a grace ministry of Community Bible Chapel. Related Topics: Spiritual Life

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GOD’SHOLYCITY MOUNTZION

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Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and temple is different from modern times. Acts 15:16 says God and Messiah Yeshua will build a temple on Temple Mount Zion. God intervenes to choose a people for HIS NAME from Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 “After this Jesus will Return and rebuild David’s fallen tent, Its ruins Jesus will Rebuild and Restore Temple. 17 The rest of mankind will seek the LORD God Yahweh, even all Gentiles who bear MY NAME, says the LORD God Yahweh, WHO does these things’ 18known from long ago. Joel 2:1 says blow the Temple in Mount Zion and announce the coming days of the LORD Yahweh. And Yeshua Rebuilds Mount Zion is significant spiritually as He predicted fall of Temple in His days destroyed, no stone was left standing of that particular Temple. Jesus is Absolutely correct because specific Temple of His day was destroyed.

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Tabernacles constructed by Moses, Bezalel and Oholiab in the wilderness Isaiah 33:20 were brought to Mount Zion as a centre of worship of YAHWEH before the days of Jesus, King David and Solomon’s Temples among the many other previously destroyed Temples. Isaiah 33:20. Look upon Zion, the City of our solemn gatherings; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a peaceful habitation, a tent that shall not be removed, the stakes whereof shall never be plucked up, neither shall any of the cords be broken. Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established at top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 Many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob and He will teach us His ways and walk in His paths.’ Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

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Jeremiah 50:4 In those days and in that time says the LORD, the children of Israel shall come with their children and Judah together; they shall go on their way weeping, and shall seek the Lord their God. 5 They shall inquire concerning Zion with joy on their faces saying ‘Come and join yourselves to the LORD in everlasting Covenant that shall not be forgotten.’ 6 My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting-place. The real Chabod Shekinah Glory of the LORD Yahweh will reappear again on Mount Zion because God Chooses to do so. Isaiah 4:5 And the Lord will create over the whole habitation of mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and shining of flaming fire by night for all the Glory shall be canopy. 6 There shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert from storm and from rain.

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Another significant event in history of Israel is conquest of Jericho led by Joshua. The walls of Jericho falling down, recorded in Joshua 6:1-27 by God’s miracle power. Destruction of Jericho regains their inheritance on return from captivity in Egypt. The people of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan in Joshua 3:14 -17 back to their land of milk and honey God promised Abraham over 500 years in Deuteronomy 6:3, 32:49. After forty years in wilderness desert of Sinai the people of Israel arrived on eastern banks of the Jordan. To take land of Canaan back they started from the city of Jericho in Joshua 6:1 from the walled city. Excavations reveal fortifications featured a stone wall 11 feet high and 14 feet wide with smooth stone slope, angling upward at 35 degrees for 35 feet, joined to massive stone high walls. It was virtually impregnable so ancient warfare used assault or surrounded city and people starved into submission. Invaders weakened the stone walls with fire, tunneling, heap up mountain of earth to serve as a ramp methods of assault took weeks or months, and the attacking force usually suffered heavy losses. Strategy used to conquer city of Jericho was unique as laid out by God for people to march silently around Jericho six days on seventh day march seven day with a loud shout. When people shouted, the walls collapsed and Israel won the victory. God restored the city of Jericho to them im Joshua 6:2, 16. Ancient_Jerusalem_Map-01People of God by faith, followed the commands of God so walls of Jericho fell down in Joshua 6:20. In Isaiah 4:5, Chabod or Glory of the LORD, Cloud or pillars of smoke and fire in wilderness shows Presence of God to reassure the children of Israel on their way to Canaan Land out of Egypt. The issue of location is now a major issue and conflict. Yet like any other old cities rebuilt or renamed over the centuries, there is bound to be mix ups of vital details and information lost in translation. Isaiah 34:8 For the Lord hath a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. So Isaiah 66:1 says, Thus saith the Lord: the heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool; where is the house that ye may build unto Me? And where is the place that may be My resting-place? Zechariah 8:2 ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great fury. 3 Thus saith the LORD: I return to Zion, and will Dwell in the midst of Jerusalem and Jerusalem shall be called City of Truth Holy mountain of LORD of hostsmountzionmap

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and with a strange tongue shall it be spoken to this people; 12 To whom it was said: ‘This is the rest, give ye rest to the weary; and this is the refreshing’; yet they would not hear. Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk in it. Isaiah 27:12 In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. 13 That day a Great Trumpet will Sound and those perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship LORD on Holy mountain in Jerusalem.

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God Chose Zion HIS desired Habitation in Scripture states many times Zion is correct Temple location. The following passages make clear mention of this and many more verses apart from these cited here can be examined to maintain the same point. The first Psalm of King David as follows says: Psalm 132:1, LORD, remember David and all his sufferings. 2 He swore an oath to the LORD, he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: 3 “I will not enter my house or go to my bed, 4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, 5 till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” 6 We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar. 7 Let us go to HIS Dwelling place, let us worship at HIS footstool saying, 8 Arise, LORD and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might clothe your priests your righteousness; may your faithful people sing for joy.'” 10 For the sake of your servant David, do not reject your anointed one. The whole City of Jerusalem is called tha City of David not just his palace, courtyards and garden grounds or altar built in a Tent for Yahweh. During conquest of Jebusite stronghold Zion now called Jerusalem, Joab the Chief Captain expanded City of David upwards to Millo near rest of the city. And Chief Captain built and repaired  ruins damaged by conquerors who took people into exiles. Solomon built his Temple, palaces, gardens on expanded to the Temple Mount area in the City of David.

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11 The LORD Swore Oath to David, a sure Oath HE will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne. 12 If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever.” 13 For the LORD has CHOSEN Zion, HE has desired it for his dwelling, saying, 14 This is My Resting place forever and ever; here I will Sit Enthroned for I desire it.15 I will bless her with abundant provisions her poor I will satisfy with food.16 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. 17 Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. 18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown. Isaiah 24:23, The moon shall be confounded and sun ashamed for the LORD of hosts will Reign in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, before HIS elders shall be Glory. Psalm 48:2, Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised in the City of our God, His Holy mountain, 3 Fair in situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion the uttermost parts of the north, the City of the Great KING. God in HIS palaces made Himself known as a stronghold. Psalm 87:1 A Psalm of the sons of Korah sang: His foundation is in Holy mountain.2 The LORD loves gates of Zion more than all dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of City of God. zion_fleming

Obadiah 1:17, In Mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be Holy; and the house of Jacob Israel shall possess their possessions. Joel 3:5, And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as the LORD said among remnant whom the Lord shall call. Joel 4:16 And the Lord shall roar from Zion,and utter His voice from Jerusalem and the heavens and earth shall shake; but the Lord will be a refuge unto His people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be Holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21And I will hold innocent their blood that I have not held as innocent, the LORD Dwells in Zion.

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Deuteronomy 12:1 These are the statutes and the ordinances, which ye shall observe to do in the land which the Lord, the God of thy fathers, hath given thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. 2 Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree. 3 And ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of that place. 4 Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God. 5 But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come; 6 and thither ye shall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill-offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 7there shall eat before the LORD your God and you shall rejoice in all you put your hand to and your household the LORD your God has blessed you.

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Psalm 87:2-3 says, The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of the City of God.”  Zion is synonymous with city of God, and it is a place that God loves. Zion is Jerusalem. Mount Zion is the high hill on which David built a citadel. It is on the southeast side of the city. The word Zion occurs over 150 times in the Bible. It essentially means “fortification” and has the idea of being “raised up” as a “monument.” Zion is described both as the city of David and the city of God. As the Bible progresses, the word Zion expands in in spiritual meaning so Zion and Jerusalem refer to the same City, indicating physical and spiritual location of the HOLY City. The word Zion means ‘marked’ as ‘distinctive’ with inner qualities distinguishing Jews as Chosen ‘people who dwell in covenant with God’s unique spiritual traits, terms and conditions.

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The first mention of Zion in the Bible is in 2 Samuel 5:7, “David captured the fortress of Zion to build the City of David.” Zion originally ancient Jebusite fortress in the City of Jerusalem. After David’s conquest of the fortress, Jerusalem became a possession of Israel. The royal palace was built there and Zion Jerusalem became the seat of power in Israel’s kingdom. When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, meaning of Zion City expanded further to include the temple area in Psalm 2:6, 48:2, 11:12, 232:13. In the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:6, “Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.” In  Isaiah 40:9, Old Testament Zion name for the City of Jerusalem includes the land of Judah according to Jeremiah 31:12. The nation of Israel as a whole is called Zion in Zechariah 9:13. The word Zion in theology in a spiritual sense in Scripture means figuratively to Israel as the people of God in Isaiah 60:14. In New Testament, Zion is God’s spiritual KINGDOM for believers to come “to Mount Zion and to the City of the living God in the heavenly Jerusalem as stated in Hebrews 12:12. Peter, said quoting Isaiah 28:16, Christ is Cornerstone of Zion: “See, I lay a Stone in Zion chosen precious Cornerstone and one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame in 1 Peter 2:6.

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Mount Zion as a geographical area currently is a center of dispute. The Bible is clear, one day, Zion will be the Sole Possession of the Lord Jesus and Zion the nation and City will be restored. “Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion, Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments O Jerusalem, the HOLY City for the spiritually uncircumcised unclean will no longer come into you says Isaiah 52:1. The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you and all who despise you will bow down at your feet and call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel according to Isaiah 60:14. Isaiah 34:8 For the Lord hath a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the controversy of ZionDavid’s declaration in 1 Chronicles 22:1, says David in the Psalms state Zion is for God as the reserved place where the LORD God would dwell. The temple was located at Zion from time David brought the Ark into Jerusalem until they took it to temple on Mount Moriah. The Temple belonged at Zion but due to wars fought by David Ark was often hidden in secret locations in Scripture as Mount Zion the highest point of elevation than Mount Moriah.

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In 2 Samuel 6:16 And it was so, as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in ark of the Lord and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord. Nahmanides in Jerusalem In the year 1322 Estori Farhi was in Jerusalem; and his “Kaftor wa-Ferah” (ch. vi.) gives archeological description of city (Eng. transl. in “Itinerary” of Benjamin of Tudela, ii. 393; German, in Zunz, “G. S.” ii. 268). According to Farhi, Jerusalem was three parasangs long. He mentions the entrance to the Cave of Hezekiah (B. K.16b), within the walls of Jerusalem to the north; the tent erected by David for Ark, in a place called “David’s Temple,” south of Mt. Moriah (comp. “Yihus ha-Abot,” p. 25); northwest of this was a place where a synagogue and the Jewish quarter (see David b. Zimrah, Responsa, No. 633). The city of Jerusalem is, according to him, higher than Mt. Moriah and higher than the synagogue.

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In 2 Samuel 5:4-9 King David takes stronghold of mount Zion where he was mocked that the blind and lame shall not come in there. The spiritually blind and lame cannot come into the HOUSE of God metamorphoricaly speaking. All must know God for themselves and His Words in Scripture. 1 Chronicles 11:4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem the same is Jebus and Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, were there. 5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David: ‘Thou shalt not come in hither.’ Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David. 6 And David said: ‘Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain.’ And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was made chief. 7 David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore they called it the city of David. 8And he built the city round about, from Millo even round about; and Joab repaired the rest of the city. Isaiah 33:5 the Lord is exalted, for He dwelleth on high; He hath filled Zion with justice and righteousness. The House of God will stand at the HOLY site that is most suited for prayer as it is written: “God’s Eyes are opened towards HIS HOUSE night and day, towards the place HIS NAME IS, to HEAR the prayer Your servant will pray toward this place. And You shall hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel that they will pray toward this place.” Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the City of our solemn gatherings your eyes shall see Jerusalem a Peaceful Habitation, a tent shall not be removed, the stakes shall never be plucked up, neither shall the cords be broken ever again.

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This information locates Zion to conclude though previous temples located at Zion were destroyed, 2 Samuel 5:8 refers to a landmark water shaft. “Water shaft” is rendered “quarry tunnel stretching beside Temple for washing and purification required” in the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh. Scripture notes other landmarks located with certainty today to establishes the western boundary of the City of David in ancient times is the water channel built by King Hezekiah. And in 2 Chronicles 32:30, Hezekiah stopped the upper spring waters of Gihon and brought them straight down on the western side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of messenger of good tidings, that announce PEACE, the harbinger of good tidings, announces salvation; saying to Zion: ‘Your God Reigns!’ 8 The watchmen lift up their voice, together to sing; for they shall see, eye to eye, the Lord returning to Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10 the LORD has made bare His HOLY ARM in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

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The Millo in this ancient map in Hebrew: המלוא was a place in Jerusalem first mentioned in 2 Samuel 5:9 and in Chronicles and Kings. It is part of the expansion of the City of David built by the Jebusites before conquest by David with Joab and Israelites. Joab specifically expanded David’s City into Millo nearby Solomon’s Temple. Millo was rebuilt and repaired by Solomon. There is archaeological and historical site of Millo from ancient Israel  and ruins of Millo as Stepped Stone Structure uncovered by  Kathleen Kenyon and Eilat Mazar connected Millo to the recently discovered large stone structure. Excavation by Eilat Mazar directly above the Stepped Stone Structure shows this structure connects and supports the large Stone Structure. Mazar presents evidence that the Large Stone Structure was an Israelite royal palace in continuous use from tenth century as part of a single, massive royal palace. This biblical reference to Millo as the House of Millo in II Kings 12:21 and II Chronicles 24:25 was the place where King Joash lived until 799 BC. Millo is derived from “fill” in Hebrew milui). The stepped stone support structure is built of fills. In Samuel, Millo is mentioned as the boundary of King David’s construction while building up the City of David after capture of Jerusalem from Jebusites. Millo is translated literally as Landfill or supporting terraces.

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Hezekiah’s repair of the Millo is mentioned in repairs to military fortifications, and several scholars agree connection to military tower citadel or significant part of a wall. It was embankment flattened slope between Ophel and the Temple Mount. Isaiah 46:13 God brings near HIS righteousness not far off and HIS salvation shall not delay and WILL place salvation in Zion for Israel HIS Glory. Amos 9:11 In that day GOD WILL I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom and all nations, upon whom My NAME is called, says the Lord WHO does this. 2 Chronicles 5:2 Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers’ houses of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the City of David in Zion2 Samuel 6:16, As ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord and despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent David pitched for it and David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord. Acts 15:16 After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David which is fallen, and will rebuild its ruins, and will set it up, 17 so that the residue of men may seek out the Lord, and all the nations on whom my name is invoked, saith [the] Lord, who does these things 18 known from eternity.

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Lower Eastern Hill City of David

Mount Zion name of the Jebusite fortified city on the lower part of ancient Jerusalem’s Eastern Hill, known as City of David where he built his palace but Zion extends outwards to include: According to the 2 Samuel Mount Zion the site of the Jebusite fortress called the “stronghold of Zion” that was conquered by King David then renamed and partially rebuilt by him as the “City of David”, where he erected his palace, courtyards. Upper Eastern Hill Temple Mount was First Temples and Tabernacles precede Solomon’s Temple erected at the top of the Eastern Hill on “Mount Zion.” After the conquest of the Jebusite city, its build-up area expanded northward towards uppermost part of the Eastern Hill. The highest point became site of Solomon’s Temple. The identification of pre-Israelite Jebusite and Israelite towns on the Eastern Hill is based on existence of only one perennial water source in the area, the Gihon Spring and archaeological excavations revealing sections of the Bronze Age and Iron Age city walls and water systems. The “Mount Zion” mentioned in Isaiah 60:13- 14 and in Book of Psalms and First Book of Maccabees (c. 2nd century BCE) to refers to top of the hill Temple Mount.

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Western Hill Mount Zion

Natural topography of the old city of Jerusalem and its surroundings. The last shift of the name Mount Zion was to the Western Hill, which is more dominant than the Eastern Hill and seemed to first-century CE Jerusalemites the worthier location for the by-then lost palace of King David. The Western Hill is what today is called Mount Zion. In the second half of the First Temple period, the City expanded westward and its defensive walls were extended to include the entire Western Hill behind them. Transitions have taken place over the years changing boundaries and relocating places of worship when required or forced upon the people because they were banned from the use of a previous Temple or synagogue or church. Nebuchadnezzar 2 destroyed the city almost completely around 586 BCE, erasing the continuity of living historical memory. A long period of rebuilding followed, ending with Jerusalem’s second total destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 CE. And Josephus, a first-century CE historian who knew the city as it was before destruction identified Mount Zion as the Western Hill near the lower, Eastern Hill by Tyropoeon Valley. Josephus used in place of the name “Mount Zion” in his writings, the “Citadel” of King David as being situated on higher and longer hill pointing to the Western Hill as what the Bible calls Mount Zion.
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Modern Political demarcations of Israel clearly show varying contrasts in maps before the time of Jesus and afterwards. Some of the featured sites on today’s maps were non existent in ancient maps of Israel. Whenever there is conquest and wars, the powerful winner takes it all so erases the significant landmarks that remind them of their predecessor’s presence or influence over the people. Every effort is made and no expenses spared to attempt to wipe out all traces of the previous leaders and contributions to the society. Even central places of YAHWEH’S WORSHIP are not spared by the Romans installing their God Zeus in God’s Holy Temple. And Maccabeans fought relentlessly to restore the Temple again and sanctified Holy of Holies to worship God. In the same way, versions of living history often presented from the perspective of victors who vilify victims as the evil perpetrators responsible for all ill. So attempts are made to conceal or eradicate all traces of archeological evidence in favour of victims to deny justice in favour of their cause against oppressive rulers. Heavy bulldozing takes place to demolish land marks and destroy precious artefacts to deny previous existence of victims hounding conscience of oppressors. Even perfectly, useful and sound structures that can last for hundreds of years are demolished to humiliate and punish the victims. In the process treasure and antiquities of sacred value are plundered and sold off to scatter original owners.
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This strategy empowers perpetrators as Nebuchadnezzar who took God’s golden treasures to Babylon used in his palace courts to entertain his governors and officials. Some Holy Sites were turned into dumpsters and toilets for centuries so like searching for a needle in a haystack is an attempt to put together treasures or items to reconstruct exact original structures and contents damaged or destroyed in history. Accurate historical records in the Bible detail the exact descriptions of various Temples and contents designs as architecturally specified by God to Moses or David among others. As a result, many generations of descendants and opposing factions get sucked into perpetual conflict based on their versions of history. Often each side has supporting documents relating to their own perspective with discrepancies over the overall party entitled to sole ownership. Almighty God’s Holy of Holies is not spared by megalomaniac anti-Christs usurping Rightful place of God. By imposing themselves as desolation sacrilege defiling God’s Sanctuary and demanding worship in Dwelling place of YAHWEH in Mount Zion. Since each side is convinced they are absolutely right in their own way so will not compromise, the onus is on God to resolve this matter once and for all. It is for this reason that YAHWEH Chose Mount Zion as HIS PERSONAL PRIVATE LAND AND PROPERTY LOCATION to take it from all those fighting over this tiny space in the whole world. Whenever God is ready to move in for Aliyah HE WILL sooner than later. But like a dying horse kicking hard, anti-Christs put up a fight against Almighty God until HE wipes them all out in Armageddon battle to take back HIS Possession.

JESUS IS THE SAME FOREVER

hebrews-13_8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever says Hebrews 13:8. The Son of God and Saviour of mankind, Chosen by God Rules God’s Kingdom eternally. Jesus is alive and well in heaven so did not evolve into another person and is not reincarnated as anyone else. Jesus is the Lamb of God and Ultimate Sacrifice of humanity. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus disintegrate into an angel, pope or any imposter falsely claiming to be the Messiah Yeshua. The authentic, genuine, original, real Jesus is ALIVE AND WELL and coming back physically to earth to rule forever as God ordained Him to be. Jesus never transitioned into any other form of human being as often taught by many people falsely to deceive them to hell. Jesus accurately predicted after His ascension Alive into heaven, there will be many false Christs deceiving people including even chosen, elect, remnant if they are not discerning. Some refuse to submit to God’s plans and purpose for mankind through Jesus Christ so instead create their own version of faith to lure people away from God. Try to convince people Jesus failed God in completing His assignment on earth to bring perfect peace politically so they replace Jesus in doing so. They wanted a political leader to redeem them from exploitation by unjust tyrants who extorted taxes and banned them from worship. Increased agitation and helplessness against their rulers and leaders who exploited them aggravated them to look for a militant conqueror. Disappointed Jesus did not command armies of heaven to eradicate their enemies. Instead, Jesus told them His Kingdom is not of secular world but God’s Kingdom so failed to understand Jesus’ mission on earth. Hebrews+13_8The oppressed wanted immediate relief from their oppressors so looked for new opportunities in militant Leaders. In doing so, they misunderstood that it was God who allowed those imposters as a part of their demands of permissive will against God in the first place. Did not realise as mankind rejected God as Theocratic Leader of all HIS creation so God let them endure those they chose in place of God. God was angered and so allowed humans to control themselves as long as possible to discover the error. God allowed time for people to have the taste of their own medicine as they now prefer man’s rule over God’s Rule. After many generations of suffering and toil, God heard cries of people and sent help through the prophets, priests, ministers, and appointed elders. Although some do listen and obey them, majority refused to accept Godly instructions. Finally God sent HIS OWN SON JESUS, God’s Heir to throne of David to touch their hearts to repent to accept God’s Rule again. Sadly, many did not take keen interest in Jesus as God intends. After many generations of human leaders, lack of knowledge of God as Direct ruler of mankind seems a strange concept to them. God decided to give freedom of choice to mankind to be the master of their own destiny against HIS WILL. Therefore God gave mankind ‘permission’ to convince themselves that they are better without God’s input. As the years passed, it became clearer that mankind desperately needs God’s help even more than ever before. So God in HIS WISDOM and Compassionate Mercy extends beyond measure LOVE to all HIS faithful, loyal Children, crying to God day and night, interceding to God to redeem world from reckless pain and needless suffering. However, there is a problem as an absolute power corrupts absolutely, humans have tasted power and enjoyed the pecks and privileges of power refuse to renounce the powerful positions to God to take HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE of authority over mankind. This is the ultimate source of all conflict on earth. In the process some religious leaders vying for total control of world exclusively, want to prove they are the real McCoy chosen by God among the others competing for the same position. This is why they try to trace their power to Jesus to try to convince people they are the ‘real Messiah Yeshua’ to rule. So reinforce teaching messages to fool people into thinking they are to rule mankind in place of Jesus. The problem is Jesus is Alive and well in heaven and Coming back soon to earth to Rule. jes003Many other ‘Jesuses’ exist today in order to justify themselves as the new ‘Jesus,’ so try to ‘eliminate’ True Authentic Jesus by telling people that Yeshua Messiah is transformed or reborn as that leader. A closer look shows contradictions and an inability to convince from Bible ideas in line with Testimony of the Word of God. Nowhere in the Bible does God say Jesus will be replaced by another Saviour to come after Jesus Christ. Jesus is Ultimate Sacrifice in heaven waiting on God’s Command to come to earth in Rapture in clouds to save to rescue God’s chosen, faithful and loyal remnants awaiting His Coming soon. Jesus WILL Return physically to set up Eternal Kingdom on earth from Israel. In the meantime, God is giving people the chance to repent, to accept and believe in Jesus to join God’s Kingdom before it is too late. After the Rapture, world descends into chaos of evil unseen before culminating in battle of Armageddon says Psalm 83. So God takes by force, God’s Rightful Rule over mankind forever and ever and God’s Kingdom has no end. Those who refuse to submit to God’s Rule sadly will face God’s judgements and punishments in hell fire. This world is changing fast in line with the word of God in the Bible from Genesis to Revelations prophecies are happening daily in the news. Study the Bible yourself like the Bereans and know the truth for yourself. The Truth you know sets you free in Jesus Name so if leader knows exposed and denounced by genuine truth of God will do not let you discover truth for you to abandon them. So tell you to listen exclusively to them only not to read any other sources of information including the Bible. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light so changes the brainwashed, transformed and renewed to be saved. As the source of income, some cults manipulate them making it difficult and impossible to leave without threats if convinced by Godly Bible Truth. Take note nobody can save you except Jesus Christ. World events are part of bigger picture unfolding and end time reality happenings everyday. Prepare and make informed choice for your own good in Jesus Name. Be reassured the same Jesus alive in heaven EXACTLY is SAME JESUS COMING AGAIN to earth soon even right at the door. Jesus said many people use His name to perform miracle wonders. God is powerful and HIS Words are sharper than two-edged sword working miracle but if motive is wrong God rejects them. Paul said he did not want to lead others to Christ and perish himself so ran the race to win the prize like all other believers. God highly exalted Jesus above all names so at the mention of Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord to the Glory of LORD God Yahweh. The angels told the disciples on Mount Olives, Jesus they saw going into heaven is SAME JESUS CHRIST COMING back to earth on Mount Olives.. 11So Jesus did not, decay, decompose, degenerate, dematerialized, deteriorate, disintegrate, dissolve, fragment, go to pieces, granulate, grinded, interred in God’s memory, melt, molder, perish, powdered, pulverize, putrefy, triturate, tumble into another human being or turned into Archangel Michael. At the sound of trumpets by archangels, Jesus WILL appear with heavenly host brightly for all eyes to see Jesus’ Second Coming to earth. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death but GIFT of God is ETERNAL Life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus conquered death permanently by GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16 says, God so LOVED the world HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON JESUS, WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN JESUS WILL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. Jesus did not resurrect as the woman of the Church of Almighty God cult started in 1990s claims Jesus was resurrected as a woman in China. Chinese authorities frequently crack down on cult members over the years, confiscated computers and books used by cult for recruitment. The Church of Almighty God refused to give a direct response to BBC but refers to its US-based website which contains multiple alleged testimonies of believers tortured by Chinese authorities. So cult’s core belief is Jesus returned to earth as a Chinese woman to wreak apocalypse. The person who claims direct contact with God as founder is former physics teacher, Zhao Weishan, who founded cult 25 years ago and fled to the United States. Jesus is not resurrected into any other person. A born again believer in God does not perish because Spirit lives on but body interred, if well-preserved intact or decays to dust but reawaken at trumpet call. God has enough creation material to make all of mankind, angels, creatures, the earth, sky and firmament. So God does not recycle human life into new beings because of shortage of ingredients. God does not turn dead into another one so makes zillions of each individual since creation and continues to do so. People are unique, one of a kind, God made to display the wonders of God’s MAJESTY. So the Real Jesus is seated at Right Hand of God on Throne in heaven and is Alive forevermore. Paul warns in latter times some will fall away from true faith by paying attention to follow misleading counterfeit teaching of demons says 1 Timothy 4:1. The doctrine of eternal life in Christ means the Spirit of God in man never dies so returns to God after death to join the saints singing before God’s Throne in heaven. Those in Christ alive on earth join Jesus in Rapture teaching supported by Bible. Jesus said: “You will know the truth and the truth sets you free in John 8:32. All who prefer to be asleep, God allows to remain asleep till after 1000 year Reign of Jesus on earth. So gain accurate knowledge of God’s Bible truth and correct teaching of God’s Kingdom principles and practices for growth promotion by faith in Christ in God. Matthew 25:31 says Jesus RETURNS with thousands of angels accompanying Jesus to earth physically a Divine being.  At Second Coming, Christ will descend to Mount Olives in Jerusalem to Reign 1000 years. After ascension He prepares place for you so will come again and in Rapture receive you to be with Jesus in heaven with God. So Acts 1:11 said to the disciples, you men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into Heaven, This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, WILL come back in the same way you saw him ascend to heaven. So they returned to Jerusalem from Mount of Olives in Israel. Jesus has not turned into anyone else so is coming back to earth soon and all eyes will see Jesus Yeshua Messiah on His Return.

THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM

pray_jerusalem_-1God Says, Pray for PEACE of Jerusalem in Isaiah 62:7 to give God NO REST DAY OR NIGHT UNTIL HE MAKES JERUSALEM A CITY OF PRAISE among all nations. Pray this scriptures verses everyday in your daily prayer time for Israel. Pray Isaiah 45:3, Father You are the God of Israel and they are Your people. Isaiah 45:4 You Chose and named Israel so help them to know You. Jeremiah 33:8, Lord, cleanse them from all iniquities and pardon all sins. Isaiah 45:17 God Save Israel with everlasting salvation. Isaiah 45:13 Raise them up in righteousness, and direct all their ways. Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel out of all troubles. Joel 3:16, Be a shelter for Your people, Joel 3:16 and Strength of the children of Israel. Jeremiah 33:9891cab230bfe669e537dfd6fec6d6873 Bring health and healing to them and to their land. Jeremiah 33:6, Reveal Your abundance of peace and truth to them. Ephesians 1:18, Let the eyes of their understanding be enlightened in Jesus Name. Ephesians 1:17, Give them spirit of wisdom and revelation knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 33:9, Let Israel be to You a name of praise and an honour before all the nations on earth. Jeremiah 33:9 so they will Procthem all the good You do for them. So cause fear and trembling among nations because of all the goodness and prosperity You provide for Israel. Joel 2:25, God Restore everything removed from Israel in Jesus Name. Joel 2:19, Send grain, new wine and oil to satisfy them. Proverbs 26:7Pray for the peace of Jerusalem-1Make their enemies to be at PEACE with them so Joel 2:19, not a reproach among the nations. Ezekiel 34:12, Seek out Your sheep and deliver them in Jesus Name as Ezekiel 34:13 says from peoples and countries where they were scattered and bring them to their own land. Psalm 122:6, We pray for PEACE of Jerusalem. Psalm 122:6 and all prosper who love you. Ezekiel 34:25, Lord God cause your enemies to cease from the land. Ezekiel 34:26 Make Israel and the places all around Jerusalem a Blessing. Ezekiel 34:26 cause showers of blessings to come in the right seasons. Ezekiel 34:27 Let Your people dwell safely in the land. Jeremiah 34:17 delivered Israel from trouble from all enemies of the earth. 2Chronicles 7:14, “If My People, Called by My Name Humble themselves, and Pray and Seek My Face and turn from wicked ways then Will I Hear from Heaven and Will Forgive sin and Heal Their Land. Psalm 33:12, Blessed is the Nation whose GOD is the LORD and the people He Chose for His Inheritance. In Proverbs 14:34, its God’s Righteousness that Exalts a Nation but sin is reproach to the people. Psalm 117, O Praise the LORD all nations, Praise God all people. For God’s Merciful Kindness is Great towards us and Truth of GOD Endures Forever. Praise the LORD. Honour the LORD Praise the LORD Forevermore. In Genesis 12:2-3 God Made a Great Nation and Blesses them to Make God’s Name Great and a Blessing. God Blesses all who Bless Israel but Curses all those who curse them. In Israel all families of the Earth are bessed. In Matthew 6:33, Seek First the Kingdom of GOD, and HIS Righteousness and All these things shall be Added unto you. Deuteronomy 28:2-2 it shall come to pass if you LISTEN AND DO diligently Commands from Voice of LORD GOD to observe and do all HIS Commands this day, the LORD GOD will set thee on high above all nations of the Earth. All these Blessings shall come on you and overtake you if you LISTEN to the VOICE of LORD GOD. Matthew 5:9, Blessed are Peacemakers for they shall be Called Children of GOD. Mark 3:25, a house divided cannot stand. James 1:25, Look to God’s Perfect Law of Liberty to continue as hearer and doer of the work of God man to be Blessed indeed. John 15:9-10, Father God Loved Jesus so Jesus Loves you so continue in God’s Love. Keep God’s Commands, Abide in God’s Love as Jesus obeyed our Father God’s Commands and Abide in His Love as Yeshua Jesus Yeshua Christ Says I came to Fulfill Law and Prophets not destroy them. Matthew 5:17, John 10:27-30, My Sheep Hear My Voice and I Know them, and they Follow ME. I Give them Eternal Life so shall never perish no one plucks them out of My Hand. My Father, Gave them ME, and is Greater than all. No man plucks from My Father’s Hand. I and My Father are ONE. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in LORD ADONAI with all your heart lean not on own understanding. In all your ways Acknowledge GOD and HE shall direct your paths. TRUST in the LORD God in Jesus Name with All your HEART and SOUL. Deuteronomy 6:5, LOVE the LORD your God with all your Heart, and with all your Soul and with all your Might. Romans 8:28, We know all things work together for good for all who LOVE GOD, Called according to HIS Purpose for their lives to pray for Israel. 1 Corinthians 13:13, Faith, Hope, Love, are good but Greatest is LOVE! ONLY ONE TRUE FATHER GOD YAHWEH, ONE SON JESUS CHRIST and HOLY SPIRIT PRAISE as THREE in ONE. Revelation 22:20, Testifieth These Things by Saying Surely Jesus Comes quickly. Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Yeshua. Please PRAY for the Judeo-Christian Nation Israel-Yisrael and Christian earth everyday. Pray daily without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. STAND with Israel all nations all people, all Christian Nations and other people on earth. John 14:6 Jesus-Yeshua is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE no one comes to Father Yahweh only by Jesus Christ  KING of Kings, Lord of Lords. God is Alpha and Omega the FIRST and LAST, HE is the BEGINNING and END Glory Glory Hallelujah, Maranatha, He Loves h2 You All, Amen, Amen, Father God Almighty THANKS for ANSWERING our humble prayers in Jesus Name.

A HOLY LAND EXPERIENCE

 

Tourists take photographs in front of three crucifixesImage copyrightERICA CANEPA

In the centre of Buenos Aires, there is a theme park named Tierra Santa (Holy Land) that claims to be the first religious theme park in the world.

Tierra Santa attempts to replicate the streets of Jerusalem during Jesus’ time.

Visitors walk around the narrow streets that are full of plastic palm trees, statues and actors recreating crucial scenes from Jesus’ life.

A woman sweeps the floorImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
A statue showing Roman soldiers putting the crown of thorns on JesusImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
An audience sit in an amphitheatreImage copyrightERICA CANEPA

Long queues of families, tourists and young couples stand at the entrance.

Many of them are come from all over Argentina, but it is not uncommon to spot foreigners.

The park is almost a pilgrimage site for some visitors, with its unique mix of religious reverence and kitschy entertainment.

A man takes a selfie outside a Roman style buildingImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
Tourists browse for cardsImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
Jesus rises from a mountainImage copyrightERICA CANEPA

The main attraction of the amusement park is a 60ft (18m) high mechanical statue of Jesus that rises up once an hour from a plaster replica of the Golgotha mountaintop.

The event is accompanied by a loud chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

When the giant Jesus has completed his ascent, he swivels, closes his eyes and rotates the palms of his hands, provoking great emotion in the visitors at the bottom of the mountain.

Tourists watch Jesus riseImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
A basket of holy water fontsImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
A member of staff selling snacksImage copyrightERICA CANEPA

The staff of the park are all dressed in costume inspired by Jesus’ era.

Visitors can take pictures next to security guards dressed as ancient Romans or buy a waffle from a Middle Eastern inspired cafe.

The only reminders of modern life come from above: the park is situated right next to Jorge Newbery Airport, and a plane flies over the plastic palm trees every few minutes.

A woman looks at a Roman guardImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
A statue of Jesus turning bread into wineImage copyrightERICA CANEPA
An overview of the theme parkImage copyrightERICA CANEPA

All photographs by Erica Canepa.

JERUSALEM ISRAEL JUBILEE

jerus.jpg2017 is special in many ways to Jewish people and nation of Israel as June 7 marks 50th anniversary celebration of recapture, liberation, reunification of Old City of Jerusalem. Jewish military forces of 1967 in 6 Day War Recaptured Holy City of God to regain control again completely in Jewish hands after 2,000 year’s exile and oppression. Historical record shows Jews live in Jerusalem since Adam and Eve, Abraham, King David purchased the threshing floor on Mount Moriah now Temple Mount 3,000 years ago to build Altar to LORD God Almighty full price. David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold weight for site in 1 Chronicles 21:22–25 in the Bible. Romans destroyed second Jewish Temple in AD 70 and scattered Jewish people into exile but remnant live in Holy Land ever since. The Kotel Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s eternal wall and Temple Mount prove identity of Israel here thousands of years brought back to the homeland.” Jerusalem 2017 celebrates 50th Jubilee comemorating victory and set slaves free plus cancel debts. May to June is time of Shavuot Pentecost in Jewish calendar. Shavuot Festival of Weeks celebrates God’s giving of Law to Jewish people through Moses. Yahweh God confirms covenant commitment to Jewish people’s eternal relationship between God as His Chosen people. God’s COVENANT COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP with Jewish people in real true living history demonstrates SALVATION PLAN OF GOD through this relationship. God Made Israel a Great Nation Blessed by God’s Great Name and a Blessing to Bless ALL who Bless Israel and Curse those who curse Israel. Through Israel all Families of the Earth is Blessed.” GOD Blessed Abraham and descendants as God’s Chosen people with duty of care to God and all nations. The miracle Exodus from Egypt brought the Israelites up out of slavery to settle as God’s Nation. Laws through Moses at Mt. Sinai celebrated Shavuot perfectly collaborates Coming of Holy Spirit to followers of Yeshua on day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Fulfillment of living history prophesies regarding Israel and Jerusalem point to the Great Truth of God’s Loves and Plan through Jewish people. As Role Models of God the Jewish people remain the chosen ones to fulfil God’s Plans for all nations. All nations are GRAFTED into Israel so nobody replaces Jews because of Jesus Christ says Romans 11:29, Gifts and Calling of God is irreversible. God’s Words in Bible reminds all of need for Jewish people to fulfill the relationship with God Reclaiming Messiah Coming to Restore whole through the knowledge of Yeshua. So Key to victory is accepting Jesus Yeshua Saviour whether Jewish or Gentile. Shared covenant commitment God gave through Jewish people require responsibility to share Good News with world. So Jewish people realize Yeshua is the Messiah they have long-awaited. From the biblical standpoint Jerusalem matters, political standpoint Jerusalem matters. From living history standpoint, Jerusalem matters. From the prophetic standpoint Jerusalem matters globally. ShowImageOld Testament Jerusalem living history says Israel marched 7 times in Bible in Battle of Jericho the first battle Israel conquered Canaan. According to Joshua 6:1-27, the city walls of Jericho fell after Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets. Archaeological artefact and finds prove with evidence, conquest. Records name Israel in the Merneth stele erected for the Egyptian Pharaoh Meneptah c. 1209 BCE, Israel toiled, laid waste in Goshen culturally, politically as a nation perceived by the Egyptians a threat to them. Excavations discovered remains of the networks of collapsed walls dated to 1400 BCE and destruction occurred c.1500 BCE. During wars refugees escape and leave behind city so poor and old to till the land. The famine of Joseph’s time and Egypt’s food reserves campaign period meant Jews deserted Jerusalem. And captivities till mid-late 13th century meant the Jews expelled from land thousands of years after many generations. Abraham and Jacob settled in Canaan with the tribes inhabiting Jerusalem before conquest in Joshua 11:3 & 12:10 or slavery in Egypt. King David in 2 Samuel 5:6-10 as Books of Kings says Jerusalem Jebus city was reconquered by King David between 1003 BCE and 869 BCE. Joshua 15:63 says though wall was breached with great shout and fell, Judah did not get rid of the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. Jebusites live here with people of Judah according to Judges 1:21. And Jebusites continue to dwell in Jerusalem city in territory of the Tribe of Benjamin. 3,000 years ago King David reconquered city of Jerusalem in 11th century BCE from the Jebusites. Bible describes the city as heavily fortified with strong city wall. The city ruled by King David or Ir David is City of David. King Solomon extended city wall 440 BCE in Persian period and Nehemiah returned from Babylon to rebuilt wall. In 41–44 CE, Agrippa the king of Judea built new city Third Wall. Romans, Greeks, Muslims occupied Jerusalem. In 7th Century 637 CE under second caliph, Umar Ibn al-Khattab he annexed Islamic Arab Empire, granted inhabitants assurance treaty in siege of Jerusalem. Ancient Biblical prophecies to the church in Jerusalem was, “a poor, just powerful man” will rise as protector and ally to the Christians of Jerusalem. Sophronius wrote Umar, great warrior led austere life fulfilled that prophecy. Patriarch of Alexander and Eutychius said Umar paid visit to Church of Holy Sepulchre and sat in courtyard. At time for prayer he left the church and prayed outside compound, to avoid future generations of Muslims using his prayer there as a pretext for converting the church into a mosque. Eutychius adds Umar decree handed to the Patriarch prohibited the Muslims gathering in prayer at the site. In 1099, Jerusalem captured by Western Christian army of First Crusade remain in their hands until recapture by Arab Muslims led by Saladin October 2, 1187, he summoned Jews permitted to resettle in city. In 1219 walls of city was razed by Mu’azzim Sultan of Damascus. In 1229 by treaty with Egypt Jerusalem came into hands of Frederick ll of Germany. In 1239 rebuilt wall demolished again by Daud emir of Kerak. In 1243, Jerusalem came again under control of Christians so walls repaired. The Kharezmian Tartars took city in 1244 so Sultan Malik al-Muattam razed walls, rendered defenseless. Dealt heavy blow to city’s status in living history.

Suleiman in 1530 had the current walls of the Old City rebuilt in 1535–42 by the Ottoman Turkish. The walls stretch for approximately 4.5 km (2.8 miles), and rise to a height of 5 to 15 metres (16.4–49 ft), with a thickness of 3 metres (10 feet) at base of wall. The Old City walls contain 35 towers, 15 in more exposed northern wall. Suleiman’s wall had six gates and a 7th New Gate, was added in 1887; several other, older gates walled up over the centuries. The Golden Gate rebuilt and reopened by Suleiman’s architects walled up. Number of gates increased after addition of New Gate in 1887 a smaller 8th Tanners Gate opened for visitors after discovery but unsealed during excavations in 1990s. The sealed historic gates consist of the 4 partially preserved double Golden Gate eastern wall and Single, Triple, Double Gates in the southern wall. Several other gates discovered by archaeologists of traces remaining of the Gate of the Essenes on Mount Zion, gate of Herod’s royal palace south of the citadel and remains of what 19th-century explorers identified as the Gate of the Funerals (Bab al-Jana’iz) or of al-Buraq (Bab al-Buraq) south of the Golden Gate. Until 1887 the gates closed before sunset and opened at sunrise. As indicated these gates known by variety names in exist in the different historical periods by different communities. img746666Like GraecoRoman influences Islamized Jerusalem transformation of city occurs 3 times in history. The first of Jerusalem influence by Umar ibn Al-Khattab in 638 CE. The 2nd Islamization after the fall of Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and 3rd by Ayybiud rule in late 12th century by dominant Islamic culture of Mamluk and Ottoman rule. Ottoman era, turned Jerusalem multi-cultural predominantly Jewish during late 19th – 20th century. And Jordan’s annexations of West Bank of Jerusalem became Arabized. Islamic texts on city’s cosmological significance plays central role in Islamic belief. This began with Muhammad’s instruction to his followers to observe the qibla facing Jerusalem during daily prostrations in prayer. After 16 months the direction of prayer changed to Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia. Jerusalem’s role in Islam rose 682 CE as Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr  rebelled against Damascus Islamic rule, conquered Mecca preventing pilgrims from reaching Mecca.Model-of-Ancient-Jerusalem.jpg

View of Jerusalem with Haram al Sharif. Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in Quran but in Islamic literature, Hadith as the place of Muhammad ascension to heavenly sanctuary. Arab historian and biographer of Muhammad, Al-Waqidi, mentioned al-Aqsa as one of two located in the village of The-Gi’irranah between Mecca and Ta’if. The identification of Al Aqsa with Jerusalem came by Umayyad Caliphate in the late 7th century.

1st Jerusalem Caliphate

In 638 Islamic Caliphate in Jerusalem by Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. The majority population of Jerusalem during Arab conquest was Christian. The Jewish Palestine population 300,000-400,000 inhabitants. After cultural Arabization, Islamization took place so adopted Arabic language and conversion of local population to Islam. Muslim scholars, including Mujir ad-Dib, al-Suyuti, al-Muqaddasi mosque was reconstructed and expanded by the caliph Abd al-Malik in 690 with Dome of the Rock. The project on Temple Mount, turned complex into Haram al-Sharif and Abd al-Malik replaced slipshod structure described by Arculf into the sheltered structure enclosing qibla. Jewish background living history was damaged by these construction to ‘rebuild’ Solomon’s Temple or Mihrab Dawud. Grabar and Busse claim was Islamic legitimization for Dome of Rock. Al-miraj tradition transferred to rock later. Islamic tradition from converted rabbi Kaab al Ahbar states Ayrusalaim Jerusalem Rock means Temple and God made David King of Children of Israel.IMG_20170601_174645

Independence2017AUnder Rashidun Caliphate the treaty to dwell together side by side was agreed. Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al- Khattab signed treaty with Christian Patriarch Sophronius assuring him Jerusalem’s Christian Holy places and population will be protected under Muslim rule.  When led to pray at Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site for Christians, the caliph Umar declined to pray in the church not to establish precedent to be exploited later to convert church into a mosque. He prayed outside the church, where Mosque of Umar (Omar) stands to this day, opposite entrance to Church of Holy Sepulchre. According to Gaullic Bishop Arculf who lived in Jerusalem 679 to 688, the Mosque of Umar was a rectangle wooden structure built over ruins accommodating 3,000 worshipers.oldcity

Under Umayyad Caliphate

The Umayyad caliph constructed Dome of the Rock late 7th century. The 10th century historian al-Muqaddasi writes Abd al-Malik built shrine in Jerusalem to compete with monumental churches.  So in 400 years Jerusalem’s prominence diminished as Arab powers in region interfered for control. Under Fatimid Caliphate in 1099, expelled the native Christian population before Jerusalem conquered by Crusaders created the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Early June 1099 Jerusalem’s population declined from 70,000 to less than 30,000.

2nd Islamized Jerusalem

Under the Ayyubid dynasty

In 1187, the city was wrested from the Crusaders by Saladin who permitted Jews and Muslims to return and settle in the city. Saladin began constructing houses, markets, public baths, pilgrim hostels and religious endowments. In 13th century Jerusalem’s declined status village after city fell devalued Ayyubid rule by internecine struggles. Mamluk Sultanate in 1244 ransacked Jerusalem by Khwaresmian Tartars, decimated the city’s Christian population and drove out the Jews. The Khwarezmian Tartars were driven out by Ayyubids in 1247. From 1250 to 1517, Jerusalem was ruled by Mamluks, clashes occurred between Mamluks, crusaders, Mongols and area suffered earthquakes and black plague.

Jerusalem under Jordan 

Arab Legion destroyed synagogues yet Jordan mandated by UN to let Israeli Jews visit HOLY Sites refused access to them. Systematic destruction of Jewish Quarter includes ancient synagogues.  Under Jordan rule of East Jerusalem, all Israelis irrespective of religion forbade entering Old City and other Holy Sites. 40,000 and 50,000 tombstones of ancient Mount Olive’s cemetery desecrated. The Old City of Jerusalem, Jewish Quarter, destroyed in fightings. Tiferet Yisrael  Synagogue destroyed first, followed by destruction of Hurva Synagogue built in 1701 destroyed by Arabs in 1721 rebuilt in 1864. Israel retaliates destroying part of Mamila Muslim cemetary near the armistice line. Jordanians destroyed 56 Synagogues in Jerusalem, remaining synagogues used as toilets, stables and chicken coops. All Jewish inhabitants in parts of city occupied by Jordan and the residents of Old City Jewish Quarter expelled. Christian charities and various religious institutions prohibited from buying real estate in Jerusalem. And the Christian schools strictly regulated.

3rd Islamized Jerusalem

Arab Legion soldiers ruined Temple Mount Islamised for exclusive Muslim use. Original Israelite Jewish Holy Site is location of First and Second Temples the site subsequently location of Byzantine church and later the Mosque. Since the time of Muslim conquest Temple Mount public building’s elaborate mosaic floor, remains discovered by Temple Mount Sifting Project. In 682 CE, 50 years after Muhammad’s death, after Abd al Allah ibn -Zubayr rebelled against caliph of Damascus, conquered Mecca to stop the pilgrims to Hajj in Mecca. Abd al Mulik Umayyad Caliph responds creating new holy site Temple Mount in Jerusalem “Farthest Mosque alternative. Dome of the Rock Islamization of Temple Mount at end of 7 century, with construction of Dome of Rock in early 690s by Al-Malik was built on original Foundation Stone site of the historic Jewish Temple. This was built at southern end of Mount in 8th-century. Entire period of the Muslim conquest until capture of Jerusalem in 1099, various structures built on Mount includes memorial sites and gates. From 13th-century, Muslims gained control of city, built projects in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount to further establish city’s Islamic character. After conquest of the city by Saladin, non-Muslims permitted to set foot on Temple Mount. Al-Aqsa Mosque was built-in the early Umayyad period of rule. Architectural historian K. A.C.Cresswell refers to testimonymony of Arculf Gallic monk, pilgrimage in 679–82, notes the second caliph of Umar ibn al-Khattab erected a quadrangular building for a capacity on Haram ash-Sharif. Arculf visits Palestine in reign of Muawiyah ordered structure by Umar.

1948 to 1967 Jerusalem

Islamised Jerusalem by the Arab Legion soldiers ruins Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, destroyed Temple Mount antiquities from 1995–2001. Islamic Waqf carried out extensive construction work to build biggest mosque in region of Marwani mosque capacity of 10,000 worshippers area 5,000 square meters. Unsupervised construction means Waqf obliterated the antiquities at Solomon’s stables section of Temple Mount. Herod structure was converted into a mosque. The structure stones were stripped of its original surface. At eastern Hulda gate, the Waqf destroyed original Herodian ornamentation and later plastered them and painted them over. Tens of truck loads of dirt were dumped into Kidron Walley. Thousands of artifacts from the First Temple period rescued in Temple Mount Sifting Project. Findings included 1000 ancient coins, Israelite bullas with ancient Hebrew inscriptions 10,000 year old tools, blade, scraper, Hasmonean, Ptolemaic and Herodian artifacts and ancient stones with signs of the Second Temple destruction and other important artifacts. Waqf justified actions on site “mosque from time of Adam and Eve” rejecting Jewish living history. In 1980 proposed Old City listed as UN Heritage added to List in 1981. In 1982, Jordan request addeds to List of world heritage centre in danger. UN opposed request at first noting Jordan government had no standing to make a nomination and that consent of Israeli government would be required since it controlled Jerusalem. 2011, 2016 UN made East Jerusalem a “part of occupied Palestinian territory yet status of Jerusalem not resolved in permanent status negotiations.” Today Jerusalem matters as never before in living history. God Chose Jerusalem HIS HOLY CITY TO DWELL PERMANENTLY. The Living history of Jerusalem CONFIRMS this City means a lot to God Almighty. Conflicts over Jerusalem will finally be resolved when God TAKES BACK HIS LAND AS PATENT LAWFUL OWNER TO SETTLE PHYSICALLY ON PERFECT EARTH. AFTER ARMAGEDDON JESUS CHRIST RULES FOREVER AND EVER. So antiChrist desolation sacrilege destroyed and HOLY of Holies restored all people join Israel to bring holiness and salvation to the whole world. Israel is God’s connecting point through God’s prophets and Messiah Yeshua Jesus Christ. The Messiah Era will bring total PEACE and end to all conflicts and wars. All people will live in PERFECT PEACE and LOVE God ALMIGHTY so FOCUS IS ON SOVEREIGN GOD to know God love, serve, and Worship God forever.  This fulfills holiness of all people in Christ and Jewish people pray for Coming Messiah and God’s salvation in Hebrew, Yeshuah יְשׁוּעָה every day. Jews say in daily prayers, “Every day and all day long we hope for Yeshua’s salvation.” In Thirteen Principles of the Faith, pray: “I await His Coming every day to Israel Jerusalem. Psalms 29:11 says The LORD give strength to HIS people! The LORD BLESS HIS people with PEACE in Yeshua Prince of PEACE! Pray for salvation of Jews and all people who wait with longing daily for the Coming of Messiah again. So salvation is near, right at your door for Revelation 22:2 testifies, “Surely Jesus is Coming soon.” Amen.