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  • Writer's pictureSteve McAtee

Who Did God Give Jerusalem To?

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

By Amir Tsarfati

AMIR: Let's start with the prayer. Father, I thank You so much for Your word. Your word is truth You are calling us to sanctify ourselves with your truth. So, Father, we ask that whatever we study and whatever I teach today will not be the fruit of My imagination, the fruit My creativity, but it will be Your words and nothing else. Father, we thank You for Your great faithfulness to the people of Israel, the City of Jerusalem, and we thank You for the great testimony that it is to all of us all over the world. We bless Your name this morning from Manila. We say that we love You and worship You in Jesus' name amen. Amen.

So the question is who did God give Jerusalem to? And I know that it kind of like: Wait a minute; you have a whole message for a question like this? I can answer in one word. Well, it's very interesting.

In Genesis 11, Abraham and his father Terah; they are moving to Canaan all the way from where they lived in Iraq of today. They're moving to the land of Canaan, which is the land of where Israel is today, but the original name was Canaan and in Genesis 12, God promised to Abraham that land for him and to his descendants.

Bear in mind Canaan originally, yes was not Israel, but it was given to them by God, promised to Abraham and his descendants and his promised descendants. And so if you have a problem with that, talk to God. I mean truly this is His decision.

A lot of Jews would have told you we wish God would have had different options. We would like to be in on that one.

But you know they say there is a story about the Angels coming to God and saying to God, "You give them a land that they never worked for, trees they never planted, houses they never built? They are gonna be so spoiled."

And then God told them, "Wait until you see who I surround them with."

So ladies and gentlemen, the land of Canaan was promised to the people of Israel, the direct descendants of Abraham from Isaac, the son of promise. And from the moment they fulfilled that promise of inheriting that inheritance, it became the Israelites period. The Israelites period is the time that the people of Israel lived in the land that was already called Israel.

It is no longer Canaan. It is now Israel. And in the Israelite period, it is the Israelites living in Israel and we know in 2 Samuel Chapter 7-10, "Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, which is of the City of David.

And David said on that day whoever climbs up by the way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites, the lame and the blind who are hated by David, he shall be chief and captain. Therefore, they say the blind and the lame shall not come into the house. And then David dwelled in the stronghold and called it the City of David. And David built around from the below and inward.

So David went on and became great and the Lord God, the God of hosts was with him." Jerusalem was not originally part of the territories that the tribes of Israel had when Joshua divided the land. It was kept and held by the Jebusites.

It wasn't even part of their territory when the first king was, King Saul. But it was that David took it. Because David wanted to unite them.

And in 2nd Chronicles Chapter 6, Verses 5 and 6, "Since the day I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to build -- to be a ruler over My people Israel, yet I have chosen Jerusalem that My name may be there and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.”

So Jerusalem had to wait until David becomes the king to be the city with the king that God chose. It's not the choice of man. It's the choice of God. And He has chosen it for a reason and for a season."

And God's presence was unique in the city when Solomon built the first Temple. Literally everyone around could see the presence of God. In 2nd Chronicles Chapter 7, it says, "When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. And the priest could not even enter the House of the Lord because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house and all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down and the glory of the Lord on the Temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and praised the Lord saying, "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever."

Folks, God chose Jerusalem and then God shows up in Jerusalem and the people, they have no other choice but acknowledge that. When God is there, He’s there and they were on their knees, on their faces and they say that the Lord is good, for His mercies endure forever. But you know what?

You can build a house for the Lord, but the house is just walls, a ceiling, some nice props, but if you don't worship the Lord in the House of the Lord, guess what? The Lord is not going to stay in the House of the Lord. The Lord is not staying in a place where He is not worshiped.

This is why the Bible says, "If you invite me in, I will come in and well and dine with you." God is very, very much of a gentleman. But if you worship someone else, don't expect Him to be there.

And according to the prophet Ezekiel and Chapters 8, 9, and 10, Israel worshiped other gods in the House of God in Jerusalem. So God moved out of the Temple and out of the city that was shortly after that Jerusalem was destroyed.

Can you imagine? In the Temple, the priests were worshiping the sun and the women outside in the outer court's worshiping Tamuz, a Babylonian god. It was always a counterfeit because Jesus is the Son with his healing in her wings. And we know that Tamuz is about the resurrected God and Jesus, of course, resurrected. The enemy is always counterfeiting what God is doing and he is selling it as the original. And the people fall for it if they don't worship God and stay close to God.

Even here in this church, you might have people that will lure you to worship other things or to believe in other things that might look a little bit, you know, biblical with a grain of Bible, but full of lies. And they might lure you because they have the appearance of God.

And then comes the Babylonian period. Babylonian period, the Jewish people are in Babylon. And Jeremiah 25:11, “And the whole land shall be a desolation and in astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon 70 years." And Jeremiah 29:10: "For thus says the Lord after 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you and cause you to return to this place.”

So the people of Israel were taken out of Jerusalem for 70 years because they did not worship God and keep His commandments. And then He said after 70 years -- I don't know why, but I still love you – I have no idea why, but I am going to probably hear about it later. But I'm going to bring you back and you will return to this place.

And it is in the Persian period already. 70 years later it is the Persian period. The King of Persia is allowing the Jewish people to go back to Jerusalem. Isn't that interesting? Iran wants to destroy Israel. Iran wants to take over Jerusalem, but it is the Iranians that actually allowed us to go back and rebuild the city and the Temple. I always love to flush it in front of the Iranians. What do you want from us? You allowed us to go.

Nehemiah Chapter 2, Verses 1 through 8, "And it came to pass in the month of Nissan, which is the first month in the Hebrew calendar -- in the 20th year of the King Artaxerxes when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king.

And now I had never been sad in his presence before and; therefore, the king said to me, "Why is your face so sad since you are not sick? This is nothing, but sorrow of heart. So I became dreadfully afraid and said to the king, "May the King live forever.

Why should My face not be sad when the city, the place of My father's tombs lies waste and its gates are burned with fire?" And the king said to me, "So what do you request?" And Jeremiah; so I prayed to the God of Heaven." I love it.

Jeremiah could have requested anything. He could have said I want a million dollars and a Bentley. But the Bible says, "I prayed to the God of Heaven and then I said to the king -- he is a man of prayer – “And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in your sight , I ask that you send me to Judah to the city of My father's tombs that I may rebuild it."


“Then the king said to me -- the Queen also, by the way, is sitting beside him -- "how long will your journey be? And when will you return?"

Nehemiah, I like you. I want you here, so listen how long are you gonna be gone? You know, when you’re a boss, when you have a worker that you really like and the worker comes and says, “I need a vacation.” You are not going to say, “No.” But, “Okay, go ahead. But I need you back.” “So it pleased the king to send me and I set him a time. So he told him he would be back. He set him a time.

“Furthermore, I said to the king if it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the river that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah.”

The return of the Jews to the land of Israel was lawful; it was permitted; it was not sneaking in the middle of the night in the dark. He wanted it in writings.

He said, “I love you, My king but with your word, I cannot buy milk in the -- I need you to write it down. I need to show the people.

“In a letter to Asaf, the keeper of the king's forests, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the Citadel, which pertains to the Temple for the city wall and for the house that I will occupy. And the King to me according to the good hand of My God upon me.”

So you must understand Jerusalem not only was the city that God gave to the people of Israel at the time, but it was the city that God allowed them to return to lawfully, legally.

By the way, the same Nehemiah in Chapter 2 -- many people are asking you, or telling you that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims or to the Arabs. Well, you can always pull that Verse out Nehemiah, Chapter 2. It says in Verse 19, “When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab, when they heard of all of this, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, ‘What is this thing that you're doing? Will you not rebel against the king? Will you rebel against the king.’” “So I answered them, and I said to them, ‘The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore, we, His servants, will arise and build Jerusalem, but you Ammonites, you Horonites, you Arabs, you have no heritage, or right, or memorial in Jerusalem.”

That's it. Set in stone.

Then came Alexander the Great, and Alexander the Great was a young man, looking great, like a Greek god. At the age of 29, he already conquered most of the world before he was 30. And Alexander the Great heard about Jerusalem and heard about the Temple, and he approached the Temple when he came there. And the look what Flavius Josephus, the historian, writes.

He says, “When the Book of Daniel was shown him, wherein Daniel declares that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that he himself was the person intended.”

The text Flavius Josephus had in mind was Daniel 7:6 or 8:3-8 or 22-22, or 11:3.

“And as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present. But the next day he called him to him and bid them ask what favors they pleased of him.”

Not only that he didn't destroy the Temple or Jerusalem, but he actually told them, “Anything you want; I'll give you.” “Whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers and might pay no tribute on the seventh year, he granted all their desire. And when they asked him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Medea to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired.”

Wow! And after Alexander died, his successors were cruel, and they defiled the Temple. they slaughtered a pig. And they wanted the Jews to bow down before the Greek gods.

And so the Jews rebelled and that was the Hasmonean revolt, the Maccabees, and thus the Hasmonean period is now coming and ladies and gentlemen, during that time

Jerusalem is getting bigger and the Temple area is being expanded. And after that, comes the Roman era.

But before the Roman era, I mean, the Romans come, but they are appointing a man called Herod. So the Herodian period is actually when the Romans controlled the area, but Herod the Great is the king. And Herod the Great built Jerusalem as a modern and beautiful city.

They say that ten measures of beauty were given to the world in those days and nine of them were taken by Jerusalem. That's how amazing it was. He who did not see Jerusalem in those days knows not what beauty is.

But Herod died and his children were not good enough, and that was the time of Jesus' crucifixion. It was the Roman period in the city and the Temple is destroyed in the year 70 A.D. And by the way, Daniel the prophet foretold that.

Daniel 9:26, “After the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off but not for himself.”

Jesus didn't do anything that He deserved death.

“And then the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.”

This is Daniel, hundreds of years before prophesying that the first Messiah will die, and then Jerusalem will be destroyed by the city of that Prince, of the Antichrist, the people.

I mean, it's gonna be the same; first, the Roman Empire destroyed the Temple, and then the Roman Empire will produce that prince later on. Then comes the Byzantine period when the Roman Empire becomes Christian, supposedly, and they move there their capital from Rome to the city of Byzantium, thus it's the Byzantine Empire. And by the way, Byzantium then is Istanbul of today. But then they call it Constantinople because it was Caesar Constantine that did that.

And during that time, the Romans level Jerusalem a few times, but in the year 135, Adrienne leveled it and named it Aelia Capitolina. And the Byzantines brought back the name Jerusalem; however, they detach it from Israel. What do I mean?

I mean that when Caesar Adrienne destroyed Israel and Jerusalem, he renamed Israel Palestine and Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina.

What the Byzantines did; they only restore the name of Jerusalem so it will fit Bible, but they did not want to restore the name of the land back to Israel because they wanted to say we are now Israel. They wanted to say Christians are now the rulers.

Now of course it's not Christianity that we know; it's the religion of that time. Then came the early Muslim period. Believe it or not, Muslims allowed the Jews to come back. I love to remind that to them.

This is probably one of the most important parts. Soon after the Arab conquests both Muslims and Jews who were now readmitted into the city, both of them worshiped at the rock around where the Jewish people -- the Dome of the Rock.

See? Before the Dome of the rock was built, there was a rock. That's why it’s called the Dome of the Rock. Hello? There was only a rock. And the rock is the leftover from the Temple. Jews were worshiping there. They were worshiping, not worshiping really; they were lamenting over the Temple’s destruction. And when the Muslims came riding their horses coming from Arabia looking there seeing a bunch of Jews dressed with white crying and lamenting right over a rock. And the Muslims were saying, “What is it that you're doing there?” “Our Temple was there; our God was worshiped right here.”

Now if you know Islam, Muhammad actually wanted to be liked by the Jewish people. And he wanted to take as much as he can from them. And so they're saying the God of Israel, that God was worshiped right there? The rituals later became enshrined in the ceremonies performed in the Dome of the Rock.

When the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock, they did not build the Dome of the Rock because of Muhammad. I don't know if you know that. The story about Muhammad came 70 or 80 years after that building was already standing.

The original reason why the Muslims built it is that the Temple of the Jews was there. And they actually performed inside the Dome of the Rock ceremonies that were almost similar to the Jewish ones in the Temple.

Ladies and gentlemen, particularly on Mondays and Thursday, the Jewish people used to go there, which in Jewish tradition are the days of special sacredness appropriate for performing rituals such as the public reading of the law, of fasting, and adding special supplication to the usual morning and afternoon prayers.

These ceremonies included the anointing of the rock, the burning of copious amounts of incense, and the bathing and changing into special garments by the participants in these ceremonies. And the last two which are reminiscent of priestly services in the Jewish Temple are completely alien to Islam.

Yes, additionally Islamic traditions tell of five Jewish families employed to clean the place. The Dome of the Rock was employing Jews to clean the place and service its lamps following the inauguration of the compound who are likely to descend from priestly families. All these factors point to the main motive behind the building of the Dome of the Rock as being what?

The building of Solomon's Temple. The Muslims never intended to build something for Muhammad. They thought their building again the Temple. And the reason why it's the dome; it's because they look at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They saw it has such a big dome said, “We can do it bigger. We’re dominant. We're above them, the Christians.”

Then came the Crusaders, came the Crusaders. Do you know who the Crusaders were? Who are the Crusaders? These are West European knights coming from Europe, from England, and Germany, and France.

Pope Urban II in 1196, called for all the Christians to liberate the Holy Sepulcher from the hands of the infidels, the Muslims. And guess what? A crusade began. He didn't even intend it. It started, and the Crusaders came, and the Crusader knights were coming.

Do you know what they started there on the Temple Mount? On that Temple Mount, they started worshiping Lucifer. I think it was right here in this church that I spoke about the Illuminati and the rise of the one-world government. Do you remember that?

So when we reached the Knights Templar, we talked about the fact that the Knights Templar, that small organization of those who wanted to supposedly be where the Temple was, they became the richest organization in the world of those days.

And in the initiation ceremonies to become a member of the Knights Templar, they used to pee on the cross and worship before Behemoth, which is the emblem or satanic figure with like a goat-headed person. In Jerusalem! On the Temple Mount! Amazing! Satanic worship!

Then came the late Muslim period, and the Temple Mount was built to what it is today. Then came the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and the old city walls were built, but the city was neglected. And then the Jews formed the majority and started settling outside of the walls.

Then came the British Mandate and Jerusalem divided, yet Jews are allowed to live there and worship. And then, of course, came the war of independence in 1948. Jerusalem is divided with the wall, and the Jews are not going to the Wailing Wall and they're not going to the Old City any more for 19 years. That was before 1967.

For 19 years Jews are not having access to their holiest sites, but then the city was divided, and came to the war of 1967, the Six Days War. how did how long did the Six Days War last? Six days. You're very clever today.

And after that, Jerusalem was reunited as the Prophet -- as the psalmist says, “Jerusalem, the city that was compact together.”

Jerusalem became the united capital of Israel. But the funny thing is we're the only ones who called it our capital. The rest of the world refused to.

Well, I know that some of you don't like Trump. And quite frankly, I really don't care because I'm not into liking people. It's not about people -- do I like him -- I'm looking at what God is doing through people, amen? Good.

So Trump is planning his first Middle East tour; becoming a president first thing when he left America, Middle East. Originally, he wanted to come to Israel first but we were advising him to go first to Saudi Arabia because we want him to ask the king of Saudi Arabia if we can collaborate, and so he can already come to Jerusalem with an answer.

So he went first to Saudi Arabia and then on his way, he says, “Wait a minute; so what about what are we doing in Israel?”

“Oh, you're going to do this and this and this.”

He said, “Wait a minute. What is the most important place in Jerusalem?”

They said, “Oh, there's a Temple mount and the Wailing Wall.”

He says, “The Wailing Wall?

Isn't that the most sacred place for the Jews?”


“So I can go there?”

“No, you cannot go there.”

He says, “Why?”

“Politically, we don't recognize it as their place.”

He says, “But it's a holy site for who?”

They said, “To the Jews.”

“Oh, so I can go there.”

“No, it's too...”

“All right then, so what is their capital?”

“Well, we recognize Tel Aviv.”

“Okay, so I'm gonna go to the Prime Minister's office in Tel Aviv.”

“No, the Prime Minister’s office is actually in Jerusalem.”

“Okay, so we'll visit the Parliament in Tel Aviv.”

“No, the Parliament is actually in Jerusalem.”

“So wait a minute; the Prime Minister is in Jerusalem. Their Parliament is in Jerusalem. Their Supreme Court is in Jerusalem. The whole government is in Jerusalem. They say that Jerusalem is their capital. And what is our problem with that? Remind me.”

“Yeah, we know. It's occupied territory.”

“You know, come on guys. Occupied from who?”

“Well, we're not sure, you know...”

He said, “Okay, guys, I think it's time to move the embassy to Jerusalem.”

“You know, the world will explode; it'll come to an end.”

“I don't think so, but tell me, what is what is the plan?”

“It's going to take nine years and one billion dollars.”

He says, “Guys, I may not know how to read and write, but I know how to count. Do we own anything in Jerusalem?”

“Yes, we have a big consulate building there.”

“How much will it cost to close one room inside that building?

“Fifty, hundred thousand dollars?

Good. You've got five months and a hundred thousand dollars. I want the Ambassador to move to Jerusalem and the embassy to be open on May 14, 2017, exactly 50 years after Jerusalem was reunited and 70 years after Israel was established.”

They're like, “What?”


And it happened. The embassy moved, and the world is still moving on. The sun is shining and everything is fine.

U.S. Embassy, and now the Brazilian Embassy -- their president wants to move the embassy. And guess what?

Because Jerusalem is so important, guess who wants to be in Jerusalem and rule from Jerusalem also? The Antichrist. Remember we talked about it.

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week, he shall bring an end to sacrifice.”

In other words, the Antichrist will have to deal with an existing Temple.

“And to sacrifice an offering, and on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate even until the consummation which is determined is poured out on the desolate.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Let no one deceive you by any means for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the Temple of God showing himself that He is God.”

Wow! And then the Bible keeps telling us that in the Millennial Kingdom, Jerusalem will play a very significant role.

Psalm 110 Verses 1 and 2, “The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion, rule in the midst of your enemies.’”

Ladies and gentlemen, Zachariah says -- we read it -- that Jesus will come with his feet on Mount of Olives and we will come with him, and we will rule with him from this Jerusalem. We already talked about the fact that Jerusalem will split and the river will go in its midst.

And for 1,000 years there will be new Jerusalem after the Millennial Kingdom. The new city will be called the New Jerusalem, just like the coming of Jesus ushered in the New Testament.

It's still the same God, with the same heart, but He makes all things new.

God entrusted in Israel's hands that which He intended the world to see and eventually he who believes will inherit it.

And when Jesus ascended to heaven, it was from Jerusalem at the time it was mostly Israel that knew of him, now, almost no Gentiles.

And when He returns, again it will be what? To Jerusalem. And this time, the whole world will know of Him. He will rule with us over people who obviously never believed in Him. Jesus will return to this Jerusalem with His saints, as the Bible says.

So I built it up for the most important question. Who did God really prepare Jerusalem for? This is it. Folks, it's not about Israel.

It's about Jesus. He kept in their hands the city for it to be prepared for the King of Israel, for the King of the Jews, Jesus.

God has prepared Jerusalem as a seat for Jesus during the Millennial Kingdom. He gave this city ultimately to Jesus, and this is why Satan wants it so badly, and he's trying to wage war on it constantly.

That's why every religion claims to have a part of it.

That's why the Antichrist wants to rule from there.

That's why the enemies always, always – “And Jerusalem will be the cup of sorrow and all that are touching it will be scratched -- a heavy burdensome stone.”

Behold, Jerusalem is the problem of the world. Why?

Because the world is going to be so consumed with the Antichrist spirit, because Jerusalem originally, ultimately was prepared for Jesus to rule their world from.

And so when next time when people ask you, who did God give Jerusalem to? Remember Israel is holding it so it will be ready for Jesus.

It's about Jesus.

It's about the Messiah.

And you and I will reign where?

In this Jerusalem.

We will return where to?

Not Palawan. We're not going to return to Davao to where there is the New Jerusalem there, so I heard.

We are going to worship the true Son of God, not the appointed son. We are going to worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and His name is Jesus. And He is the one that Jerusalem was given to and prepared for, amen.

Father, we thank You so much that throughout history we can see the faithfulness of Yours to Your word, and Your promises and to Your people, Israel. And Father, we thank You that it's not about them; it's about You. It's not about anything but Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, the Alpha and the Omega, the Aleph, and the Tav, the beginning, and the end.

And just as much as You originally gave Jerusalem to King David, You're about to give Jerusalem to the greater David, to Jesus, to rule from it for thousand years. And then You will make a New Jerusalem where there will be no more Temple and no more need for the sun, the moon, and the stars to shine their light because Jesus will be their menorah.

We thank You, Father, that today we could look at the real menorah and the real reason why Jerusalem is being preserved. And we thank You, Father, that it's all about Jesus. And we thank You that it's in Your word; it's not the fruit of our imagination.

We bless Your name this morning from Manila, Philippines, and from all over the world. And we say that we love You and we can't wait to be taken by You and then return and reign with You here in Jerusalem forever and ever.

And until that time comes and You will make all things new, we bless Your name and we pray that in the name of Jesus, amen.


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