“All Over East Jerusalem”
On Thursday this week in the Bloomberg Online Publication a headline read; “Turkey’s Erdogan Is All Over East Jerusalem.” Part of the article went on to say…” From the golden Dome of the Rock mosque to the ragtag stalls of the Old City’s market, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all over east Jerusalem. Muslim worshipers raise his picture at Friday prayers, restaurants display the Turkish flag on their walls, and tens of thousands of his citizens have been sent to the Israeli-controlled holy city on pilgrimages to prevent its “Judaization.” Inside the cobble-stoned market, Arab merchants on Khan al-Zeit street point to once-crumbling masonry patched up by the Erdogan government, and praise Turkey for its handouts to the poor.
A broader ambition
Perceived as one of the few Muslim leaders still championing the Palestinian cause, Erdogan’s focus on Jerusalem is part of a broader ambition to establish Turkey as the world’s foremost proponent of political Islam and resurrect its past influence in a troubled region. His growing footprint is unsettling the three governments with a direct stake in this contested city: Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. It also presents a challenge to Saudi Arabia, whose oil wealth and status as the birthplace of Islam have long established it as a patron of east Jerusalem…
…“The Saudis have Mecca and Erdogan wants Jerusalem,” says Pinhas Inbari, an Israeli analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs research centre. “Israel has a critical security interest in making sure that Turkey doesn’t try to exercise authority over Al Aqsa and upset the status quo.” A vehement critic of Israel, Erdogan is seeking to do just that…Erdogan has gone as far as restoring the Islamic crescent to the Dome of the Rock’s glittering cap, which dominates Jerusalem’s skyline from the hilltop compound revered by Muslims as the Al Aqsa mosque complex and by Jews as Temple Mount, the site of their biblical temple. “Protect Mecca and Medina. Protect these holy lands as your honour. Protect Jerusalem,” Erdogan said in a speech last month. Erdogan “is a strong man who loves Palestine,” said Salahadin Nasradin, owner of a cut-rate electronics store in the market. “We pray that he will lead all Islamic countries one day.”
“As He fights on the day of battle”
The prophet Zechariah spoke about the City of Jerusalem in the last days leading up to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed Messiah. Zechariah writes; “A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.” (Zechariah 14:1-3)
An expansive Empire
There is no doubt the Man from Turkey wants East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount under his control as this would make him No.1 in the whole Islamic world. Once again this foreshadows the coming man of sin who will sit in the Temple and proclaim himself to be God and demand the worship of the Jews living in Jerusalem including everyone living within the boundaries of his vast empire which will not only spread throughout the Middle-Eastern region, but become well entrenched in much of Europe. Jerusalem had already been divided prior to the six-day war in 1967 but the whole city was retaken by the Israelis at that time. General Moshe Dayan made a momentous blunder in returning the Temple Mount area to the Muslims and to this day there has been so much trouble and conflict over this ‘hot’ piece of real estate in Jerusalem between the Jews and the Arabs.
The Man from Turkey
The Man from Turkey is adding fuel to the fire by his ambitious rants against the Jewish people but his professed concern and so called ‘charitable acts’ for the so called Palestinian cause and for the displaced Palestinian Arabs, is the mask that hides his real agenda, namely the establishment of a revived Turkish Ottoman Islamic Empire with himself as the supreme caliph of the whole Islamic world. His involvement in the Syrian conflict is allowing him to establish a Turkish military presence and stronghold in the region. Also it puts his armies within striking distance of Israel. If he can gather to himself a vast following of Islamic armies then he will undoubtedly invade Jerusalem. (Daniel 11:41) He has no real regard for Putin or for Assad for that matter but needs the support of Rohaini of Iran. Erdogan would lead the Sunni crescent and Rohaini the Shiite crescent to get their combined armies of Islam to make a pincer attack on Israel cutting them off from all outside support.
Having said this if indeed the Man from Turkey is the antichrist and the Mahdi of Islam there will be armies of other nations that will storm out against his armies. (Daniel 11:40, 44) God Himself will raise up those who will resist Antichrist’s forces. (Ezekiel 28:6-10) (Micah 5:5-6) If Erdogan is to be revealed as the man of sin he will eventually sack East Jerusalem and take the temple mount and pitch his royal dwelling place in Jerusalem itself and most probably in East Jerusalem wherein lies the Temple Mount precinct. He will send half of the Jewish people in Jerusalem into exile and leave the other half in the city. (Zechariah 14:2)
The Time of the Big trouble
However, as for Jerusalem God Himself will make Jerusalem; “a cup that sends all of the surrounding peoples reeling.” Jerusalem and Judah will be besieged by the armies of the nations that are gathered against her but the LORD will make Jerusalem “an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will be torn apart and ripped to shreds. (Zechariah 12:1-3) When the invasion comes as described also in Ezekiel chapter thirty eight and Joel chapter three the threat of Israel’s demise will be so intense that “cries of fear will be heard throughout the whole land of Israel, cries of terror, not peace with even strong men gripping their stomach as women do when in labour and people’s faces turning deathly pale” at what they see coming upon them at the hands of this son of perdition demanding to be worshipped as God. This will see three and a half years of terrible desolation and terror in Israel and in the nations of the world. (Matthew 24:15) (Daniel 7:25; 12:7) (Revelation 13:5-8)
The rescue is coming!
Having said this there will be in Israel a faithful believing remnant of Israelis who have believed in the Lord Jesus that will be rescued out of the city and out of the hands of the antichrist and kept safe. (Revelation 12:6) However, Jeremiah also writes that even though this time will be the Time of Great trouble for Israel that Israel as a nation will be saved out of it at the end. The Lord Jesus will come back and break the yoke of bondage on the Israelis and free them from their slavery and servitude to the man of sin and his despotic empire. (Jeremiah 30:1-10) Likewise, Zechariah tells us that on the day when the Lord Jesus comes back that He will save Israel, destroy their enemies and bring with Him His Holy Ones being both His angels and His saints whom He will have raptured and resurrected at this time. (Matthew 24:29-31) As for the Antichrist and his armies they will fall on the mountains of Israel. (Daniel 11:41) (Ezekiel 39:1-6)
The name of the LORD is a Strong Tower
In that day when the feet of the Lord Jesus stand once again upon the Mount of Olives the mountain will be split in two from East to West making a valley so that all the survivors in Israel can escape. In that day “All Israel will be saved.” In that day every Jew still living on earth in Israel will be rescued, none will be left behind. (Zechariah 14:3-5) (Romans 11:25-29) As King Solomon wrote; “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10) In that day when the armies of the nations surround Jerusalem during the Time of Trouble for Jacob the Lord Jesus will prove to be that high tower into which His brothers and sisters in the flesh will be gathered and shielded from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb when their wrath is poured out on a rebellious and sinful world that has hated Him, despised and spurned His salvation, persecuted His people Israel and by extension and inclusion His Body, the faithful Assembly. After this Zechariah also writes; “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”(Zechariah 14:9) Many nations will not survive the wrath of God in the day of battle and go down into the pit of Hades. (Ezekiel 32:17-32) When the dust of battle finally settles Israel will be “the last man standing!”