RESHAPING ZION

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Everything is changing…except God.  We thought we knew some truth but we keep learning how little that is.  David reassured the faithful that disasters would not change God’s plan.  He showed us the example of honoring God for his faithfulness and we will only find victory in giving credit to God.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.  Psalm 46:1-5

God is a reality of safety for we who believe.  We can be fearless in earthquakes and great upheavals.  David was in danger often and held this faith.  He was aware of a quiet stream that was unaffected by the tempests of mountains and oceans.  A river will make the city of God glad.  In the future Hezekiah would bring a river to Jerusalem in a tunnel.  For now David was content with the imagery of god’s deliverance.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  Psalm 46:6-11

The heathen raged.  Liberals or conservatives can all still be heathens, and do they all rage on Facebook!  But there is a season for God to speak for himself, and the world will hear.  God is our refuge but he manifests desolation and destruction in season.  He can crush an army or tear down mountains.  In the New Testament the church faced Roman oppression that led all the way to the destruction of the temple.  But this book suggests that God has a hand on the throttle.

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.  He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.  He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.  God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.  Psalm 47:1-5

This book is written for those who believe in God who makes us victorious.  Although the heathen raged and scattered Israel their hope still lives.  Have confidence because your Lord is terrible.  That’s not bad for you, but seriously bad for those who are truly evil by intent.  The heathen do rage, but only for a season.  God will put the nations under our feet.  Your faith will deliver an inheritance of God’s design just for you.  His advance is announced by his shout as the trumpet sounds.

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.  For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.  God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.  The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.  Psalm 47:6-9

What do we owe for such a great inheritance?  Praise that gives God honor before our lost world.  A few of his sheep are predestined but still lost for now.  The words of God are the bread of life to them, they know their master’s voice.  Our praise is our obedience to that word, demonstrating faith to the world through our actions.  A few more sheep are coming, and they need to hear that voice of faith.  True leaders will come to God because he owns the only protection there is in his salvation.  If the Diaspora of the Jews was not a cause for despair,  how insignificant are the raging of today’s heathen?  Neither Jew, Arab, Democrat nor Republican can tear down our hope in God.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.  God is known in her palaces for a refuge.  For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.  They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.  Psalm 48:1-5

Even today those first two lines are sung as worship songs in churches.  We may have lost the melodies of David’s Psalms, but we have the poetry of them.  They lend themselves to song naturally.   God was reputed to live in Jerusalem and kings and nations recognized it as a strategic location as well.  The city and its temple were placed for a good military defense.  But God had a special protection in store for Jerusalem.

Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.  Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.  As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.  We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.  According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Psalm 48:6-10

Enemies despair to find weakness in the city where God has demonstrated his presence.  As Israel heard testimony of God they also saw for themselves the proof of his faithful intervention for them.  God has established Zion as a home for Israel so they praise him for it.  But Jerusalem is more than a city and Israel is more than the kingdom of the Jews.

Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.  Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.  Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.  For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Psalm 48:11-14

David encourages celebration of God and appreciation of Mount Zion, its palaces, and the temple.  Mark her bulwarks, and the historians left us evidence.  He commands them to measure and report the places of Jerusalem for the future generations.  Indeed the Jerusalem of David’s time would be changed but the descriptions of his have survived.  These reports of scripture and historians has been revealing the ancient city in ways that will move the future.  Some scholars are now suggesting that the temple mount never was under the Dome of the Rock.  Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon may be much closer than previously believed.

There are numerous studies pointing to the long ignored rubble south of the Dome of the Rock.  It was ignored until Israel returned and began digging.  The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, but not their own fortress Antonia.  That large structure has survived as the site the Moslems made into the Dome of the Rock.  The temple may well have been south of that structure.  Consider a body of scholarly evidence:

http://www.beneimikra.com/2011/01/true-location-of-temple-of-jerusalem.html

http://www.becomingone.org/templemount.htm

http://askelm.com/temple/t001211.htm

http://templemountlocation.com/

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:  Both low and high, rich and poor, together.  My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.  I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.  Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?  Psalm 49: 1-5

Let the world witness the testimony of David.  He will stand as the example of wisdom and understanding in spite of a few errors along the way.  David will listen to the parable and reveal dark secrets in song.  We have been witnessing his revelation of the messiah in these parables already.  Now he has confidence; he needs not even fear his own iniquity.  He has discovered the author of mercy in the king of his previous parables.

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;  None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:  (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)  That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.  For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.  Psalm 49: 6-10

Others will reject the cornerstone, and try to build on wealth and power.  Yet they cannot help others against the judgment of God.  By wealth or worldly wisdom no one is saved and they die the same way the foolish brute does.  The archeology of Jerusalem is pointing to generations of human labors that will all be buried under the layers of time.  Prophets predicted the domination of gentiles over Jerusalem and we have almost forgotten the actual location of the city of David now.  But the legacy of David has returned to Jerusalem, and it has not depended on works.  The confidence of David is alive today.  Modern scholars are also reading the scriptures and the history of Josephus.

Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.  Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.  This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.  Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.  Psalm 49: 11-15

The Philistines are still calling Israel Palestine after their own name.  It took the Romans to make it so, but these gentiles too have passed into history.  So Palestinians expect to stay forever in spite of promises made to Abraham.  World opinion does not drive God; their way is their folly.  And now the upright are returning to Israel in dominion and David will be redeemed from the power of the grave.

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;  For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.  Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.  He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.  Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49: 16-20

Caesar and Mohammed have prospered for a season, and now they are gone.  Hitler’s physicians have healed themselves and the art and treasures are returning to Israel.  The world should hear the wife of Haman and recognize that God is with Israel.  The enemies of God will no longer prosper, they shall never see light.

Today the great fortress Antonia of Herod is gone along with the army that occupied it.  Some believe that great house stood where the Dome of the Rock is today, not the temple.  The temple is more than Zion though.  The Lord himself is the temple of heaven.

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  Revelation 21:22-23 

Heaven doesn’t need a temple, it has one.  But man needs a temple to complete the prophesies of the bible.  He has provided a place for it , a place called Zion.  The gentiles trampled it but they didn’t build over it.  That’s just common sense; rubble and rocks are hard to build on or plow.  It was easier to move off that rocky knoll and build on the level where the Romans had good foundations.  Their fortress was an easy base for a Mosque.  In fact the entire old city of David is largely still exposed.  There is still a place for the temple of the Jews.

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THE OLD CITY OF DAVID

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The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.  Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.  Psalm 50:1-5

Well the story keeps pointing to the return of the Lord with judgment, even in the Old Testament.  He is expected to judge his people though.  If we have faith we have to expect to be measured and judged as the fire devours before him.  The faithful can not expect “religious” behavior, good deeds, or sacrifices to save them.

And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.  Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.  I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.  I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.  For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  Psalm 50:6-10

If God negates the sacrifices he himself ordained in the Law, what are we supposed to do for salvation?  What hope do we have?

I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.  If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.  Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?  Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:  And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  Psalm 50:11-15

He wants us to ask for his help, and to be grateful for it with thanks.  Isn’t that what a good parent does?  We want our children to ask questions when they face unknown trials.  We too appreciate a little gratitude on occasion.  God wants his family.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?  Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.  When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.  Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.  Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.  Psalm 50:16-20

Perhaps two temples could allow Arabs and Jews to consider unity.  The New Testament would open the door to unify the sons of Abraham.  The Christian Kingdom of God is already international, without borders.  Arabs and Jews have been mixed in Israel for centuries.  They may be capable of reconciliation.  Many have already accepted Yeshua.  But there are many individuals who do not even try to be righteous in the eyes of God.  Some of these religious souls are themselves guilty of sin in God’s eyes.  Do we see murder and theft in every nation?  Are national leaders willing to lie and plot?  These are the targets of a God who knows their heart.

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ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT 

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.  Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.  Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.  Psalm 50:21-23

God held his silence while religions and devils thought that he was one of them.  They even worship the devil thinking that he is the real winner here.  Congress is torn by accusations and bitterness.  Consider the warning of the televangelist war.  When a preacher named Jimmy spoke against another named Jim, they both appeared on television with their lawyers.  That act defied the scriptural command not to take a brother to court.  With that evidence this baby Christian knew that they were both wrong.  Time confirmed this fact.  When men are so bitter they may all be wrong.

God is still real and ready.  His opinion is the only one that counts.  The righteous desire for peace is threatened by real evil around the world.  God left the physical possibility of two temples or even one (himself) and peace.  True evil speaks sheep and walks wolf.  David knew that God can speak for himself.  He did:  Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.”

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ROOM FOR ALL

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