The nation of Israel will be celebrating it’s 70th birthday on May 14th, 2018. This comes right before the Feast of Pentecost. So why is this birthday so relevant to God’s time table?
70 in the Bible is the number for the perfection (completion) of divine order. There were 70 members of Jacob’s family that went to Egypt during the famine. There were 70 elders called up to Mt. Sinai with Moses and Aaron to see God and eat with Him (Ex. 24:9-11). Jesus sent 70 disciples out on training for missionary work to preach the gospel in Judea (Luke 10).
70 was also a divine period of judgment to make an end of sins for the nation of Israel breaking God’s law. Jerusalem went through two divine periods of 70 year judgment that resulted in the destruction of the city and a removal of God’s people from the land.
With all eyes upon Jerusalem this May 14th, God will use this 70th year landmark as another SET TIME to fulfill scriptures. So in order to understand this SET TIME, let’s review how 70 is associated with Jerusalem in the bible. The blueprint of the LAW will help us to understand this pattern.
To begin, all judgment is a product of rebellion to God’s laws, and the penalty of breaking the law has to be paid before redemption can take place. But judgment always has a specified time period/cost for its penalty so that redemption can follow (Lev. 26).
The removal of the Israelites from their land was what the Old Testament Law referred to as the “iron yoke” penalty; judgment given to the nation for rebelling against the Lord and choosing idolatry. The “wooden” yoke was less severe, and allowed the Israelites to stay in the land under an oppressive leader (Deut. 28:47,48; Jer. 28:10-13).
The manifestation of the “iron yoke” penalty came with the first destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. God raised up the Babylonians to lay siege against His people. For 70 years, the people had not honored the Sabbath, and so for each year they didn’t honor the SIGN of their national Covenant, God put them into the Babylonian captivity and allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed (2 Chron.36:21):
“I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem”(Dan. 9:2).
Jerusalem remained destroyed for 70 years until 516 B.C., when the Jews went back to Jerusalem to rebuild under the “wooden yoke.”
But God showed Daniel of another divine period of judgment that would come upon the city of Jerusalem in the future after Jesus was crucified because of their continued rejection of the law:
“70 WEEKS are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Dan. 9:24).
Nehemiah and Ezra and a remnant went back to Jerusalem and built the city and the temple again under King Darius’s provision and decree (Neh. 2:5,6). 70 weeks later (which equals 490 years), Jerusalem was destroyed again. However, before this SET TIME, Jesus would arrive on the scene to settle the debt. His death on the cross paid the “penalty” in full for individuals AND for the nation, just as the word declared through Daniel. Those who accepted Jesus as their Savior were sealed with His “Promise” on the Day of Pentecost. But the majority in the city continued to reject Him.
Having received the “Promise,” the Holy Spirit was able to dwell IN the disciples bodies (temples) and empower them to go and preach the gospel. Pentecost was God’s SET TIME when the location of where God’s presence would dwell in changed locations from the OLD JERUSALEM to the NEW JERUSALEM. Regardless of the future of the city of Jerusalem, Christ had executed a way for His presence to always be with His people who called on His name.
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple”(Rev. 21:22).
Because the Jews rejected Christ, and then rebelled against the “wooden yoke” of the oppressive Roman government, the “iron yoke” was issued again by the Lord. After 40 years, in God’s SET TIME, the destruction of Jerusalem came as prophesied in 70 AD.. This forced the Jews to be dispersed and forbidden back into the land until their judgment was complete. The law declares in Lev. 26, a 7X punishment for the nation who rejects the law. (7X equates to 2520 years; which is figured by the amount of days in a lunar calendar year x7). This national penalty began as soon as the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, and it met it’s completion in 1917.
In 1917, England conquered Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire, and through the agreement known as the “Balfour Declaration,” it began the process of the Jews being granted access to go back to the land of Judea, and share it with the Arabs.
The Balfour Declaration did not intend to establish a Jewish state, but rather, a Jewish national home. It had no intention of dispossessing Arabs. It was agreed that Arabs would continue inhabiting the majority of the land, but allow Jews to purchase land from the Arabs and live there with equal rights. This agreement never reached “legal status,” and the Zionists at the time negated this agreement and forced their hand to take back the land they called their own.
When the Jews returned, they took over the Judean area by force, killing many who lived there, seizing much of their land, and declaring it to be a “Jewish state.” This was not what was originally agreed to, but in 1948, those who led this cause declared themselves a Jewish nation, and called their nation, ISRAEL.
Since then, the nation of Israel has not experienced peace in the land, even though Jerusalem’s name means “Peace.” This is because the law requires repentance in order for the land to be healed. There has been no repentance as a nation for rejecting the Messiah as having come in the flesh for salvation to “make reconciliation for iniquity.” Therefore, the nation remains under the Levitical Law that states:
“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness to which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies, if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt- THEN I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land” (Lev. 26:40-42).
Jerusalem is now at the 70 year mark when Israel became a nation. A completion of divine order of time has been established. God has given the world 70 years to see that the nation of Israel is NOT the nation carrying the light of God’s glory to the world. As a matter of fact, the nation of Israel has been the center of the world scene because of the lack of peace that exists between it and other nations of the world. Israel is continually at war, defending itself, and much bloodshed has occurred. The blood cries out to the throne of God, and Jerusalem, “the Bloody City,” still has no atonement (Ex. 22-24). ONLY Christ can answer that cry.
What did Jesus prophesy over Jerusalem?
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her? How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you DESOLATE; and assuredly I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'”(Luke 13:34-36).
Jesus Himself declares the city will remain desolate, meaning, that Jerusalem would remain barren (unfruitful) in establishing the Kingdom of God through Christ. The land of Judea was also stripped from the responsibility of building the kingdom of God here on the earth when they rejected Jesus. That responsibility was given to another:
“Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read the scriptures; the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it'”(Matt. 21:42,43).
Even though Jesus prophesied this, many in the world still look to the land of Judea (the nation we call Israel today) to fulfill that responsibility. Hmmm, can you guess what nation got it? Look around the world and ask yourself, what nation has sent ambassadors of Christ to the nations to preach the word?
The Word brings clarity about Jerusalem in Gal. 4:22-26, showing us there are TWO Jerusalem’s that coincide with TWO Covenants (the OLD and the NEW):
“For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar – for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and CORRESPONDS TO JERUSALEM, WHICH NOW IS, AND IS IN BONDAGE WITH HER CHILDREN – BUT THE JERUSALEM ABOVE IS FREE, WHICH IS THE MOTHER OF US ALL.”
In other words, the city of Jerusalem today is associated with the Old Testament and the Law given from Mt. Sinai. It is connected to the symbolism God uses through Hagar, who birthed Abraham’s son, Ishmael. Isaac, however, came from his wife Sarah, in whom the Lord prophesied would birth the “promised SEED.” This son was chosen to produce the “Seed” that birthed the Messiah who later became the sacrificial lamb of the New Covenant.
Coincidently, the name Jerusalem in Hebrew is Y’ru-shah-lah-yim, which is plural in meaning, so the correct translation is: TWO Jerusalem’s. Hidden in it’s name is the mystery that there would be two Jerusalem’s in God’s plan to house His glory, the OLD and the NEW.
We also know from the bible that prior to be named Jerusalem, it was called Salem, which means “Peace.” (complete, especially friendly, full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfect(ed), quiet and whole). But Jerusalem has not experienced peace since the birthing of the nation of Israel in 1948. Today there is four different religions claiming the temple grounds. This city rejected the “Prince of Peace,” and have had to fight for peace on their own ever since. It won’t happen UNTIL AFTER CHRIST RETURNS.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PEACE. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. (Is. 6:6,7).
We are in God’s “SET TIME” in which the veil is coming off the eyes of of God’s people, who are still looking to Jerusalem, the nation here on the earth, to fulfill scripture of a future city in which God’s people will gathered to. Instead, a third “iron yoke” judgment is coming to Jerusalem to fulfill prophesy, for Jerusalem is said to be a city that will be destroyed before the Lord returns (Luke 19:41-44; Zeph. 1:4-13; Mic.3:12).
It has been reported that President Trump (who is 70 years old), will be in Jerusalem on their 70th year celebration. He announced awhile ago that he is moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, which is a move that says to the world that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Two nations will be on stage: America and Israel. One will represent the OLD JERUSALEM, who is under the bondage of the law, along with its people. The other will represent a nation not perfect, but who accepted Christ as King from her founding; representing the NEW JERUSALEM whose land is the home of the FREE.
One can look at America today and see all the sin coming forth from the choices she has made and scratch their head wondering how God can bless America. One can see all the destruction that has come forth because of the sinful choices we have added into our laws that oppose God’s laws. We are no different than any other sinful nation, including Israel. However, God chose America to multiply Christ’s light and become a beacon of hope to the nations. America’s founders knew this, declared this nation’s faith in Christ, and founded this nation on God’s word. The legacy of America is that she is a Christian nation, and her land has been dedicated to the freedom of serving Him.
Christ is the ONLY reason why America has been graced with so much of God’s mercy. “America, America, God’s grace is shed on thee!”
“If My people who are called by My name (JESUS) will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and HEAL THEIR LAND” (2 Chron. 7:14).