In what must be the #1 Biblical story of 2017, we see the astonishing announcement that the Israeli government is seriously considering naming a future new train station near Jerusalem's Old City after President Donald Trump. As you may recall, President Trump just acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6, and vowed to move the United States embassy there from Tel Aviv in the near future.
As we shared in a previous edition of the Carlson Report on December 7, Jerusalem has always been the center of the Lord's purposes for us through our creation and redemption and so Jerusalem is not only the eternal capital of Israel, but of the world. Because the prophetic things under way are so spectacular, we need to catch our breath and take a moment to reflect on exactly what is going on because the events are momentous for the entire world.
Regarding the potential "Trump Station" in Jerusalem, the Daily Mail reported,
Israel's transportation minister is pushing ahead with a plan to extend Jerusalem's soon-to-open high-speed rail line to the Western Wall, where he wants to name a future station after President Donald Trump. 'The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump – following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,' Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told the Jerusalem Post.
Perhaps the only way to really understand the context of what is going on right now is to look back on the last 100 years of world history regarding Jerusalem. Israel has just finished celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that was signed by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, on November 2, 1917. The document expressed the following support to establish a national homeland for the Jews in the land of Israel:
His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
This promise and intention, reflected in the Balfour Declaration over 100 years ago, eventually led to the restoration of the modern State of Israel on May 14, 1948, fulfilling hundreds of Bible prophecies about the rebirth and restoration of the Land and people of Israel.
What many don't know is that a 100 years ago, as the Balfour Declaration was being formulated in November, the battle for Jerusalem had reached a pivotal moment during World War I. The British and Allied Forces, under General Allenby, were in a fevered fight over Jerusalem with the Turkish Army that had controlled Jerusalem for 400 years. As the battle moved into December, some astonishing things happened. Not only did General Allenby officially take control of Jerusalem on December 11, but his victory occurred during the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is celebrated to commemorate Israel's victory over her enemies that had desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem in 168 B.C. So, in a way, General Allenby began a restoration process of the Holy City that was similar to what Judah the Maccabee did over 2000 years earlier.
Once Jerusalem came back under the control of the Allies and the British Empire, the promises of the Balfour Declaration could begin to unfold. That reality finally happened after World War II when the United Nations voted for a partition plan to create the new State in November of 1947 that was realized the following year on May 14. And even though the battle for Jerusalem during World War I had ended 31 years earlier, a new battle began immediately. Israel's War of Independence cost many lives, but the Jewish people were finally back in the Land, even though areas of Jerusalem such as the Wailing Wall and Temple Mount were still outside of their control.
The ensuing battle over the control of Jerusalem continued until the Six Day War with Egypt, Syria and Jordan in June of 1967. Israel's victory in this war astonished the world, as the Israelis miraculously regained control of Jerusalem. Few seemed to remember that this war took place exactly 50 years after the previous battle for Jerusalem during World War I. Fifty-year periods in the Bible are known of as Jubilees, from Leviticus 25. The Jubilee celebrated a special time when the Land was returned to the original owner. Hence, what we saw in 1917 and 1967, through two major wars, was a miracle of the Lord that restored the Land and the people back to the original owner...the God of the Bible.
So, what is even more astonishing is the fact that this month, another 50 year Jubilee since the Six Day War of 1967, the leader of the free world declared that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel. The trajectory of President Trump's announcement on December 6, also during the season of Hanukkah, is nothing less than an astounding miracle of the Lord's sovereignty and purposes for Jerusalem, Israel and the world. What a thrill to see the Lord moving in 3 consecutive Jubilees in 1917, 1967 and 2017 regarding Jerusalem. There is NO other explanation that even begins to connect these events into a coherent plan other than the plans and purposes of Almighty God as outlined in the Bible and accomplished through the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wow!!!
How interesting then that President Trump's declaration on December 6, along with Hanukkah on December 12-19 and Christmas Day on December 25, all took place within days of one another. It is as though every sign and holiday of history and the Bible are somehow converging into one story of the Lord's redeeming love and plan for the world centered in Jerusalem. You see, upon further study, it would even be possible to show that Jesus was conceived in the Virgin Mary's womb on Hanukkah and born on Christmas, the day Christians celebrate Christ's birth. And so, the destinies of Christians, Jews and the world are all somehow connected to what happened in Jerusalem past, present and future.
It is not possible to know with certainty if the "Trump Station" will ever be built. Tensions over the Trump Declaration about Jerusalem are rising tonight, with leaders in Iran and elsewhere calling for death to America and everything connected to that decision. Even the United Nations voted against it on December 21 in overwhelming numbers of 128 against, 9 in favor with 35 abstentions. So, in the end, we just can't say what will happen in the future. What we can say with 100% certainty is the Lord's prophetic train is moving and right on schedule. The Lord's purposes for Jerusalem and our lives cannot be stopped. The Lord that died and rose in Jerusalem for our sins is running the Milky Way tonight and is directing every human decision and purpose. The Lord has used every ruler from the Pharaoh of Egypt to Cyrus of Persia, along with Presidents Truman and Nixon to accomplish His plans for Israel and the world. Why would it be any different now? So whatever our views of Trump, politics, Jerusalem or world history, the Lord is on the move. Do we see it? Are we ready? Do we have a Savior?
Let's all run into our Savior's arms as the New Year dawns and share Him with others. Happy New Year!