Bible prophecy shows Jerusalem—City of Peace—becoming Jesus Christ’s center of world government. Learn about Jerusalem’s future as Richard Ames examines Matthew 24, Luke 21, Daniel 12, Isaiah, and the Book of Revelation.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Generals, dictators, and despots have tried to rule the world. Their capital cities were monumental and impressive. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon built one of the designated “Seven Wonders of the World,” the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The historian Herodotus wrote, “In addition to its size, Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world.”
The Bible documents the King’s great pride and boasting over his accomplishments. The prophet Daniel had warned the king to humble himself.
“At the end of the twelve months he [King Nebuchadnezzar] was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’” (Daniel 4:29–30).
God punished King Nebuchadnezzar, who finally learned his lesson:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37).
The Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler, in his plan to rule the world, envisioned a world capital to last a thousand years. Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect for the future city, planned a Grand Hall next to the Reichstag that “would have been the largest enclosed space in the world, with a dome 16 times larger than that of St Peter’s in Rome” according to HistoryToday.com (“Germania: Hitler’s Dream Capital”).
Of course, Hitler fell before the Allied armies in World War II.
Bible prophecy reveals that another great dictator, called the “Beast” in the book of Revelation, will desire to rule the world and establish his own capital. As it tells us in Revelation 13:7,
“And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
The good news is that the coming King of kings will conquer and destroy this coming Beast power (Revelation 17:14) and Jesus Christ will establish a righteous world capital city. What city will become the capital of the world? In spite of today’s conflicts, Jerusalem in Israel will soon become the glorious capital of the world.
Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!
Today’s world news features the rising power of China, the aggression of Russia against Ukraine, [and] the determination of European powers, especially Germany, to increase their military forces powerfully! All these will play their part in end-time prophecies. But eventually, the Middle East will be the focus of dramatic events. You need to know the sequence of prophetic events.
Consider the great national capital cities in today’s world. While you may not agree with this list, The News International listed the ten most beautiful capital cities in the world.
In reverse order starting with number ten:
10. Moscow, Russia
9. Ottawa, Canada
8. Budapest, Hungary
7. Tokyo, Japan
6. Rome, Italy
5. Paris, France
4. Washington D.C, United States
3. Berlin, Germany
2. Islamabad, Pakistan
1. London, England.
Another impressive national capital that my wife and visited some years ago is Canberra, Australia. The city was designed in 1912 by architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin.
The capital building itself is impressive.
One of my hobbies is visiting state capitals here in the United States. I’ll share two of them with you. The Washington State capital in Olympia features glistening “marble quarried across the globe” according to one history magazine.
“Ornately decorated, the Roman-Neoclassical legislative building is topped by the fifth-highest stone masonry dome in the world. Inside dangles a five-ton Tiffany chandelier so massive you could fit a VW Bug inside it” (“History, Architecture and Politics Combine in a Salem-to-Olympia Tour,” 1889mag.com, November 15, 2016).
The state capital in Frankfort, Kentucky also features extraordinary marble columns and walls. One Kentucky newspaper describes it this way: “The Capitol’s august exterior of Indiana limestone and interior composed of Georgia marble, gray Tennessee marble and dark green Vermont marble with grand corridors featuring 36 columns of Vermont granite and delicate art glass skylights and murals make it a place of beauty” (“Capitol building in Frankfort full of history, beauty,” Lexington Herald Leader, October 5, 2015).
The beauty and grandeur of state and national capitals makes a statement of governmental power and majesty. We saw earlier that the Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler, in his plan to rule the world, envisioned a world capital built to last a thousand years. Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect for the future city, planned a Grand Hall next to the Reichstag that “would have been the largest enclosed space in the world, with a dome 16 times larger than that of St Peter’s in Rome” according to HistoryToday.com (“Germania: Hitler’s Dream Capital).
The prophesied world-ruling superpower, called the Beast in the book of Revelation, may claim his national capital is also the capital of the world. But Jesus Christ will crush the Beast and the false prophet, and cast them into a lake of fire, as it tells us in Revelation 19:20. But WHERE will Christ the King set up His government? What city on earth will be the capital of the world? Jerusalem! Many different scriptures confirm this wonderful fact. If you have your Bible, turn to one of the major prophecies regarding the future of the world. The second chapter of ISAIAH gives us a wonderful and encouraging view of tomorrow’s world. ISAIAH 2:1. Notice this specific prophecy concerning Jerusalem. ISAIAH 2:1,
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and JERUSALEM. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:1–2).
As our regular Tomorrow’s World viewers saw, in a previous program on the principles of prophecy, mountains are a biblical symbol for a kingdom or government. Isaiah stated plainly that the Lord’s Kingdom would be established in JERUSALEM. Yes, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world! Notice that “ALL NATIONS shall flow to it.” All nations will submit to the world government. Let’s understand, this will NOT be government in the hands of selfish human beings. This new government will be a world ruling DIVINE Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. The world-ruling Kingdom will be ruled by the Savior, the King of kings, Jesus Christ! That’s the good news we all look forward to. I hope that you’re looking forward to that time of world peace! I hope that you’re yearning for the Kingdom to come! I hope that you’re PRAYING, “Your Kingdom come!” as we’re taught to pray in Matthew 6:10.
Turn in your Bible to Zechariah 14. During the thousand-year reign of Christ, all nations on earth will look to Jerusalem as the capital of the world and will send representatives to worship the King of kings. Zechariah 14:16,
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
All nations will finally learn the way to peace, not war. And they will learn the true way of love toward God and love toward neighbor. Nations will no longer desire military power and war to solve problems. They will want the truth taught them from the capital city, Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3,
“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:3–4).
The very name, Jerusalem, means “City of Peace.” But even today, tensions and conflicts erupt within it. Your Bible records its ancient history. In Genesis the 14th chapter we read about Melchizedek, King of Salem, or as all biblical scholars know, the King of Jerusalem. Our Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course highlights historic milestones in Jerusalem’s long history. I’ll share a few of the past significant events. This report is titled “Jerusalem: A Historical Overview. A city washed in blood through centuries of endless conflict awaits its prophetic destiny.”
We will start this historic overview with the earliest biblical references.
c. 1895 BC—Melchizedek, King of Salem, blesses Abram and receives his tithes.
c. 1850 BC—God instructs Abraham to take Isaac to the land of Moriah to sacrifice him there. Later, God provided a ram sacrifice in place of Isaac.
c. 1406 BC—Joshua defeats Adon-i-zedek, King of Jerusalem. (Joshua 10:1–5, 23–26). The Jebusites retain parts of the city.
About 400 years later, King David ruled all Israel from Jerusalem.
c. 1000 BC—Jerusalem is captured by King David Jerusalem becomes the capital of all Israel.This would become the future location of God’s temple.
Over a period of about twenty years, the kingdom of Judah went into Babylonian captivity culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem.
586 BC—King Nebuchadnezzar conquers and destroys Jerusalem and the temple.
539 BC—Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers Babylon. He subsequently allows the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
After its subjection to the Persian Empire and the Greco-Macedonian Empire, Jerusalem is ruled by Rome.
63 BC—Pompey conquers Jerusalem and makes it a part of Roman Empire.
37 BC—Herod the Great assumes kingship in Jerusalem.
31 AD—Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the beginning of the Church Age.
70 AD—Second temple destroyed by the Romans.
During the next 1,800 years after 70 AD, Jerusalem experiences many conflicts including Muslim domination.
1917—Jerusalem enters a new phase.
1947—United Nations partitions Jerusalem. The city is divided between Arab and Jewish control.
1948—Israel becomes an independent nation on May 6. Israel successfully defends itself against the attack of the Arab League.
1967—During the Six-Day War, Israel captures all of Jerusalem, putting it under Jewish rule for the first time since the Roman destruction in 70 AD.
Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel has fought wars and negotiated peace treaties with several Arab states. But Israel has never been able to negotiate a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians. Both claim Jerusalem as their capital.
The one issue that appears unsolvable: “Who will control Jerusalem?” In 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem its “UNITED AND ETERNAL CAPITAL” (“FACTBOX: Jerusalem, a city at the heart of conflict,” Reuters.com, July 22, 2008).
If both sides consider their positions non-negotiable, there’s an impasse. The Israeli position remains unchanged—that is, they insist that Jerusalem will remain united under SOLE ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY.
Yes, the gap between views over the sovereignty of Jerusalem is wide and deep! What does the international community think about this conflict? What IS the solution? In 1980, when Israel declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “united and eternal capital,” the Vatican STRONGLY OBJECTED to that declaration. Then later, in 1984, Pope John Paul II called for Jerusalem to have a “special internationally guaranteed status” (“Holy See Press Office Communiqué: Audience with the President of the State of Palestine,” Press.Vatican.va, November 4, 2021).
My friends, the status of Jerusalem will continue to be a major issue. You need to be watching the Middle East and the trends that will mean major changes in political and religious control over the city of Jerusalem.
Jesus spoke of a time when enemy armies will invade the Holy Land and surround the city of Jerusalem. LUKE 21:20, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” So, we see that there are at least two signs Jesus tells us to watch for: The Abomination of Desolation emphasized in Matthew 24:15, and Jerusalem surrounded by armies. These will not just be ANY armies of the Middle East, but the Gentile armies that will control Jerusalem for three and one-half years, as we read in Revelation 11:2. Now, let’s continue in LUKE 21:22, “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:22–24). How long will the Gentiles control Jerusalem?
Turn in your Bible to the book of REVELATION or the Apocalypse. REVELATION, chapter 11. The Apostle John wrote in REVELATION 11:1,
“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been GIVEN TO THE GENTILES. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for FORTY-TWO MONTHS’” (Revelation 11:1–2).
The Holy City will be controlled not by the Jews, but by the Gentiles for 42 months. As you read through the book of Revelation, you’ll see that this period of three and one-half years precedes the return of Christ.
Now turn to DANIEL, CHAPTER TWELVE. Daniel had been given a revelation by an angel. When he asked the meaning of the message, the angel told him in DANIEL 12:9,
“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
Over 2,500 years later, we can now understand these prophecies—this IS the time of the end! But notice VERSE 11:
“And from the time that the DAILY SACRIFICE is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11).
At the time of the end, shortly before the return of Christ, God reveals the daily sacrifice will be stopped, or “taken away.” This obviously implies that the sacrifices must be STARTED, before they can be STOPPED! The Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and the second temple in 70 AD. The Jews have not offered temple sacrifices since that time.
But notice: In ancient times, when they returned to Jerusalem from exile, the Jews actually began sacrificing BEFORE the foundation of their temple was laid. EZRA 3:6. The Jews also observed the Feast of Tabernacles with daily sacrifices, as it states in verse 4. Now, EZRA 3:6,
“From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, although [listen to this] the FOUNDATION of the temple of the LORD had NOT BEEN LAID.”
Notice another important point. The exiles return WHERE? Ezra refers to the location of the holy place, as the HOUSE OF GOD, when the temple had NOT YET been built. EZRA 3:8,
“Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the HOUSE OF GOD at Jerusalem….”
This was around 536 BC. But there was no building as yet. The following verses describe the laying of the FOUNDATION of the temple.
The point, my friends, is that sacrifices must be presented in a holy place. But in this case, the sacrifices were made daily, WITHOUT a physical building called a temple. The returning Jewish exiles referred to the Holy Place as “the House of God,” even though no temple existed. The holiest place under the control of the Jewish religious authorities today, is the Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall. It is the western retaining wall to the Temple Mount. Jews are not allowed to publicly worship on the Temple Mount, only Muslims. In recent years, Jews have been pressuring for a religious presence on the Temple Mount. So, it remains to be seen where and when the Jews will begin sacrificing. It will probably take a national crisis to precipitate that event.
We’ve seen that Jesus Christ will come from Heaven to rule the earth for a thousand years of peace and prosperity. Jerusalem will be the capital of the world. Jerusalem will not only be the GOVERNMENTAL capital of the world, but also it will be the EDUCATIONAL capital of the world. The great Educator and Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, will teach true knowledge based on the word of God. As we saw in Zechariah 8:3,
“Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth.”
All nations will learn the eternal principles, laws, and values that guarantee peace and prosperity for all. As Isaiah said, the people will come to the Holy Land and say,
“‘He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
The great Educator and Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ, will teach true knowledge based on the word of God. As we saw in Zechariah 8:3,
“Thus says the LORD: ‘I WILL RETURN to Zion, and DWELL in the midst of JERUSALEM. JERUSALEM shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets’” (Zechariah 8:3–5).
The city of Jerusalem will finally live up to its name, “City of Peace.” Because, the Lord, the Eternal, the glorified Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth will actually DWELL there. As He said, “I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of JERUSALEM.” That’s when we’ll begin to experience genuine world peace. Jerusalem will be called “the City of Truth.”
That’s the good news of YOUR future—and the future of the world. Eventually, the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven to this earth as the capital of the universe, more glorious than any humanly designed capital. You can read about that magnificent time in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. In the meantime, we look forward to the soon-coming world capital, Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be the center of world government, education, and religion. The word “Jerusalem” means “city of peace.” Jerusalem has experienced bloody fighting and wars over the millennia. But soon, this great city truly will be the CITY OF PEACE for ALL PEOPLES. That’s the good news you can look forward to!
Thank you for watching!
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Jerusalem is the most important city in the world. Scripture shows that the region surrounding it—the Middle East—will eventually explode into world war.
Do you know what the Bible teaches about the end-time climax of world events in the region?
You may be surprised!