Jerusalem

     Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the word . . .

                j e r u s a l e m                 (  4  RELATED  PHRASES )                               

                       The  word  'Jerusalem'  appears  4,280  times in the published writings of EGW           Page not on Original site                                                                Related Phrases:    New Jerusalem  ( 118 )  - -   inhabitants of Jerusalem  ( below )  - -  city of Jerusalem  ( 57 )

  Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God. The woes of a fallen race, pressing upon His soul, forced from His lips that exceeding bitter cry. He saw the record of sin traced in human misery, tears, and blood; His heart was moved with infinite pity for the afflicted and suffering ones of earth; He yearned to relieve them all. But even His hand might not turn back the tide of human woe; few would seek their only Source of help. He was willing to pour out His soul unto death, to bring salvation within their reach; but few would come to Him that they might have life. { GC 22.1}  Read entire Chapter 1

 

It is no time now for God’s people to be fixing their affections or laying up their treasure in the world. The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. And now, instead of seeking expensive dwellings here, we should be preparing to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Instead of spending our means in self-gratification, we should be studying to economize.—Testimonies for the Church 5:464, 465 (1885). { CL 32.1} 
 
  Christ told His disciples that they were to begin their work at Jerusalem. That city had been the scene of His amazing sacrifice for the human race. There, clad in the garb of humanity, He had walked and talked with men, and few had discerned how near heaven came to earth. There He had been condemned and crucified. In Jerusalem were many who secretly believed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah, and many who had been deceived by priests and rulers. To these the gospel must be proclaimed. They were to be called to repentance. The wonderful truth that through Christ alone could remission of sins be obtained, was to be made plain. And it was while all Jerusalem was stirred by the thrilling events of the past few weeks, that the preaching of the disciples would make the deepest impression. { AA 31.2} 

 

The persecution that came upon the church in Jerusalem resulted in giving a great impetus to the work of the gospel. Success had attended the ministry of the word in that place, and there was danger that the disciples would linger there too long, unmindful of the Saviour’s commission to go to all the world. Forgetting that strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service, they began to think that they had no work so important as that of shielding the church in Jerusalem from the attacks of the enemy. Instead of educating the new converts to carry the gospel to those who had not heard it, they were in danger of taking a course that would lead all to be satisfied with what had been accomplished. To scatter His representatives abroad, where they could work for others, God permitted persecution to come upon them. Driven from Jerusalem, the believers “went everywhere preaching the word.” { AA 105.2} 
 
  Ananias could scarcely credit the words of the angel; for the reports of Saul’s bitter persecution of the saints at Jerusalem had spread far and wide. He presumed to expostulate: “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name.” But the command was imperative: “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” { AA 121.3} 

 

While the light of the gospel was shining brightly at Antioch, an important work was continued by the apostles who had remained in Jerusalem. Every year, at the time of the festivals, many Jews from all lands came to Jerusalem to worship at the temple. Some of these pilgrims were men of fervent piety and earnest students of the prophecies. They were looking and longing for the advent of the promised Messiah, the hope of Israel. While Jerusalem was filled with these strangers, the apostles preached Christ with unflinching courage, though they knew that in so doing they were placing their lives in constant jeopardy. The Spirit of God set its seal upon their labors; many converts to the faith were made; and these, returning to their homes in different parts of the world, scattered the seeds of truth through all nations and among all classes of society. { AA 165.1} 
 
  Christ knew that at the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews would remember His warning. And it was so. When calamity came upon Jerusalem, when starvation and suffering of every kind came upon the people, they remembered these words of Christ and understood the parable. They had brought their suffering upon themselves by their neglect to let their God-given light shine forth to the world. { COL 269.2} 

 

So anxious were they about this that they urged Christ to go to Jerusalem. “Depart hence,” they said, “and go into Judea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world.” The “if” expressed doubt and unbelief. They attributed cowardice and weakness to Him. If He knew that He was the Messiah, why this strange reserve and inaction? If He really possessed such power, why not go boldly to Jerusalem, and assert His claims? Why not perform in Jerusalem the wonderful works reported of Him in Galilee? Do not hide in secluded provinces, they said, and perform your mighty works for the benefit of ignorant peasants and fishermen. Present yourself at the capital, win the support of the priests and rulers, and unite the nation in establishing the new kingdom. { DA 450.2} 
 
  Jerusalem had been the child of His care, and as a tender father mourns over a wayward son, so Jesus wept over the beloved city. How can I give thee up? How can I see thee devoted to destruction? Must I let thee go to fill up the cup of thine iniquity? One soul is of such value that, in comparison with it, worlds sink into insignificance; but here was a whole nation to be lost. When the fast westering sun should pass from sight in the heavens, Jerusalem’s day of grace would be ended. While the procession was halting on the brow of Olivet, it was not yet too late for Jerusalem to repent. The angel of mercy was then folding her wings to step down from the golden throne to give place to justice and swift-coming judgment. But Christ’s great heart of love still pleaded for Jerusalem, that had scorned His mercies, despised His warnings, and was about to imbrue her hands in His blood. If Jerusalem would but repent, it was not yet too late. While the last rays of the setting sun were lingering on temple, tower, and pinnacle, would not some good angel lead her to the Saviour’s love, and avert her doom? Beautiful and unholy city, that had stoned the prophets, that had rejected the Son of God, that was locking herself by her impenitence in fetters of bondage,—her day of mercy was almost spent! { DA 577.3} 

 

The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, RSV), went into effect in the autumn of 457 B.C. From this time 483 years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled.” { HLv 147.4 } 
 
  For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. By day and by night he chanted the wild dirge: “A voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! a voice against the whole people!”—Ibid. This strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only: “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” “woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!” His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold. { GC 30.1} 

 

To accept this conclusion was to renounce the former reckoning of the prophetic periods. The 2300 days had been found to begin when the commandment of Artaxerxes for the restoration and building of Jerusalem went into effect, in the autumn of 457 B.C. Taking this as the starting point, there was perfect harmony in the application of all the events foretold in the explanation of that period in Daniel 9:25-27. Sixty-nine weeks, the first 483 of the 2300 years, were to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One; and Christ’s baptism and anointing by the Holy Spirit, A.D. 27, exactly fulfilled the specification. In the midst of the seventieth week, Messiah was to be cut off. Three and a half years after His baptism, Christ was crucified, in the spring of A.D. 31. The seventy weeks, or 490 years, were to pertain especially to the Jews. At the expiration of this period the nation sealed its rejection of Christ by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles, A.D. 34. The first 490 years of the 2300 having then ended, 1810 years would remain. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. “Then,” said the angel, “shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” All the preceding specifications of the prophecy had been unquestionably fulfilled at the time appointed. { GC 410.1}  Read entire Chapter 23

 

                     i n h a b i t a n t s    o f    j e r u s a l e m                                                

 

  These words faithfully described the corrupt and self-righteous inhabitants of Jerusalem. While claiming to observe rigidly the precepts of God’s law, they were transgressing all its principles. They hated Christ because His purity and holiness revealed their iniquity; and they accused Him of being the cause of all the troubles which had come upon them in consequence of their sins. Though they knew Him to be sinless, they had declared that His death was necessary to their safety as a nation. “If we let Him thus alone,” said the Jewish leaders, “all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” John 11:48. If Christ were sacrificed, they might once more become a strong, united people. Thus they reasoned, and they concurred in the decision of their high priest, that it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish. { GC 27.1}   Read entire Chapter 1

 

  Of Israel God declared: “I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?” Jeremiah 2:21. “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.” Hosea 10:1. “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard. What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? { AA 15.2} 

 

  But Israel did not fulfill God’s purpose. The Lord declared, “I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?” Jeremiah 2:21. “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.” Hosea 10:1. “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard. What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For ... He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” Isaiah 5:3-7. { COL 290.3} 

 

Wonderful is the work which God designs to accomplish through His servants, that His name may be glorified. God made Joseph a fountain of life to the Egyptian nation. Through Joseph the life of that whole people was preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon. And these deliverances were as object lessons; they illustrated to the people the spiritual blessings offered them through connection with the God whom Joseph and Daniel worshiped. So through His people today God desires to bring blessings to the world. Every worker in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life. Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the wounds that sin has made in the human family, and His Spirit, working through His servants, imparts to sin-sick, suffering human beings a mighty healing power that is efficacious for the body and the soul. “In that day,” says the Scripture, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties that will heal both physical and spiritual infirmities. { CH 209.2} 
 
  “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” Carried down in prophetic vision to the first advent, the prophet is shown that Christ is to bear trials and tests of which the treatment of the chief cornerstone in the temple of Solomon was symbolic. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 8:13-15; 28:16. { DA 598.1} 

 

  Then upon Jahaziel a Levite “came the Spirit of the Lord; ... and he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.... Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord.... Fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:14-17.  { Ed 163.2} 

 

  The inhabitants of Jerusalem accused Christ of being the cause of all the troubles which had come upon them in consequence of their sins. Though they knew Him to be sinless, they declared His death necessary to their safety as a nation. They concurred in the decision of their high priest that it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish. See John 11:47-53. { HF 21.2 } 
 
 Early in the morning they rose and went into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they advanced to the battle, Jehoshaphat said, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established: believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness.” 2 Chronicles 20:14-21. These singers went before the army, lifting their voices in praise to God for the promise of victory. { PK 201.4} 

 

 

                     c i t y    o f    j e r u s a l e m                                               

 

  Jerusalem was lost because of its obstinate refusal to acknowledge the truth. This the world is doing today. Men refuse to see the truth that is plainly revealed in the word of God. A “Thus saith the Lord” is regarded as of no account, while the words of men are given great authority. And as the inhabitants of Jerusalem were punished, so will those be punished who refuse to receive truth. God would have us realize that by the city of Jerusalem a world is represented. Christ’s utterances regarding the destruction of Jerusalem are ever to be connected with the more terrible destruction of the world. { RH December 13, 1898, par. 10 }

 

  Christ’s visible presence was about to be withdrawn from the disciples, but a new endowment of power was to be theirs. The Holy Spirit was to be given them in its fullness, sealing them for their work. “Behold,” the Saviour said, “I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:5, 8. { AA 30.2} 

 

To the believing Jews in Jerusalem in the time of Christ, Olivet was a frequent resort for devotion. The hills and valleys about Jerusalem, now so bleak and bare, were then studded with olive-groves and orchards, and here the faithful in Israel would often go to search the Scriptures and to pray. The Garden of Gethsemane was among the places thus frequented. It was to this place, when the city of Jerusalem was hushed in the silence of midnight, that Jesus often repaired for communion with His Father. When those to whom He had ministered all the day went every man to his house, Jesus, we read, “went unto the Mount of Olives.” He would sometimes take His disciples with Him to this place of retirement, that they might join their prayers with His. In prayer Christ had power with God, and prevailed. Morning by morning, and evening by evening, He received grace that He might impart to others. Then, His soul replenished with grace and fervor, He would set forth to minister to the souls of men.—The Signs of the Times, July 15, 1908. { PaM 282.3} 
 
  In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God’s wrath were directed against the fated city. { DA 756.1} also { LHU 236.3} 

 

  And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:48, 49. { YRP 165.1} 

 

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Jews, the priests, and the rulers of this world expected to see the disciples of Christ cast down and discouraged, because their Lord had been put to death. The disciples might have reasoned that they were in danger, and that they would better go out of Jerusalem; some might have said, “Do not stay there, but if you do stay, do not mention the name of Christ; for he is regarded as an impostor.” But Christ had said, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye are endued with power from on high.” After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they were to begin their work in Jerusalem, and let it extend from this city to the uttermost parts of the earth. Did any one lose his life in exalting Jesus before the people? Was any one killed?—Yes, Stephen was killed. Their enemies expected that terror would come upon the disciples, and that they would be afraid to speak the message of God. But hear what Peter says: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by wonders and miracles and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you as ye yourselves also know: him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” { RH April 22, 1890, par. 1 }
 
  The city of Jerusalem is no longer a sacred place. The curse of God is upon it because of the rejection and crucifixion of Christ. A dark blot of guilt rests upon it, and never again will it be a sacred place until it has been cleansed by the purifying fires of heaven. At the time when this sin-cursed earth is purified from every stain of sin, Christ will again stand upon the Mount of Olives. As His feet rest upon it, it will part asunder, and become a great plain, prepared for the city of God. { RH July 30, 1901, Art. A, par. 2 }

 

     Additional reading:   Great Controversy, Chapter 1 - Destruction of Jerusalem

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