The Holy City of Jerusalem is the focus of spiritual warfare in our day—but this is nothing new. It has been that way since even before Jerusalem existed. The prophet Isaiah records the declaration of Satan that he would rule the world from “the sides of the north” which is an ancient reference to Jerusalem (see Isaiah 14). Even more specifically, the spot we know as the Temple Mount is the center of God’s plan for all of mankind.
It was to this sacred place that God directed Abraham to take Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. Known to Abraham as Mt. Moriah, it was on the Temple Mount that the great hero of faith found a ram caught by his horns to offer in place of his son. Centuries later David conquered Jerusalem and brought the Ark of the Covenant there for a permanent home. He wanted to build a Temple, but God delegated that task to Solomon.
Solomon’s Temple took more than seven years to build, and when it was dedicated, the glory of God filled the building. The Temple stood until the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire. It was rebuilt some five hundred years before the birth of Christ by the exiles who returned from captivity. This Second Temple was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod, and it was this Temple to which Jesus was taken as a baby to be dedicated and where He later taught and cast out the moneychangers.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD under Titus. Jesus had prophesied in Mark 13 that “there shall not be left one stone upon another.” When the fires set by the soldiers melted the gold that decorated the Temple, they took the stones apart to get it out, leaving behind a heap of rubble.
The Muslims conquered the Holy City nearly 700 years after the birth of Christ. Following their tradition, they established the first version of the Al-Aska Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to celebrate their victory. They intentionally built on the old Temple site to declare the superiority of their faith. Over the years the mosque was rebuilt and expanded several times.
Even after the Jewish state was reborn in 1948, most of Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. It was not until 1967 that the Holy City was reunified under Jewish control. Since that time Israel has guaranteed free access to the mosque for Muslims. Jewish people and Christian pilgrims gather to pray daily at the Wailing Wall—the last remaining vestige of the Temple that stood in the time of Christ.
Today the Temple Mount is the center of the struggle for both political and spiritual control of one of the most important and sacred sites in the world. Our new Jerusalem World Center building is within walking distance of this ancient and strategic location, making it a wonderful spot for a prayer headquarters in our efforts to fight and win the battle for Israel’s survival. Truly this is the place that the Lord has prepared for us.
ABOVE: The Simon Wiesenthal Center-Museum of Tolerance near Mamilla Cemetery at the center of West Jerusalem between Zion Square and the neighborhood of Mamilla.
In addition to being located near the spiritual center of the greatest conflict of our age, the Jerusalem World Center is also in a powerfully strategic location. We are right across the street from the Museum of Tolerance of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. This massive building is being finished right now at a cost of some $250,000,000 and is expected to be one of the largest tourist attractions in the Holy City. And everyone who visits the Museum of Tolerance will walk right past our front door. This presents an incredible opportunity for us to reach out and minister to people from all over the world as well as the residents of Jerusalem.