Speakers stressed the compassionate side of the Jewish religion. This is the first gay pride day to start off with a recitation of the wayfarers prayer, and to end with kabbalat Shabbat, said one speaker. At the end of the march everybody gathered for a picnic with live rock bands at Independence Park, known for decades as the spot for late-night gay cruising and prostitution in Jerusalem. There had been threats from the local ultra-Orthodox community to break up the march. In religious neighborhoods, a pashkovil, or denunciation notice, had been pasted on the walls. Be shocked, Jerusalem, at the terrible exhibition of perversion being put on by the sodomites! In the end, however, the communitys rabbis prohibited their followers from even getting near the rally, lest they be contaminated. A few other self-appointed guardians of public morals screamed Garbage! and Amalek
In the run-up to the march, controversy had erupted when the Jerusalem Municipality back-tracked on an earlier agreement and refused to fund the march. The gay community protested, and took the case to the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, municipal workers did agree to hang rainbow flags from electricity and telephone poles, and provided public toilets in the park, where a picnic concluded the march. Mayor Ehkud Olmet, always conscious of the electoral power of Jerusalems Orthodox community, resisted demands that he ban the parade altogether, but pointedly refused to endorse it The evening before the march, a young man in a black skull cap and an Israeli Air Force uniform was among the gays and lesbians moving about Open House, Jerusalems gay community center located on Ben Yehuda Street. Some 2,000 Jerusalem-area homosexuals more than half of them lesbians come to the center each month
When the Center opened three years ago, Savitch says, one of the first debates we had was about kosherness. It was decided that the kitchen would be dairy so both the secular and religious would feel comfortable without having to make an issue out of separating meat and milk. Savitch claims that on most days a few ultra-Orthodox in black coats can be seen in the Open House, often studying Talmud. Yet Judaisms attitude toward homosexuality could hardly be clearer. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, says God in Leviticus XX, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. To deal with the dissonance this poses to religious homosexuals, the Center regularly holds seminars that examine Judaism through queer eyes. The Jerusalem gay communitys first small step out of the closet came in 1991 with the founding of a gay students association at Hebrew University called The Other Ten Percent. Ten years later the mayor of Jerusalem would pay an official visit to Open House, which flies the rainbow flag from its window We made an impact, said local gay activist Hagai El-Ad after everyone had gone home. This isnt the same city as it was before.
The Scriptures explicitly warn that in the final years of this present age, Jerusalem will be spiritually defined as Sodom and Egypt, That is, sexually perverse and self absorbed in materialism and idolatry.
The article we just quoted from shows just how far along we are to the day of Gods wrath, and to Christians, the Rapture of the Church to Heaven (I Thess. 4:15-18).
The following study addresses an enduring problem some Bible teachers have with connecting modern-day Jerusalem with the spiritual Sodom and Egypt written of in Chapter 11 of the Bible Book of Revelation.
In Ch. 11 of the Book of Revelation we read in verses 7 8, Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (NKJV).
This prophecy is speaking of the two prophets God will soon send to Jerusalem during the close of this present age. An evil spirit, which will come forth from the netherworld, will indwell the beastly endtime world dictator called Anti-Christ and will make war against the two prophets of the Lord.
When Ch. 11 is read in its entirety it will be discovered that the two prophets ministry will last for 3 ½ years before the beast is able to kill them. After lying dead in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days, we are told in verses 11 & 12, the two prophets will be resurrected and then in front of their enemies will ascend to heaven in a cloud.
There is persistent teaching that the great city where the two prophets are killed and Raptured from is not Jerusalem, but some other great city or even nation of the world.
One argument holds that since Rev. 11:8 states this miraculous event takes place in the city where also our Lord was crucified, this could not be speaking of Jerusalem since they point out that Hebrews 13:12 speaks of Jesus suffering outside the gate.
The teaching then goes that the spiritual Sodom and Egypt of Rev. 11:8 is symbolic of the world in general or some nation like the United States.
This is an interesting viewpoint at first glance, but the full council of Scripture does not support it.
Hebrews 13:12 must be read in fuller context starting at verse 11 where we are told, for the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
If one turns to Matthew 26:62-68 it can be found that it was in Jerusalem before the high priest that Jesus death sentence was pronounced and also where it can reasonably be assumed the Lords blood was shed under the severe beating administered to Him. The violent shedding of the Lords blood at the hands of man would continue until even after He hung dead on the cross. There were the beatings, the scourging, the thorns, the nails and then the spear in His side.
We read in Luke 9:30-31 where the Word of God pronounces that Jesus death was accomplished at Jerusalem. Then behold, two men talked with Him [Jesus], who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem (NKJV).
Jerusalem is the city God recognizes as the place of the death of His Son.
There is more evidence to support that Rev. 1:8 is speaking of Jerusalem.
We are told by Gods words to Israel in Malachi 4 that, at the close of the age before the day of the Lord, He would send to them the prophet Elijah. It is beyond question that one of the two prophets of Rev. Ch. 11 is Elijah.
In Malachi God does not say anything about sending Elijah to any land other than Israel in the days of his ministry. The only great city in Israel that God could be referring to for Elijahs death and resurrection in Rev. 11 is Jerusalem.
We need only to point out one other treasury of teachings from the Scriptures found in Luke 9:51-56 and 13:33 to prove not only that the two prophets of Revelation 11 will die in Jerusalem, but also to give evidence that the Rapture of the Church to Heaven would have had to have taken place before they began their ministry.
In the passage from Luke Ch. 9:51-56 we are told of when James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven like Elijah. The target for their retribution was to be a Samaritan village that had rejected Jesus.
It is important to note Jesus answer in verses 55-65, But He turned and rebuked them, and said, You do not know what manner of Spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy mens lives but to save them.
As members of the Church the disciples were being called as representatives and servants of love and forbearance. They were to be prophets of the new covenant and needed to learn to turn the other cheek.
The forgiven sinners of the Church Age have no commission or authority from God to call down destruction upon others like the prophets of old.
The office of a New Testament prophet, as listed in I Corinthians 14, is one of speaking forth the oracles of God and not one of calling down devastation upon those who might oppose them.
Jesus told the apostles, and the entire Church for that matter, that they were not going to operate in like fashion of Elijah.
Beware of those during this present Church Age who make claims to being Christian prophets that have a mandate to bring judgment down upon others. They are not speaking by the Lord, but from the darkness of their own hearts.
Turning to Rev. Ch. 11:4-6 we find that the two prophets destined to die in Jerusalem are granted in stark contrast to the Church, blanket authority from God to call down judgment as often as they will.
What this reveals is that the Church Age restriction on such prophetic authority has been removed. By this fact we know that the Church Age will have ended; the Church must be Raptured before this time.
This also reveals that the office of a prophet will then be restored to exclusivity within the ranks of the Jews.
This is revealed by Jesus words in Luke 13:33, which once again also proves that Jesus had to have died at Jerusalem. We quote, Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
By Jesus own words, His office of being a Jewish Prophet required that He die at Jerusalem. (For additional information regarding Jesus role as a prophet, please review Mark 6:4, Matt. 21:11 & Luke 24:19 for examples).
During the Church Age, men who have been qualified by God to minister in the office of a prophet have come from all nationalities and have died in different places all over the earth.
The two Jewish prophets of Rev. Ch. 11, who will be anointed after the Church Age has ended, must perish at Jerusalem according to Christs words. Therefore the streets of the city where their dead bodies will lie in, as prophesied in Rev. 11:8, can be no other than Jerusalem.
The days of spiritual Sodom and Egypt are filling the cup of Gods indignation and His day of judgment is most assuredly nearer than most would dare to believe.
The blessed opportunity to share in the eternally joyous days of the Raptured Church is still open to all who will trust in the forgiveness offered by God through His crucified Son Jesus.
Today is the day to step onto the narrow road to salvation found only in the blood of Christ the Lord.