Mount Zion, Jerusalem
June 14, 2015, Sunday, 9:50 PM
We may have heard the end-time Elijah, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong speak a great deal about the Temple Mount excavations in the 60’s up to the 70’s being in partnership with Dr. Benjamin Mazar. The same thing goes with Mr. Gerald Flurry who has followed that tradition of participating in a Jerusalem dig, this time, with Dr. Eilat Mazar, the granddaughter of that renowned Israeli archaeologist.
Mr. Armstrong put a very strong emphasis on the Jerusalem dig as a physical preparation for the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Philadelphia Church of God has even built on that same belief which we can read from the 2007 The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine:
God Shall Yet Choose Jerusalem
We have already noted certain prophecies where God said He would pile “heaps” upon Jerusalem—which He did. But God has also prophesied to “choose Jerusalem again” (Zechariah 2:12; see also Zechariah 1:17). Notice what Mr. Armstrong wrote to co-workers in 1968, when he sent Ambassador College students to volunteer at the Temple Mount excavations in Jerusalem, under the direction of Benjamin Mazar, Eilat’s grandfather. He said God had commissioned His people to “CLEAN UP THE FILTH AND RUBBLE IN THAT AREA THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL JERUSALEM AND CITY OF DAVID (actually several acres of ground—this is a major operation of excavation)” (Dec. 10, 1968).
And WHY is this important? Mr. Armstrong asked. “Because Christ has said He will yet choose Jerusalem, and make it the capital city of the whole World Tomorrow! Jesus is coming in all the supernatural power and glory to rule the world. His throne will be there. Do you not suppose it will be in the very spot He chose for David’s throne? Jesus is to sit on David’s throne! Where was David’s throne? It was on this very spot where we are now cleaning up and hauling off the rubble of century after century of accumulation! And even David is to be resurrected! That is the spot we are cleaning up!
So there is a physical preparing, as well as spiritual, in preparing the way for Messiah’s coming! Further, God says we are to shout, with amplified power, to the cities of Judah the glad message that the Messiah is soon coming. This is leading to the opportunity to do this (Isaiah 40:1-11).”
Mr. Armstrong said they were cleaning up the “very spot” where David’s throne was located, but actually they weren’t—they were just a little ways north of that spot, on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount). He did indicate a desire for the volunteers to work their way down toward the City of David, but they never made it that far. God left that for us to do.
And as Mr. Armstrong indicated in that letter, this all leads into the wonderful World Tomorrow when Christ will rule this Earth (Jeremiah 3:16-17) from the throne of David: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “HOW REMARKABLE that this scriptural prediction says plainly that the messianic future world ruler—long, long looked for by many if not most Jews—is to reign ON THE THRONE OF DAVID!” (Plain Truth, op. cit.). (The Philadelphia Trumpet, May 2007, pp. 8-9)
Can we still see and feel that same excitement being emanated from the PCG ministry and members alike when they speak of the Jerusalem dig as the PHYSICAL PREPARATION for the Messiah’s coming? What has happened to the thrill and the great anticipation for the work in Jerusalem, which God has chosen?
The 25 ministers of the PCG led by Stephen Flurry have introduced another work to replace the Jerusalem work. They have set up a work in Edstone, which he personally delivered during the 2014 Feast of Tabernacles opening night message.
What would God have felt when He saw His own people leaving the Jerusalem work? God has to do something. He does not want His Son Jesus Christ to marry a fickle minded Bride, more so, a blemished wife who practices cremation, celebrates Mother’s Day and performs Druidic Irish dance, all of which can be traced directly to Baal or Nimrod.
Will God sit idly by watching His own Church committing abominations in His name? What has God done so far? He made the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE to be written, primarily to remind His own people about “the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem” vision that serves as the SPIRITUAL PREPARATION for Jesus Christ’s imminent return. Now, since God’s own Church has abandoned the PHYSICAL PREPARATION of Jerusalem for its KING, God has to do something – He has to make sure NO MAN or any other being will be able to hinder His plan.
God has a back-up plan in mind.
GOD’S COMMAND TO DIG AGAIN
From the time when the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE was written, God’s people were able to see the LIGHT at the end of a very dark tunnel. They were able to see from the Bible what has been happening in God’s Church since Mrs. Barbara Flurry died on September 5, 2004 and the NO CONTACT POLICY has been implemented afterwards. Families broke down, relationships have gone sour, and hypocrisy and betrayal have been the name of the game in order to survive.
God has begun cleansing His sanctuary a second time around through the duality of the 1,150 days or the final fulfillment 2,300 day prophecy in Daniel 8:13-14.
A year after that second 1,150 day fulfillment, God called a spiritual Cyrus through the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE to become a part of the Gentile work of bringing spiritual Jews back to Jerusalem. (Isaiah 46:9-11)
This spiritual Cyrus has been commanded by God to prepare a place of safety for His own people who REMEMBERED – those who read the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. It was God who gave the name to this last end Cyrus and his name means, a victorious conqueror, worthy of praise.
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me” (verses 2-4).
God named Cyrus—because He had a work for him to do! God will use carnal-minded men to help His people get the work done, if that’s what we need. He will even take a carnal man and anoint him! Soon there may come a time when God will move the mind of another carnal-minded king in order to provide His people a place of safety. I believe that is probably how it will happen.
God will RAISE UP THE RUINS! By whatever means He has to. (pp. 6-7, Royal Vision, September-October 2005)
Now God has to RAISE UP THE RUINS brought by the last end Joshua and his fellows who turned their backs on God. He will do it through a Gentile work
“For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. (Romans 9:28)
God is already finishing His Work and He is about to cut it short. But notice carefully: God will cut short His Work in RIGHTEOUSNESS. But in whose righteousness is the context being referred to here? Let’s read it in verse 30:
“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.”
That SHORT WORK is currently being done by God through the Gentiles in His CHOSEN LAND, Jerusalem. With such a statement, many in God’s Church will say, “It’s insane! It can’t be! Why will God use the Gentiles to finish His Work?” “Only full blooded Israelites have the right to finish God’s Work.”
So read it again with your own eyes – God will finish His Work and cut it short in the Gentiles’ RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS BY FAITH. How will God do it? Through the final fulfillment of the 70 weeks prophecy written by the prophet Daniel:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)
Notice that this 70 weeks prophecy has to satisfy the following conditions:
- to finish the transgression
- to make an end of sins
- to make reconciliation for iniquity
- to bring in everlasting righteousness
- to seal up the vision and prophet
- to anoint the most Holy
How will the six conditions be brought into fruition? Read it in the next verse:
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25)
To be able to better understand the context of this verse let us define some words:
Strong’s H7725 (shûb)
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially AGAIN: – DIG, restore, cause to return, make to return, send back.
Strong’s H1129 bânâh baw-naw’
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively): – begin to build, obtain children, make, repair, SET UP.
Let’s paraphrase and substitute the other definition: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to DIG AGAIN and to SET UP Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:..”
This means that Mr. Armstrong was correct in saying that the JERUSALEM DIG is indeed THE PHYSICAL PREPARATION for the coming of the Messiah. But notice carefully in this prophecy that the COMMANDMENT IS TO DIG AGAIN! Why DIG AGAIN? Because the Stephen Flurry said GOODBYE TO JERUSALEM and turned his back on “the most important archaeological excavation on earth” as he once described it in his Trumpet Weekly Newsletter dated June 22, 2012.
Again as the meaning of the word “restore” also means “DIG AGAIN” while the word “build” could mean “SET UP.” Does it mean then, that the “decree” revolves around authorizing a group of people to DIG AGAIN in Jerusalem yet on a different location which has never before been granted so far, that is, to set up an archeological project, perhaps, on that new dig site? Let us start to know and understand:
Notice the word “commandment” in verse 25 from Strong’s Concordance: It can also mean “WORK,” thus, we can paraphrase it this way:
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the WORK to DIG AGAIN and to SET UP Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
WORK ON MOUNT ZION
This is how God’s work in Mount Zion began. On April 24, 2015, God led this last end work to search for an archeological dig in Jerusalem, and He specifically pointed out the scheduled 2015 summer dig in Mount Zion, Jerusalem. You may ask, why Mount Zion? To fulfill the prophecy in Obadiah:
“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.” (Obadiah 1:21)
Notice the word “come up” in verse 21 which in Strong’s Concordance can also mean, “WORK.”
“And saviours shall WORK on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.
God specifically commanded THE WORK ON MOUNT ZION with a two-fold outcome:
- To JUDGE the spiritual Edomites inside His own Church who sold their birthright for a bowl of soup – the Edstone work.
- Notice that this WORK ON MOUNT ZION will directly result on the next thought – “and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” – the Messiah, Jesus Christ will return and claim His kingdom.
As part of God’s judgment on the spiritual Edomites in the PCG, God will fulfill the prophecy written by Jeremiah:
“At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.” (Jeremiah 8:1-2)
The bones of the wicked kings, princes, priests and prophets who practiced idolatry and paganism will be excavated and exposed for everyone to see. This is a grave warning to those in the PCG who associate themselves to any pagan practices like Irish dance, Mother’s Day and cremation. Yet there is still hope. From this WORK on Mount Zion, comes deliverance to those who will believe that God was the one who gave the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. More so, there will be a spiritual Jacob who will get the birthright from spiritual Esau, i.e., the Jerusalem work.
“But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” (verse 17)
The WORK ON MOUNT ZION is a work of delivering God’s people from sure destruction if they don’t repent toward Him and continue to blind themselves that everything is okay and there is no problem in God’s Church; That it is okay to practice cremation, to celebrate Mother’s Day and to perform Druidic Irish dance to worship Baal. God will cut off ANY TRACES of paganism inside His own Church:
“I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant (traces) of Baal (Irish dance) from this place, and the name of the Chemarims (pagan ministers) with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops (Astarte – Mother’s Day); and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham (cremation – Molech); And them that are turned back from the LORD (Edstone work); and those that have not sought the LORD, nor inquired for him (who ignore the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE).” (Zephaniah 1:4-6)
God made sure that the work of His TWO WITNESSES is still a part of the Elijah work so that just like the original Elijah, He ask this question among His people? “How long halt ye between two opinions?”
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.” (1 Kings 18:21-22)
If the God of the end-time Elijah Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong is your true God, prove from Mr. Armstrong’s writings that Irish dance, Mother’s Day and cremation is not pagan and if you can’t prove it then FOLLOW GOD and stop observing those things. But if you don’t want to prove it, continue with your BAAL WORSHIP but do not mingle it with the true worship of God. You will have to choose. The same goes with the Edstone work, if you think that it is a work of preparing the Bride of Christ for His Second Coming, FOLLOW IT. But if you think that this BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE work and the Jerusalem work is the real work of preparing God’s people for the Messiah’s coming then FOLLOW IT.
Again for emphasis, we must not forget that the most important thing to UNDERSTAND is that, the archeological dig in Jerusalem has to be in the context of the PREPARATION FOR JESUS CHRIST’S COMING just as Mr. Armstrong said! “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (WORK) to restore (DIG AGAIN) and to build (SET UP) Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince…”
From April 24, 2015 when God led this last end work to search for an archaeological dig in Jerusalem up to the time when this Gentile work first set foot on Jerusalem on June 12, 2015 is exactly 7 weeks or 49 days (Notice the date when we posted it on twitter below). Officially, on June 14, 2015 the MOUNT ZION DIG began (see lower photo of DAY 1 on Mount Zion dig) , thus, the start of the literal final fulfillment of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel chapter 9 – the WORK TO DIG AGAIN and TO SET UP Jerusalem for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming has been TOTALLY REVIVED!
Here’s another specific fulfillment from the latter thought of verse 25:
“…the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
The word “built” (H1129: “build”) is the same Hebrew word that was used in verse 24; while the word “again” (H7725: “restore”) is also the same as the one being used in that same verse. So if we will replace those with their alternatives we will have:
“the street shall be SET UP for the DIG AGAIN, and the wall, even in troublous times”
Now consider the photo of the Mount Zion dig, it is situated between the STREET and the WALL!
Do you now know and understand why God has inspired the word “RESTORE” to also mean “DIG AGAIN”? It is because there was a prior archeological work that the Philadelphia Church of God participated in – the Ophel Mound excavation with the renowned archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, yet through the leadership of Stephen Flurry they have turned their backs on God and chose another work in Edstone, Warwickshire, England.
Some in the PCG may raise their eyebrows and think that this WORK in Mount Zion does not have any connection to the end-time Elijah, yet if you will search the net, you will find that the director of the Mount Zion dig had a history with Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong (emphasis mine in bold):
James D. Tabor (born 1946 in Texas) is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989 and served as Chair from 2004-2014. He previously held positions at Ambassador College (1968-70 while a student at Pepperdine University), the University of Notre Dame (1979–85), and the College of William and Mary (1985–89). Tabor was born in Texas but lived all over the world as the son of an Air Force officer. He was raised in the Churches of Christ and attended Abilene Christian University, where he earned his B.A. degree in Greek and Bible. While earning his M.A. from Pepperdine University he taught Greek and Hebrew part-time at Ambassador College, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and president of the Worldwide Church of God.
The project is under the academic oversight of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte – the only American university licensed to carry out such excavations in Jerusalem. Dr. James D. Tabor, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte, and Dr. Shimon Gibson, Israeli archaeologist, Fellow at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem and adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte, co-direct the project.
For emphasis, remember that Cyrus was a Gentile king. It was a Gentile work that saved the Jews from Babylon and reminded them to go back to Jerusalem to prepare for the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Now another Cyrus work is posing the same question today: Who is there among you of all His people? Is God really with you? Then you have to go and support the archeological dig there in Mount Zion, Jerusalem to “CLEAN UP THE FILTH AND RUBBLE IN THAT AREA THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL JERUSALEM AND CITY OF DAVID.” We have to make the PHYSICAL PREPARATION Jerusalem for the Messiah’s imminent return. God shall yet choose Jerusalem! Not Edstone and definitely not Ireland! Christ is not going to come down in England – He will come down to Jerusalem!
You can even expect that the Ark of the Covenant will be definitely found in this Jerusalem dig and not in a SECRET PLACE in Tara Hill in Ireland as Brad Macdonald suggests! Aside from that, the planned archeological dig in Ireland will not continue on until the Millennium, but the Jerusalem excavation will.
In other words, THE JERUSALEM EXCAVATIONS WILL CONTINUE RIGHT ON INTO THE MILLENNIUM. “The capital seated on her hills shines conspicuous as the only elevation in a very wide region,” says Lange. Jerusalem, in a very literal sense, will be a city that is set on a hill (Matthew 5:14). “And it shall come to pass in the last days,” the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isaiah 2:2). How wonderful are the prophecies of God! Yes, there is a great spiritual excavation going on in preparation for Christ’s return (see Amos 9:11-12).
But as Mr. Armstrong brought out in his 1968 letter, there is also a physical preparing for the Messiah’s appearance. “If the spot of the original throne of David is, in fact, to be the coming seat of world government, then all that accumulated debris of century after century must be cleared off before that event can occur! Exciting?” Mr. Armstrong asked (Plain Truth, op. cit.). “Beyond words to describe, it is!” (op. cit., p. 9)
Now notice this specific prophecy written by the prophet Isaiah:
“O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!” (Isaiah 40:9, ASV)
This last end work has now been literally on the high mountain of Zion here in Jerusalem. God was able to revive His work in Jerusalem to PHYSICALLY PREPARE it for the return of the KING of Kings, Jesus Christ. This is the most wonderful news you could ever hear: Behold your God!