Isaiah 22:21 says that Eliakim is “a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” Eliakim is a type of my office. Our message reaches the inhabitants of Jerusalem (God’s Church) and the house of Judah (the Jewish people). We have a work to do in the Jewish state.
Bible prophecy indicates that we will have a powerful work in Jerusalem. We are proclaiming to the cities of Judah that God is coming very soon! But we expect that message to intensify (Isaiah 40:9). The Jews are experiencing severe trials—but the Messiah is coming to rule this world from David’s throne in Jerusalem! We must do all we can to get this message of hope to them.
In partnership with archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, we have done a considerable amount of archaeological work within Jerusalem. She has told us that she can name only one other archaeologist at Hebrew University who respects the Bible as a reliable source in her work. Dr. Mazar has said, “You need to have vision to do a dig in Jerusalem. You need to see the big picture of how things fit in the biblical picture.” That is the way she looks at it, archaeologically.
“Today’s archaeologists lack this vision,” she continued, “although many of the everyday people still hold it firmly in mind” (emphasis mine). This is a key statement. These are the people we must reach. We are working to exploit every tool we can to do that. The “everyday people” is a tremendous audience!
The archaeology taking place in Jerusalem is teeming with vision! The digs we have already participated in have unearthed powerful messages for the Jews about their history and even about their future!
Isaiah 22:22 says we have “the key of the house of David.” As we have written in the past, the Bible often refers to “the sepulchres of the kings,” which are probably rooms inside one large tomb. History speaks of just such a tomb existing. Bible prophecy states that these tombs of the kings will be discovered very soon. These are kings who sat on David’s throne. Because God’s Church has this “key,” I believe God would want us to be a part of that discovery.
Dr. Mazar feels that most academics have lost the right vision needed to tell the history of Jerusalem and to draw attention to the significance of the archaeological discoveries. Who on this Earth can really tell people about the vision of Jerusalem? This Church has a vision of that city beyond anything anyone in this world could ever understand!
In 2009 and 2010, our students worked alongside others who were sifting dirt from the Temple Mount that Arabs had dumped into the Kidron Valley after they had illegally built an underground mosque near the al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jewish workers had a scripture as their slogan: Psalm 102:14, which reads, “For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.”
Look at the context of this verse. Where is this focused? What is the time frame?
Verse 13 says, “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.” God will have mercy upon Zion and will favor Zion, His faithful Church, which now has David’s new throne.
Then, verses 15 and 16: “So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” First He builds up Zion—then He returns in glory. So that really dates this psalm as a prophecy for right now! It is for today!
It is in this context that verse 14 says God’s servants take pleasure in Jerusalem’s stones and “favour the dust thereof.” This is shortly before Christ’s Second Coming. After Christ returns, we won’t be digging in the dust in Jerusalem; we will have more exciting things to do. But for us today, this is exciting!
The Anchor Bible states, “We have several indications of the royal character of the psalmist.” This could have been written by a king. It could very well have been King David.
Then verse 13 says, “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.” The set timemeans a properly appointed season, a designated moment. Again, this is before Christ’s Second Coming!
This Church will have a part in some spectacular events! God will finish His Work, and we must build our faith and believe every word of God!
“For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.” Do you take pleasure in those stones? Do you love that dust?
This is a ruin-raising Work. God said, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David” (Amos 9:11). God says He will raise it, and He is certainly going to be very active in that! Who’s going to stop Christ from getting this Work done? Nobody!
The Jerusalem dig is also raising up ruins! Mr. Armstrong participated in these digs, and we have continued that—and God has blessed us with even greater discoveries than what were found in Mr. Armstrong’s day! All these projects were prophesied to happen.
We really need to build our vision of Jerusalem! We must take pleasure in the stones and favor the dust! We are God’s kings and priests in embryo! When you look at what we are digging up in Jerusalem, there is a magnificent vision in those stones and in that dust! We are blessed to know that. It is a vision of the future! It is the most wonderful vision you can have before Christ returns. He will then sit on David’s throne and rule forever.