Even Almighty GOD is concerned about what is happening at Jerusalem. He has opened the door to Jerusalem for His apostle. This anniversary celebration may prove of major importance.
GOD ALMIGHTY CHOSE Jerusalem as His city. Then, because of the sins of the nations Israel and Judah, God finally hid His face from Jerusalem — but He "... shall yet choose Jerusalem" (Zechariah 1:17) and "... shall choose Jerusalem again" (Zechariah 2:12). At Christ's soon coming, Jerusalem shall become the CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, with Christ's Throne ruling all nations from Jerusalem. In November, 1968, I went to Jerusalem on an inspection trip, to decide whether to enter a joint participation in a large archaeological project adjoining the south wall of the temple mount. I was more than favorably impressed with Professor Benyamin Mazar, in charge of the dig. On that visit we had a luncheon, never to be forgotten, in the Knesset, in a private dining room. Present were Professor Mazar (former president of the Hebrew University), Dr. Josef Aviram of the Hebrew University, Gen. Yigael Yadin, who had organized the Israeli army in the war of independence in 1948 and had been chief of staff until 1967, Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol, Stanley R. Rader, Dr. Herman L. Hoeh and myself from Ambassador College. But I did not give a final decision on whether we would enter into a joint participation in the project at the time. I said that I would return to Jerusalem on Dec. 1, 1968, with a definite decision. We had flown to Jerusalem in our Falcon. Our plane flew Mr. Stanley Rader and me to the airport at Beirut [Lebanon], where we boarded a Pan American plane for Tokyo. Our Falcon flew back to Pasadena with Dr. Hoeh its lone passenger. On Dec. 1, 1968, Mr. Rader and I were once again in Jerusalem. A meeting had been set at the president's residence. It was a memorable — perhaps an historic — meeting with President Zalman Shazar and our Israeli friends at the preceding visit. On that date we formally entered into the joint participation with Hebrew University and the Israel Archaeological Society. Some little time after that we entered into participation in the ICCY (International Cultural Center for Youth), founded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Minister of Tourism Moshe Kot. We have continued both participations. Beginning with the summer of 1969, we sent students every year during summer vacation to work on the dig — some years up to 100 students. About 2 1/2 years ago, Mayor Teddy Kolleck came to see me when I was in Jerusalem. He showed me elaborate plans for a downtown city park in Jerusalem, to be called the "Liberty Bell Park." The City of Philadelphia had presented an exact replica of the famous Liberty Bell, crack and all, to the City of Jerusalem as an emblem of friendship between the United States and Israel. He asked me if the AICF (Ambassador International Cultural Foundation) would participate in this park. I decided to sponsor the children's playground area at the entrance to the new park. The mayor of Jerusalem had visited Ambassador College in Pasadena. He was much impressed with the character and beauty of our campus, which twice has won the award of being the most beautiful, best landscaped and best maintained campus in the United States. Mayor Kolleck has since taken me over various parts of Jerusalem to show me how he is landscaping and beautifying the city of Jerusalem. So this recent trip in December marked the 10th ANNIVERSARY of our participation in Israel. The whole celebration was in my honor, and they went all out to show their friendship and appreciation. Although a summary of this anniversary celebration was sent out in a general letter to all Plain Truth subscribers, I will give you here a more detailed account of this very important event. We arrived in Jerusalem Friday afternoon, Dec. 15th. Saturday evening there was a reception in my honor at the ICCY building hosted by Moshe Kol. Sunday, at 4 p.m., was the dedication ceremony, with a band and many guests, at the "Armstrong Playground" in the Liberty Bell Park. The entire park is really a beautiful garden and certainly a credit to God's chosen city. My name is engraved on a stone marker at the entrance to the playground. Sunday, 5 p.m., a special performance at the ICCY. There were performances of both Israeli and Arab teenagers on the stage of the auditorium — both boys and girls. The ICCY is making fine progress in bringing about friendly relations between Israeli and Arab youth. Between the entrance to the ICCY building and the street is a foot-paved square of perhaps 75 or 100 feet across each way, which has been named "The Herbert W. Armstrong Square." There is a marker with that name on it. Sunday, 7:30 p.m., the mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kolleck, hosted a special dinner in my honor at Mishlenot Shaananim. Many of Israel's most prominent people were present. Monday, a luncheon in my honor at Beit Mayersdorf in the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University, hosted by Professor Mazar and Dr. Aviram and the deputy prime minister of Israel, Yigael Yadin. This luncheon also was attended by many of Israel's most • prominent people. Tuesday was a very busy day. There were several meetings at the Knesset — with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, chairman of Israel's leading Labor Party, and the speaker of the Knesset, Itzhak Shamir. Then a visit at the president's residence, with the president of Israel, Itzhak Navon. All in top offices in Israel were enthusiastic about starting another decade of mutual cooperation and friendship.