NEW Revised Edition of TEMPLE by Robert “Bob” Cornuke ~ Amazing New Discoveries that Change Everything About the Location of Solomon’s Temple Watch this week’s program as Bob Cornuke talks with Dr. Kevin Clarkson in Part Two of the “Search for the Temple”

If you are a student at the SouthWest Florida Bible Institute, and interested in taking the following course:  “NT701 Two Tremendous Archaeological Discoveries” starting March 20, 2018, then you will want to watch the following cutting edge archaeological findings.  Bob Cornuke is interviewed by Dr. Kevin Clarkson, president of Prophecy in the News, about his REVISED and UPDATED book “Temple.”  The new book (just released days ago) can be purchased from KHouse and Chuck Missler, from Base Institute and Bob Cornuke, or from Prophecy In The News.  The older book Temple is 207 pages.  The new book you want to purchase is 239 pages – I received a copy of it today.  Bob Cornuke is turning the field of Christian archaeology on its head, as he navigates through the plethora of 2,000 years of errors in tradition, and uses solely the Bible as his roadmap, pursuing the correct places of archaeological importance to the Christian.  This book explores a new possible site for the temple, and Jesus’ exact place of crucifixion.  If the location is correct, then the famed Islamic Dome of the Rock would not be in the way of building the temple!  Bob Cornuke is highly respected in circles of famous people throughout the Middle East, and has combed the catacombs of passageways underneath Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu.  You will enjoy the following videos and his book Temple.

In Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

Can you imagine the upheaval in political and religious thinking if the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s temples?

Since first published in 2014, Bob Cornuke’s ground-breaking book, TEMPLE, has been heralded as “an investigative masterpiece” with “astounding archaeological and prophetic implications.” We have already seen some “Bible scholars” publicly mock and try to refute him for his discoveries. Refusing to even debate him for fear that their lucrative careers will be tarnished, knowing all the while that the discoveries in this book has literally sent shockwaves through the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian worlds.

Bob has just released his NEW and updated version of this exciting book. Because there were so many negative untrue things being said about Bob’s discovery of the location of the Temple, Bob decided to add an appendix in the back of his new book to address these negative accusations. To be fair, he decided not to write the appendix, but to allow an outsider do the research and write this section of the book. That man is Dr. William P. Welty, who taught New Testament Greek for ten years at Simon Greenleaf University of Anaheim, California. Dr. Welty is a Bible scholar and executive director of the ISV Foundation. He was skeptical at first when Bob ask him to do the research, but when he finished, he called Bob and told him “There is no way that this is not the place of the Temple in the City of David.” His research is excellent!
Click on this link to read an article written by
Dr. William P. Welty titled:
In Defense of Dr. Robert Cornuke

https://t.e2ma.net/click/zqgmv/bwkapq/jesydf

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Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!

Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News

Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!

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Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the town of Bethlehem in Israel, you will find that the place where Jesus was born is nothing like you would imagine. Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem is the historical place where Jesus was born “in a manger” and is now preserved by the “Church of the Nativity.” It is considered a major Christian holy site and is one of the oldest surviving Christian churches.
The birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Matthew 1:18-25 – King James Version (KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Luke 2 – King James Version (KJV)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
According to the Bible, both accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. According to Luke 2:7 (in the traditional translation), Mary “laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” However, the Greek can also be rendered, “she laid him in a manger because they had no space in the room” — according to some scholars, they perhaps imagine Jesus being born in a cave. The gospel accounts do not mention a cave, but less than a century later, both Justin Martyr and the Protoevangelium of James say Jesus was born in a cave. Some believe this is reasonable, as many houses in the area are still built in front of a cave. The cave part would have been used for stabling and storage – thus the manger.    justin-martyr

Saint Justin Martyr, (born c. 100, Flavia Neapolis, Palestine [now Nāblus]—died c. 165, Rome [Italy]; feast day June 1), one of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church. … He spent a considerable time in Rome.

WIKIPEDIA: The Gospel of James, also known as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James, is an apocryphal Gospel probably written about AD 145, which expands backward in time the infancy stories contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and presents a narrative concerning the birth and upbringing of Mary herself. It is the oldest source to assert the virginity of Mary not only prior to but during (and after) the birth of Jesus. The document presents itself as written by James: “I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem.” The purported author is thus James, the brother of Jesus, but scholars have established that the work was not written by the person to whom it is attributed.

History of the Church of the Nativity

church-of-the-nativity

The first evidence of a cave in Bethlehem being venerated as Christ’s birthplace is in the writings of Justin Martyr around 160 AD. The tradition is also attested by Origen and Eusebius in the 3rd century.
In 326, Constantine and his mother St. Helena commissioned a church to be built over the cave. This first church, dedicated on May 31, 339, had an octagonal floor plan and was placed directly above the cave. In the center, a 4-meter-wide hole surrounded by a railing provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaic survive from this period. St. Jerome lived and worked in Bethlehem from 384 AD, and he was buried in a cave beneath the Church of the Nativity.
The Constantinian church was destroyed by Justinian in 530 AD, who built the much larger church that remains today. The Persians spared it during their invasion in 614 AD because, according to legend, they were impressed by a representation of the Magi — fellow Persians — that decorated the building. This was quoted at a 9th-century synod in Jerusalem to show the utility of religious images.
Muslims prevented the application of Hakim’s decree (1009) ordering the destruction of Christian monuments because, since the time of Omar (639), they had been permitted to use the south transept for worship.
The Crusaders took Jerusalem on 6 June 1009. Baldwin I and II were crowned there, and in an impressive display of tolerance the Franks and Byzantines cooperated in fully redecorating the interior (1165-69). A Greek inscription in the north transept records this event.
The Church of the Nativity was much neglected in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, but not destroyed. Much of the church’s marble was looted by the Ottomans and now adorns the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. An earthquake in 1834 and a fire in 1869 destroyed the furnishings of the cave, but the church again survived.
In 1847, the theft of the silver star marking the exact site of the Nativity was an ostensible factor in the international crisis over the Holy Places that ultimately led to the Crimean War (1854–56).

 In 1852, shared custody of the church was granted to the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Greeks care for the Grotto of the Nativity.

grotto-1grotto-2grotto-3grotto-4

The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity’s focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ’s birth since at least the 2nd century.

grotto-6grotto-birthplace-5

A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ is believed to have been born. The star’s Latin inscription reads, “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born — 1717.” The floor is paved in marble, and 15 lamps hang above the star (six belong to the Greeks, five to the Armenians and four to the Latins).
All other furnishings date from after the fire of 1869, except for the bronze gates at the north and south entrances to the Grotto, which are from Justinian’s 6th-century church.

Note:  I was in Israel just after Christmas in 1987, exactly thirty years ago from writing this.  I was inside the Church Of The Nativity and toured this holy site.  I agree totally with the above article that the early church historians, led by Justin Martyr in 160 A.D., and followed by Origen, Eusebius and others, give this site the best credence as the genuine place where Christ was born.   Merry Christmas, Pastor Steve  <><

 

Key The Following Link From The Southern Baptist WMU, For A Celebration Of Christ’s Birth:

Home

https://wmu.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=75b53a89cb51c58debcd56a81&id=94a86b59f4&e=38daae5135

Incredible 1,500-year-old Christian mosaic uncovered in Israel ~ November 27, 2017

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a stunning 1,500-year-old Christian mosaic that was once the floor of a church or monastery.
Experts found the mosaic during an excavation in the ancient Mediterranean coastal city of Ashdod-Yam, now part of the modern city of Ashdod. The discovery, which was made in August, was announced Thursday by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
An inscription in Greek dedicated to the structure’s builders offered archaeologists a vital clue. The inscription mentions a date on the ancient Georgian calendar, enabling experts to date the building.

“[By the grace of God (or Christ)], this work was done from the foundation under Procopius, our most saintly and most holy bishop, in the month Dios of the 3rd indiction, year 292” it reads. The year 292 corresponds to 539 A.D. “This is the earliest appearance of the use of the Georgian calendar in the Land of Israel, many years before it was used in Georgia itself,” explained Dr. Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who deciphered the inscription, in a statement.
Experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Gottingen and Leipzig University in Germany also participated in the project.
Ashdod-Yam was an important city during the Byzantine period. Long hidden under sand dunes, the city is now revealing its secrets. “As far as we know, Ashdod is now home to the largest community of Jews of Georgian origin in the world,” said Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University, Dr. Balbina Bäbler of the University of Göttingen, and Sa’ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in the statement. “Testimony to the presence of the actual Georgians in the Land of Israel as far back as the Byzantine period has been found dozens of kilometers from Ashdod – in Jerusalem and its surroundings. But this is the first time that a Georgian church or monastery has been discovered on the Israeli coast.”

The archaeologists note that, according to historical sources, the fifth-century Georgian Prince and Bishop Peter the Iberian lived in Ashdod-Yam.
Archaeologists are now working to raise additional funds to continue their excavation of the site.
The Ashdod-Yam mosaic floor is just the latest fascinating Christian archaeological find in Israel. An ancient Greek inscription, for example, was recently found on a 1,500-year-old mosaic floor near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The inscription mentions the Byzantine emperor Justinian, who ruled in the 6th century A.D., and commemorates the building’s founding by a priest called Constantine.
In 2015 a 1,500-year-old church was discovered at a Byzantine-era rest stop between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In 2014 the remains of another church from the same period were uncovered in southern Israel.
Experts also believe they have found the lost Roman city of Julias, formerly the village of Bethsaida, which was the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip.
Reported by: James Rogers – Fox News

By Prophecy in the News| November 27th, 2017|Tags: Archaeologists, Ashdod, Christ, Christian Mosaic, Christian News, Georgian Calendar, God, Greek, Israel, Prophecy News

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 8

Day #8

At breakfast we witnessed another beautiful sunrise, a red rubber ball rising over new Jerusalem.  This is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath – no work is done.  Our breakfast was made from food prepared on previous days.  Not even scrambled eggs could be prepared.  Talk about straining gnats.

Israel is made up of hills, valleys, hamlets, and towns.  Mountains abound all around the Jordan Valley.  We descended toward the Dead Sea and traveled the mountain, desert road, which is also rocky, hilly, craggy and lonely – between Jerusalem and Jericho.  We descended over four thousand feet and once again, entered a different climate.  This, as you probably realize by now, was the road used by the Good Samaritan.  Our ears popped.  What a beautiful land of endless variation!  We saw many Bedouin camps and tents, goats, and sheep along the way.  Israel really opens up the past.  We passed through the wilderness of Judea, just north of Neger, and the wilderness of Beersheba.  We passed deep gorges and narrow mountain passes, and canyons (Wadi) on the way toward Jericho.  In the distance we saw Mount Nebo, Jericho, and the Wilderness of Temptation.  We descended rapidly to the Dead Sea which was once a desert, but now, with water available, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, etc. are raised.  We saw a Greek Monastery – the site of Biblical Gilgal.  We also saw the place where Joshua crossed the Jordan River and laid down twelve stones.  The Dead Sea provides Israel with minerals, power and electricity.  We turned south towards En Gedi and Masada.  We passed the mountains at Qumran, where later today, we will see the caves where the Bedouin shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.  Our ears kept popping.  Now we went by the actual caves which hid the scrolls.  What a desolate place is Qumran, home of the Essenes.  The Dead Sea is 20% salt, and right next to a fresh water spring.  The residents of Qumran depended on this fresh water supply.  We saw possible Essene farms and a community near Qumran.

After proceeding south along the Dead Sea for awhile, away from the spring, the land again turned into a desert.  The Dead Sea is shrinking and getting smaller.  The water line is moving back.  What beautiful terrain – the desert, mountains, and the Dead Sea – it has to be seen.  We drove south a long way, passing caves where rebels hid from Greek and Roman authorities.  The Dead Sea was four shades of blue, surrounded by lush, green vegetation, and towering red and brown mountains and cliffs.  Leopards and ibex dwell in these forlorn mountains.  We kept proceeding south toward the oasis of En Gedi.  As we passed through En Gedi, we immediately saw an oasis filled with beautiful palm trees.  En Gedi, of course, is where David hid from Saul in a cave and cut Saul’s garment.  I can see why David stayed here.

We then passed a health resort where a sulfur spring bubbled from the ground.  Finally we approached our first destination of Masada.  What a majestic site in the distance.  The ramp that the Romans built in order to capture Masada could be seen.  The Romans, under Titus, took three years to capture it through siege (70-73 A.D.).  We also saw Mount Sodom south at a distance.  An oasis was at the bottom of Masada.  What a beautiful drive, Jerusalem to Masada.  One may ascend Masada in one of two ways:  1) by cable car or 2) by the “snake path” which takes about forty five minutes.  There is no rain here, and we saw one large cistern on the way up.  It was a large man made quarry, turned into a cistern.  Masada means stronghold, rock, or fortress, and was built by the paranoid Herod.  There are three separate levels to King Herod’s Pleasure Palace, connected by staircases.  The top level of Masada is twenty acres.  Many of the Roman encampments could be seen below.  The Roman encampments were square shaped and very easy to see.  Masada had water, swimming pools, gardens, and just about everything to make it a paradise.  A Roman wall crept all around the base of the mountain in order to keep the people captive.  After three years, over nine hundred zealots committed suicide.  Masada was discovered only one hundred years ago.  When the Romans laid siege to Masada, they probably got their water at En Gedi.  When the Romans attempted to build the earthen ramp, the zealots threw rocks down on them.  We passed a stone quarry that was used by Herod in order to build.  The walls of all the rooms at Masada were once beautiful, painted, and covered with plaster.  There were saunas, hanging gardens, bath houses, pillars, storage rooms with a nine year food supply (the food was near Herod’s quarters).  There were beautiful mosaics.  There was even a hot room, and the floor was supported by small columns – underneath the floor were coals and hot water which created a sauna.  Tile was on some of the walls.  As mentioned, the pleasure palace of Herod had three tiers, and was located in such a way as to catch the breeze at the end of the mountain.  The outline of the Roman encampments could be seen all around the mountain.  The General’s Quarters could be seen inside the encampments at the corner of each.  Water came to Masada all the way from the mountains near Jerusalem and was collected in cisterns.  There were holes in the base of Mount Masada which collected the water runoff from the mountains nearby.  The force of gravity pushed the water up, because even the top of Masada is below sea level!  The top level of Masada features the Northern “pleasure” Palace.  Next, I visited the lowest tier of the pleasure palace, the third level down.  This tier gave Herod shade and breeze.  There was a hidden stairwell which was built into the rock, that Herod used to go up and down.  There were no trees in the area, hence the Romans had to haul a battering ram for a long distance.  Then I saw the middle terrace of the pleasure palace (Northern Palace), and observed the remains of a narrow, circular stairwell built into the rock.

Back on the top terrace was the oldest synagogue in the world at the time of the Second Temple.  Ezekiel, Chapter Thirty Seven, “The Vision of Dry Bones,” was found in the synagogue.  Nearby, there was a chamber for the scrolls, or library.  We observed the Roman ramp of earth closeup from the top of Masada.  There were many towers posted along the outer walls.  We left the “leisure” Northern Palace, and entered the Western “working” Palace.  This was the Administrative Palace.  A woman  and her daughter were the only ones who did not commit suicide in 73 A.D.  They hid themselves in an empty water cistern.

Now we will head for En Gedi.  The Dead Sea has no fish or seaweed.  The sulfur smell is very strong.  En Gedi comes from “En” or spring, and “Gedi” or goats.  We came to Wadi David – the springs and water source for En Gedi.  We observed the ibex wandering on the cliffs, the mountain animal of Israel, from which we get the word “Gedi.”  En Gedi features a beautiful waterfall.  At En Gedi, the water originates at a spring and goes underground.  The water is warm.  On our walk back from the waterfall, we saw a “coonie” which looks like a groundhog.  We also saw about twenty ibex walking along a high ridge.  We saw many other ibex amid the rocks.  They are very coordinated for the mountains, and they change the position of their feet to land square on the rocks.

Now we went to the Dead Sea at En Gedi for a swim.  One can float there with no effort at all.  Salt deposits were left all over our bodies.  Since I shaved the previous night before swimming, my neck stung.  You could smell the sulfur, and clay deposits were left everywhere.  The clay is used for cosmetics, facial treatments, and other vain pursuits of man.  Since the Dead Sea is the lowest place on the face of the earth, and tropical, and unseasonably warm, and has many mineral deposits, one feels that God did something special here – such as rain fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and dropping the entire valley below sea level.

Onward to Qumran.  We passed an oasis filled with palm trees along the way.  (By the way, it just came to mind that there were no problems on the trip which had to do with the recent P.L.O., Gaza Strip and Bethlehem developments).  Qumran was settled by the Essenes in the eighth century B.C.  We visited the remains of the community, observing a water channel, a cistern, scrolls stored in a Scriptorium, and a cemetery.  Many scrolls have been located in these mountains nearby.  Observed in the Essenes Community were homes, pottery, stables, flour, a dining hall, a pool and a cistern.  Every remaining artifact gives evidence of a simple life style.  The Essenes left Qumran and went to Masada.

We left Qumran to go back to Jerusalem.  On the way home, our guide mentioned that Bedouins still trade camels for wives.  They love their simple life style.  We passed a military camp.  Now we went back to the road which goes from Jericho to Jerusalem.  We passed another military camp.  Many Bedouin Camps were seen on the way back to Jerusalem.  We passed through today’s Bethany and stopped at Lazarus’ tomb.  It was deep and dark and seemed very real.  We had to duck and crawl in order to enter the crypt area.  It appeared to be a real possibility of genuine authenticity, like the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.

We again entered Jerusalem.  We visited Jesus’ Garden Tomb, mentioned in the paragraph above.  It too, seemed authentic because of 1) the trough where the stone rolled, 2) and the window where the Bible seems to indicate light came in (John 20: 4-8); when John and Peter saw the linen clothes in the tomb, a source of light would have been needed for them to see the clothes after running into the tomb – the window, of course, would have provided the light.

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 7

Day #7

The rabiis, or Orthodox Jews, wear their hair very short with a long, long strand near the ear.  It would be interesting to find out why.  They are probably trying to fulfill a law of theirs.  On the way to our first stop, Pastor Grimes told us that it hardly ever rains at the Dead Sea.

Our first stop entailed a visit to an Israeli shrine in commemoration of the Jewish Holocaust.  The question remains, was the Holocaust God’s push of the Jews into the Holy Land?  First of all, we saw the Israeli military cemetery.  We saw many stones representing the war in 1948, when 650,000 Jews had a six month war with the Arabs and lost 6,000 people.  The Israeli national movement is called the Zionist Movement, named after Mount Zion, or Jerusalem.  Other stones were from soldiers who died in 1967.  (the Six Day War).  Next, we proceeded to the Memorial to the Holocaust.  One and one half million children were killed.  Seventy two hundred (7,200) Jewish people escaped from Denmark to Sweden.  We saw pictures of gas chambers in Poland.  Death and Concentration Camps were all over Europe.  The hair and gold teeth were extracted from the Jews and used in the war effort.  The Holocaust is one reason the Jews go to Mount Masada and vow they will never surrender, but fight to the death,  This entire Memorial is a good reminder of the wretchedness of the heart of man.

Next, we looked at the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We saw part of the book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Aramaic.  It was discovered Qumran in 1947, and it dates to about 100 B.C.  It was made by the famous Essenes.  Then we saw the Temple Scroll.  The Temple Scroll is God teaching the Torah in the first person.  We saw the Manuel of Discipline – the regulations of the Essenes.  We saw the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.  The biggest blessing, however, was to see a scroll of Isaiah dated 100 B.C., and filled with the prophecies of Jesus Christ!  (examples:  Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, chapter 53, etc.)  We saw the Nahum Commentary which identified the Essenes.  We saw the scrolls of forty one of the Psalms, including the apocryphal One Hundred and Fifty First Psalm.  We saw the jars which held the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We looked at the old marriage contract, a divorce bill, business letters (selling dates and fruits), and a social letter.  The Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 was the last revolt of the Jews against the Romans.  This was mentioned in a social letter.  Over seven hundred scrolls and parchments have been found around Qumran.

Now we proceeded to Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  We entered the Hinnom Valley, filled with olive trees.  Then we came to the Kidron Valley.  Hezekiah’s Tunnel is almost one half a mile long, and is a tremendous engineering feat.  There were many residences right outside the tunnel, where donkeys worked right at the tunnel site, and children rode the donkeys.  The tunnel consisted of two parts:  1) The original Canaanite Shaft and 2) Hezekiah’s Tunnel into David’s city.  We saw the entrance to Hezekiah’s Tunnel – dated 750 B.C.  Then we saw where David found the shaft, near the tunnel, which he used to enter Jerusalem around 1000 B.C.  We walked up Mount Ophel – David’s city was a steep hill which was surrounded by valleys, the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys.  The shaft and the tunnel diverted water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of David’s city.  When David took Jerusalem, Joab went up the Canaanite Shaft in order to open the gate for David and his men.  Because of what he did, Joab received one of David’s daughters in marriage.

We noticed that Muslims paint their doors in relation to their “status” in faith.  A red door, for instance, means they went to Mecca.  There is no end to the customs and oddities in this land.

From our location in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the ancient walls of the city of David could be seen.  We observed the Pool of Siloam, which was the water receiving area for David’s Jerusalem.  Swimmers were seen who entered the Pool of Siloam, having gone through Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  Nearby, are the traditional sites of the tombs of both Jehosephat and Zedekiah.  They are not one hundred per cent positive about the authenticity of these tombs.  There is more certainty however, about the tomb of Absalom.

Today is Friday, the Muslim Holy Day, and the soldiers were equipped with sticks and riot gear.

Next, we saw Zedekiah’s Cave or Solomon’s Quarries, a mountain where rock and stone was cut out for the temple.  It was a hollowed out mountain, a huge and vast cave opening into an amphitheater.  It kept going down deeper and deeper.  Ton upon ton of rocks were removed.  The traditional site of Golgotha or Calvary was seen across the street from Zedekiah’s Cave.  This was a Muslim area and we could not go there.  We noticed military halftracks and troops in the area.

On the way to Bethlehem, we passed another of Herod’s fortresses in the distance.  It was the Herodium, a man made mountain where Herod flashed signals from, way out in the desert.  (Because of his paranoia over assasination attempts, King Herod slept in a different place every night).  His tomb could be in this fortress which is noted for its flat top, looking like a volcanic mountain from a distance.  We passed Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem off the main street.

For lunch, we went into St. George’s Arab Restaurant in Bethlehem.  An Arab waiter attempted to take away my salad while I was eating it.  Pastor Grimes was seated next to me and quickly took the waiter to task, straightening out his decorum.  We had lamb shiskabob, and it was good.  Speaking of Arab and custom, I would like to mention that the Arab toilet we saw near Petra, was in a large room, and on the floor.  I was totally mesmerized when I first saw it.  One would perform their bodily functions before a crowd.  Unbelievable.

We walked over to the Church of the Nativity after lunch.  This is the traditional birth place of Jesus Christ.  The church is built on a cave.  The only entrance, the front door, was short so camels could not walk in.  The cave was charcoal black, due to many people bringing in torches and candles.  The 1)Greek Orthodox, 2)Armenian, 3)and Roman Catholic all control this church, each with their own section.  A Greek Orthodox Priest, dressed in black, rang bells filled with smoky incense all over the church – making it “holy.”  Many of us gagged and coughed because of the smoke.  The church goes back to the 5th Century and is rugged looking, like a fortress.  The church has the original Byzantine 5th Century floor, Muslim columns, and Crusader decorations on the walls.  Another cave or manger was on the other side.  After leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, we entered the Catholic section.  This was a very ritualistic church.

Now we proceeded toward the shepherd’s fields.  There was a natural cave in these fields, and there were many shepherd’s fields to be seen in the area.  These fields were similar to, and may have actually been, the fields that Ruth worked in and Boaz owned.  Beth-lehem means “house of bread.”  There are wheat fields and shepherd’s fields all around the town, hence the name.  From Bethlehem, we had a breath-taking view of the mountains of Moab, across the desert and the Dead Sea.  Moab, we know, was where Ruth came from, and the country originated between Lot and one of his daughters.

We then saw a beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem from the south.  We could observe David’s city at Mount Ophel up the middle, the Mount of Olives was seen on the right, and Mount Zion was on the left.  The valleys are as follows:  the Kidron Valley bears off to the right, the Tyropoeon Valley goes to the left, and the Hinnom Valley can be found in the middle.  We could oberve the ever present Dome of the Rock in the middle also, above the Hinnom Valley.

Next, we went through the Hinnom Valley in Jerusalem – also called Gehenna because it was a trash dump where “the fire never went out.”  The word Gehenna, of course, refers to burning.  The never ending burning of hell.

We went to a store in Jerusalem belonging to a gentleman named Was-Was.  Along the way we smelled the aroma of many good Arabic foods.  Haggling is common place in Jerusalem, as you can bargain with people.  For a reasonable price, I bought two brass candlesticks for my wife, and an olive wood donkey to add to our collection of over twenty donkeys at home.

 

The Ancient Giants Who Roamed The Earth

There are several entries on this blog site referring to giants; they are in the category: Old Testament Giants.  The first giants in the Bible are mentioned in Genesis 6, and they lived before the flood (antediluvian).  They lived all over the world, and they are mentioned in the historical, anthropological, and archaeological annuls of every major civilization on every continent.  The second group of Biblical giants came after the flood (post diluvian), and are limited to the Biblical lands in the Middle East – specifically to the land of Canaan/Israel and the surrounding nations.  Biblical examples of these giants are Goliath and his brothers, Anak, and King Og of Bashan.  Below, King Og is contrasted with an ordinary Israelite.  As we convert cubits to feet, the Bible says his bed was over 13 feet long and six feet wide.

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

Image result for king og of bashan in the bible

WND EXCLUSIVE

BIGFOOT? HOW ABOUT A FOSSILIZED GIANT FOOT?

News agency has photo of one in bedrock more than 22 inches long

Published: 19 hours ago
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/09/bigfoot-how-about-a-fossilized-giant-foot/#IlZHt0fkUOJrZlXM.99

 

The Giant Of Kandahar, Afghanistan

Killed in 2002    The Description Is An Exact Match For The Biblical Old Testament Nephilim

There is no absolute proof that this giant was killed in Afghanistan in 2002 except for the testimony of the soldiers.  The writers of the story are reliable however, and the soldiers talk about this story nonchalantly as if it were common knowledge.  The alleged “cover up” by those in charge, was classic and in total harmony with previous incidents, such as the Smithsonian Institute’s hiding of the bones of giants found throughout North America.  [Read Richard Dewhurst’s “The Giants Who Ruled America, The Missing Skeletons And The Smithsonian Cover Up”].

Will a Hidden Treasure Chamber Discovered Under Machu Picchu Finally Be Revealed?

Archaeology is growing today, in leaps and bounds.  Machu Picchu, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, and skirting the Amazon River basin, is one of the most famous sites in the world.  It is also one of the seven modern wonders of the world.  The Spanish Conquistadors left it in tact and untouched, only because they never found it!  Please check the category on this blog site “Peru 2014” and then refer to the article “The Inca Culture, Part II,” for a comprehensive history of Machu Picchu.  The site is of Biblical significance because of archaeoastronomy, and the relation with Genesis 11.  When the ancient chieftain Nimrod was in charge of building the famed ziggurat, the Tower of Babel, he built what became a precedent for archaeological sites all around the globe.  Pyramids are found in all lands without exception.  These structures usually have archaeoastronomy built within them, which is a bittersweet development.  It is good because it helps to make a calendar for crop planting and defining the change of seasons.  It is bad because it raises the specter of false gods and astrology, which are incorporated into all of their beliefs, thus replicating the spirit of the Tower of Babel.  Famed pyramids of this sort are left by the Incas, the Aztecs and the Mayans in the Western Hemisphere alone.  There are pyramids in the shape of mounds in Georgia, and throughout the United States of America.  Machu Picchu has more than one site related to archaeoastronomy.  (dictionary definition below)  The following article relates to hollow cavities located below Machu Picchu through advanced technology.  They could be the burial sites for their leaders, and if that is the case, they could be filled with gold, silver and other precious gems.  My prayer is that they leave them alone.  Blessings, Pastor Steve

ar·chae·o·as·tron·o·my
ˌärkēō-əˈstränəmē/noun
  1. the investigation of the astronomical knowledge of prehistoric cultures.   Machu Picchu (photo by Jim Dobson)

Machu Picchu / Summer 2016 (photo by Jim Dobson)

I recently visited Machu Picchu for an amazing luxury weekend and found new construction and red-taped no public access areas were increasing on a daily basis. I also watched several excavations in progress in the main temple area. Machu Picchu was beginning a massive five-year remodel that will forever change the experience for tourists.

I have always been intrigued by buried treasure and secret hidden chambers at temples all over the world, so when a well-known French archaeologist and explorer announced that he and a team of researchers discovered a secret door and possible lost secret treasure, I was excited to speak to them and get the background of the discovery. They say it could be the most important archaeological find ever unearthed within the walls of Peru’s infamous Machu Picchu citadel. The Cusco branch of the ministry of culture however has blocked the archaeologist, Thierry Jamin, and the Instituto Inkari NGO from excavating in the ruins.

Jamin and other researchers announced that their electromagnetic equipment has revealed a hidden chamber concealed behind the walls, which were built around the year 1450. They think the secret space could possibly house the tomb of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the Inca ruler that experts believe Machu Picchu was built for in the 15th-century. Jamin says there is a great possibility that the crypt would contain a treasure filled with gold, silver and other precious metals, making it the largest discovery ever at the famed site. The project however has met with much controversy and resistance from the government.

 Thierry Jamin (c) with researchers at the secret door

Thierry Jamin (c) with researchers at the secret door

Jamin tells me that when he and the Instituto Inkari presented their evidence to the local ministry of culture in the Cusco region along with their plan to excavate the area, their request was quickly denied. According to David Ugarte, the director of the ministry of culture in the Cusco region, “Archaeologist Thierry Jamin was in Machu Picchu based on the authorization given to him by the Ministry of Culture in Lima to carry out observational studies and tour the citadel, but when he proposed, above all, to excavate based on some hypothesis, because a laser scanner had detected an Inca tomb that was surrounded by children, and at the same time there were some steps lined in gold. It has been completely denied because this goes against the reality.”

The ministry of culture and park directors said they worried the excavation project could jeopardize the stability of the structure. Past excavations have caused partial collapses of the historic walls and they said they worried the Inkari group was after the precious metals and not taking into account the historic nature of the site. “In terms of Thierry Jamin, he seemed to us to be more of an adventurer looking to find a treasure and not to do scientific research,” Ugarte added.

Closeup of the Secret Door at Machu Picchu

Closeup of the Secret Door at Machu Picchu

All of this started in February of 2010 when French engineer David Crespy was taking some measurements of the ruins and small passages of Machu Picchu. At the heart of the ciudadela, he noticed the presence of a strange “door”, located at the foot of one of the main buildings and leading to a small path which seems to be almost never used by the tourists, or even the archaeologists from the site.

Crespy immediately knew it was an entrance that had been sealed by the Incas. He alerted the archaeologists and the people in charge of Machu Picchu, and after a tour of the site they promised to start investigating in the near future. But after months and months, despite several emails, phone calls and emails, he never received any news from Peru about his possible discovery.

In August 2011, Crespy found an article in the French newspaper Le Figaro Magazine about the famed research work of Thierry Jamin in Peru and he decided to contact him directly. Thierry Jamin, had been investigating several archaeological sites in the North of Cusco, and was able to confirm David Crespy’s information. Between September and November 2011, along with other archaeologists, he went to Machu Picchu on several occasions to investigate the famous location. His preliminary conclusions were that it was indeed an entrance, sealed by the Incas. This site was also strangely similar to the burial sites that had been previously discovered in the valleys of Lacco-Yavero and Chunchusmayo. The “door” was located in the center of one of the main buildings of the city, the “Temple of the Three Doors”, which dominates the entire urban section of Machu Picchu and created hope that the location could be a burial site of prime importance.

Radar used to determine contents of hidden chamber

Radar used to determine contents of hidden chamber

Historians believe that Machu Picchu belonged to the lineage of the emperor Pachacútec, the Inca who transformed the small Andean State into the most powerful empire of the American continent. This would also explain that Pachacútec would have been buried in the city of Patallacta, the original name of Machu Picchu. It is very possible that this burial chamber is somehow connected to this sovereign of the XVth century. It would be a huge event for the History of Peru and pre-Colombian America since no mummy of the Inca emperor has ever been discovered.

On March 22nd, 2012, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture gave the green light to Thierry Jamin’s team to research a series of electromagnetic surveys intended to confirm, or not, the presence of a funeral chamber in the basement of the building. With the use of a georadar “Golden King DPRP”, the research team succeeded in confirming the existence of two entrances, located behind the famous door. The researchers also succeeded in obtaining a 3D representation of a staircase that leads to a main room, and possible burial chamber.

A few days later, new echos were discovered with a Rover CII New Edition and a CaveFinder, two devices designed to specifically detect subterranean cavities. The data collected confirmed the presence of a staircase, several cavities, among which a vast quadrangular room that is about three meters wide. Georadars have also detected the existence of great quantities of metals. The use of a Molecular Discriminator of Frequencies was used to highlight the presence of golden and silver objects.

Radar imaging of tunnel and cavities below Machu PIcchu

Radar imaging of tunnel and cavities below Machu Picchu

Finally, the use of an endoscopic camera was introduced into the elevations between the entrance stones, confirming the claim that the stone blocks placed in the entrance of the building had only the function of closing the entrance and not that to support the internal structures of the building.

The echos from the geo-radars are clear and the diagnosis from the technicians of several different companies specialized in geo-radars confirmed the fact. They seem to match with a classic burial chamber of pre-hispanic time and is oriented Eastward as was most of the pre-hispanic burial sites. This could lead to the discovery of a Mausoleum, the one that emperor Pachacútec built in the XVth century for his own grave but also for his entire lineage.

After submitting his Final Report to the Peruvian Ministry of Culture (approved by the ministry on September 5th 2012 by a new Directory Resolution), Thierry Jamin set out his plan to open the door sealed by the Incas more than 5 centuries ago. On May 22th 2012, Thierry Jamin submit an official request to the Peruvian authorities in which he asked for the authorization for him and his team to open the burial chambers.

Tomb of The Lord of Sipán in Peru

Tomb of The Lord of Sipán in Peru

This new project was called “Project of Archeological Investigations (including excavations)”, with the possible exhumation of some high grade funeral material by opening of the access panel covered by stones. Directed by Thierry Jamin and Hilbert Sumire (Official Director of the Archaeological Project), the operation was composed by a team of professional experts recognized internationally such as peruvian architect and conservator Victor Pimentel Gurmendi, Director or Conservation on the project.

Between the months of June to October 2012, the “2012 Machu Picchu Project” was evaluated by several services of the Ministry of Culture in Lima. During the course of these evaluations the project was transferred to the Direction of the Historic National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in order to get their opinion about its viability.

Metals detected (orange) within hidden chambers below Machu Picchu

Metals detected (orange) within hidden chambers below Machu Picchu

On July 19th 2012, archaeologist Piedad Champi Monterroso wrote a negative report on the project. “The entrance discovered by David Crespy should be considered only as a simple retaining wall, archaeologist Hilbert Sumire is only a “tourist guide” and Thierry Jamin’s team is a group of “treasure hunters”.   Without any technical evidence of her claims, she also added that moving the stones of the building where the entrance was discovered would put the integrity of the entire structure at risk.

Peruvian historian Teodoro Hampe also said that the cavities discovered under the “Temple of the Three Doors” by the Inkari Team could be the burial chambers of the panaca, or lineage of the emperor Pachacútec. However, he added, the imperial mummy would have been brought to Lima during the 16th century by the Spanish conquistadors and hidden with other mummies in a secret crypt located under the foundations of the San Andrés hospital.

At the time, the Regional Director of Culture, David Ugarte Vega Centeno, announced that the application for a license by the Inkari Institute, to achieve the opening of the burial chambers discovered at Machu Picchu, would not be approved by the Regional Office because the project would serious risks to the legendary Inca City.

In September 2013, an additional team of archaeologists from the National Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu performed various measurements and multiple scanners of the “Temple of the Three Doors” and the entrance discovered by David Crespy in February 2010. A project was then presented by the leaders of the Machu Picchu park to open the underground chambers. A project that would rival the one offered by the Inkari Institute.

Since the controversy began, the access to the entrance leading to the cavities became prohibited. A sign now indicates (“construction work”) and it is impossible to approach the site.  (On my visit to the area last month, I personally asked my guides last month to show me the area and they were not able get access for me.)

Radar used on platform above hidden chambers

Radar used on platform above hidden chambers

On July 14, 2014, the Inkari Institute officially submitted a new research project led by Peruvian archaeologist Hilbert Bustincio Sumire, whose objective was the opening of underground cavities discovered in April 2012, and the study of archaeological material contained in the possible burial chambers. The project was expanded and American anthropologist Haagen Klaus Dietrich, from the George Mason University joined the group as a specialist in the study or organic funerary material.  On September 4, 2014, the Regional Director of Culture of Cusco sent a letter to the Inkari Institute, and again rejected opening underground cavities.

A subsequent technical report, said that the Machu Picchu Project of the Inkari Institute was “non-viable” due to the existence of a competing project, presented by the officials of the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Based on two “Technical Reports “, archaeologist Sabino Quispe Serrano, attaché to the Dirección de Coordinación de Calificación de Intervenciopnes Arqueológicas, declared the research project presented by Thierry Jamin and the Inkari Institute as “unfair”.

Another report was written by archaeologist José Miguel Bastante Abuhadba who is co-director of the government project. Archaeologist Piedad Champi Monterroso then granted José Miguel Bastante Abuhadba support for the archaeological work and interdisciplinary research of the hidden chamber to be executed in the field of Machu Picchu in 2017.

Ironically, a grand plan to remodel Machu Picchu was approved by the government last year that would invest $14.6 million into its re-conceptualization. The plan places emphasis on the problem of the increasing amount of tourists every year and take place over the next three years.

In 2014 Machu Picchu registered 1,079,426 visitors, not including those 200 or so daily trekkers that the site receives. This exceeds the limit that Peru and UNESCO agreed on as the site should only accept 2,500 on a daily basis.

The reconceptualization plan wants to change the experience for visitors by having them experience a larger picture of the site by utilizing the entire mountain, including moving the current entrance that sits just outside the ruins, to be placed instead in the jungle at the base of the mountain. The project would include more pathways, time limits, bathrooms, and regulation of traffic flow. Allowing only 100 tourists every 10 minutes from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Machu Picchu could then receive 6,000 tourists per day, or more than 2 million a year. Critics are saying this plan would eliminate the spiritual visitation and time to spend alone contemplating the sacred mountain.

It appears things will be taking a dramatic step for change at one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, and any further exploration of the secret chambers may be covered and hidden forever. However, beginning this week, a new President takes control of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, known for his open and progressive stance and the possibilities of uncovering the mystery of Machu Picchu could become active in the near future.

Machu Picchu (photo by Jim Dobson)

Machu Picchu (photo by Jim Dobson)

Copyright 2016 by Jim Dobson / Forbes. Material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without link to original content.

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 6

Day #6

While eating breakfast at the Shalom we observed a beautiful sunrise over Jerusalem.  While eating breakfast I looked around and observed the Israelites, thinking what a stubborn people they were, and how the Lord still has His hand on them, even though they do not believe in Jesus and the New Testament.  Our hotel gave us a beautiful view of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a melting pot with all kinds of people.  All of the people in Israel, the men and the women, must serve in the army for two years and take their vows on Mount Masada.  I found the people in Israel to be friendlier, more courteous, and more respectful (especially the children) than Americans.

Today, our first stop was at the model of Jerusalem (The “Model City”).  The model depicted Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple (the time of Jesus).  The Model City displays the many walls, the residences, Herod’s Palace, the Fortress of Antonio, the Temple, and many other things.

Next, we went towards the Mount of Olives.  On our way, we observed an Arab kiss his camel, and give our pastor a ride.  We went up the Mount of Olives to the temple of Ascension which is now a Mosque.  (refer to Acts 1:4 through Acts 1:11).  There is an “alleged footprint” where Jesus ascended from, inside the small temple upon a rock.  Next, we went a short distance away and took several pictures of Jerusalem from this panoramic view.  From our location on the Mount of Olives, we had a view of Jerusalem over the Kidron Valley.  Also observed was David’s City, the Dome of the Rock, as well as the northern end of Jerusalem.  It is interesting to note that the current city walls are only five hundred years old, and built by the Ottoman Turks.  Mount Ophel is David’s old city, and Mount Zion is above David’s City, outside the wall.  We saw Absalom’s tomb in the Kidron Valley.  As we departed from the Temple of Ascension, a burro blocked our path on our way to the Garden of Gethsemane.

We went into the Garden of Gethsemane (“semane” means olive oil).  Gethsemane may have been near John Mark’s home.  We entered the Church of All Nations where the alleged rock is that Jesus prayed at.  This is located next to the Garden of Gethsemane.

We drove up to the Old City of Jerusalem and entered Stephen’s Gate, which is also known as the Lion’s Gate, with a lion on each side of the gate.

Next, we observed a fine site of archaeology – the Pool of Bethesda.  The pool has five porches where people were healed, and is dug out very deep.

The streets of Jerusalem are very narrow.  The women wore robes, and carried large objects on their head.  Beggars and cripples lingered on the street corners.  Walking in the “Old City” is like walking into the past.  Burros carrying loads walk in the streets.  Flutes, and other eastern instruments can be heard.  Muslim people can be heard wailing over microphones.

Next, we arrived at my favorite archaeological site in the whole city – we entered the Judgment Hall at the Fortress of Antonio.  There was a cistern and a water supply here.  We observed areas cut by Herod, which was originally the moat of the Fortress of Antonio.  Next, we went deep into the beautiful, large, and open Strutheon Pool.  Water runs down into the pools from the mountains.  We approached other cisterns and lithostrotos pavement that Jesus walked on.  The pavement was made up of large stones with wedges to prevent slipping.  A church was built above this pavement.  Jesus was tried and judged near here by Pontius Pilate.

We walked down today’s Via Dolorosa, where Jesus is supposed to have carried His cross to Calvary.  The actual road, however, would be many feet underground.  The Via Dolorosa featured an arch overhead, this is an original arch left from the Fortress of Antonio.

The business district was bustling – people commonly walk up to you in order to sell you just about everything.  There are money changers today in Jerusalem just like in Christ’s time.  Many people wear cloaks, robes, togas, and turbines.  Conservative Muslim women wear veils.  We stopped and looked at a Muslim water trough.

We approached the Western “Wailing” Wall and we were frisked on the way into this area.  The wall is near Mount Zion and the Tyropoeon Valley.  The Tyropoeon Valley, filled over the years, is right in front of the wall.  The wall is very long, and is the last part of the temple that was not destroyed – hence the Rabiis, Orthodox Jews, etc. wail there.  We observed the same wall nearby extending underground.  The entire original wall is 150 feet high.  When the rabiis pray – they read their Tora, and they chant, buck their head backwards and forwards, and side to side.  They shake their knees.  Loads and loads of prayers were stuck in the cracks of the walls.  The rabiis wore prayer boxes (Phylacteries; Matthew 23:5) on their foreheads and arms, and were dressed all in black.  In essence, they are modern day Pharisees.  They are very, very zealous.  If they were converted, their zeal would turn the world upside down (like Paul of Tarsus).  When we entered, we put on “cardboard beenies” or Kippurs, like everyone else.  A head covering, they feel, is needed in a holy place.  Orthodox Jews of the law, modern day Pharisees, were seen everywhere.

We observed the excavated Tyropoeon Valley (Old Jerusalem) near the Wailing (Western) Wall.  We passed a Byzantine, Muslim Mosque and approached the Dome of the Rock.  It was built in the eighth century.  Abraham offered the sacrifice of Isaac at the rock in the Dome – the rock inside is the ONLY part of Mount Moriah that Herod left exposed after all of his building.  The best marble available was used to build it.  There is a hole in the rock, and a drainage area below for all the blood sacrifices.  Blood would run underneath, all the way down the mountain.  The Dome of the Rock is surrounded by a Muslim Mosque and worship area.  From this area, one can see the Tyropoeon Valley, the Western Wall, and David’s City beyond.

Jerusalem is a melting pot of cultures, beliefs and different people’s religions.  At lunch time, a man on the tour (Steve Abbott) was drinking a milkshake for lunch and was told to leave – this is NOT KOSHER.  Dairy products cannot be eaten with meat products.  The religions of Jerusalem are 1) Islamic (Muslim) 2) Jewish 3) Christian and 4) Armenian (preceded by Greek Orthodox).  All believe in one God and are monotheistic, and all of them go back to Abraham.

We observed the remains of Byzantine shops.  The shops were Roman streets with columns (pillars), and stores on both sides of the street.  These shops were part of Jerusalem after 70 A.D., when Titus destroyed Jerusalem.  Farther down the row of shops, modern shops are built in the original shops.  We then passed a display revealing the Maccabean, Hasmonean ruins and walls.  These dated from 100 B.C. to 700 B.C., the bottom stones were from the time of Hezekiah and the first temple.  Next, we saw an area where the Israeli and Hasmonean walls joined together.  We passed a Byzantine mosaic map, revealing Jerusalem in the sixth century – showing even the streets with the shops that we previously observed.

In Jerusalem, the people bargain and haggle over everything – nothing has a set price.  The people are friendly and get satisfaction in helping you.  A boy gave me an olive branch, expecting nothing in return.  I bought film from a boy, and he brought down the price for me.

Next, we entered the upper room on Mount Zion.  A Muslim Arab altar was put there when they took over.  This is just the traditional location.  The upper room is traced  back only to the Byzantine period, hence it cannot be real.

We went to Mount Zion, King David’s tomb.  Muslim and Byzantine architecture was observed here also, hence this location is probably also traditional.  We observed the Hinnom Valley off in the distance.

We entered Caiphas’ Palace, which was located below a Catholic Church.  We saw a prison where prisoners were dropped through a circular hole.  Could Jesus have been kept here?  More prisons and dungeons were located below.  This was definitely the main prison of the House of Caiphas.  There were even holes in the walls where the prisoners were strapped into place when they were whipped and beaten.

Caiphas’ Palace was a great archaeological site.  Wonderful views were observed of the Kidron Valley, the Tyropoeon Valley in the lower city in Old Jerusalem, and the ruins of Caiphas’ Palace located outside the Catholic Church.  David’s city is located on Mount Ophel, the original Canaanite stronghold of Jerusalem.

Note:  Since traveling to Israel nearly thirty years ago, there is another school of thought regarding archaeology in Jerusalem.  The “Wailing” Wall is now thought to be from the Fortress of Antonio rather than from Herod’s Temple.  Bob Cornuke’s book Temple is the watershed book regarding this new discovery.  I believe Bob is correct in his assessment.  

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 5

Day #5

In Galilee we had cheese and fish for breakfast.  Ramat is located on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, on the northwest corner of the Golan Heights.  Gadara is at the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee.  [We left Gadara by boat and crossed the Sea of Galilee.  The previous evening, my pastor Bill Grimes, assigned me to preach the Gospel on the boat as we crossed over the Sea of Galilee.  I selected the title:  “Jesus Walking On The Water, A Challenge To Our Faith.”  Matthew 14:22-33.  12/30/1987.  Interestingly, our Jewish boat and tour guides, peeked around the corner and took in every word I said.  The Jewish people from Israel are often curious about the Gospel, observing firsthand how born again Christians drop millions and billions of dollars in order to visit their land!  This caption is typed in red because it was not in my original journal.]    As we left our hotel and entered our boat, we proceeded clockwise around the Sea of Galilee, to the east, and we encountered a rocky area full of cliffs.  It came to mind that Jesus sent the swine over the cliff in an area that must have looked like this- where the Gadarenes lived.  Sure enough, we were approaching Gadara!  Every place we come to matches up perfectly with the Bible, and it should, because the Bible is God’s Word.  When we went out on the Sea of Galilee, we looked around and could see the following:  Gadara, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Magdala, Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha the seven springs church (location of the feeding of the five thousand), and Tiberias.  Our boat left Gadara and arrived in Capernaum.  Capernaum may have been the village of Nahum the prophet.  Simon Peter, of course, was from Capernaum.  Capernaum is best known perhaps, as being the home base or headquarters of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee region.  We saw another ancient olive press here.  Capernaum was owned by the Romans.  We were blessed with the opportunity to observe three different time eras of the town.  There was Capernaum at the time of Jesus.  Another time era was represented by a Muslim Synagogue in the city.  Finally, further archaeological remains depicted Capernaum at a later time, the 5th century under the Byzantines.  We left Capernaum and passed through Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene.  Now, we left the Sea of Galilee, and headed for the boyhood home of Jesus- Nazareth.  Along the way, we passed another of the many Crusader strongholds which were taken over by the Muslims.  The drive towards Nazareth was very scenic, with rocky gorges and mountains.  We drove through lower Galilee.  We passed through Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle in His ministry, turning the water into wine.  Cana kept its name for two thousand years.  The Roman Catholic Church has the “alleged pot” which Jesus used to perform this miracle.  In a postcard I have of the “pot,” it looked in very good shape for its age.  We then passed through Reina, a suburb of Nazareth, near Gath-hepher, the home town of Jonah.  We arrived in Nazareth, which has a population of forty five thousand Arabs, Muslims, and Christians.  There were many crowded streets.  Remember Nathaniel’s comment:  “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”  We visited the Nazareth Baptist Church whose pastor was of Arab descent.  The Baptist Church had a dynamic Christian School, and ALL of the many, many students, like the pastor of the church,  were converted Arabs.  Next, we visited the Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth.  It reminded one of a Catholic Church with all the icons, paintings of Mary, the candles, etc.  “Mary’s well” was inside.  This was the only water source of the city.  This church dates to Byzantine times.

Water is always the bottom line in any potential dwelling area:  1) Where Moses smote the rock near Petra, 2) Where Elisha turned the bitter waters sweet at Jericho, 3) Mary’s well in Nazareth, 4) At the Megiddo tunnel, 5) In Jerusalem at the Canaanite Well, and Hezekiah’s Tunnel which empties into the Pool of Siloam (in Jerusalem is also the Pool of Bethesda), 6) And at En Gedi – the spring where David hid from Saul, also known as David’s Spring or David’s Wadi.

We passed the cliff where Jesus disappeared from the angry people.  Then we came to the eye catching Valley of Jezreel or Valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16).  Some people think the battle will actually be fought here, such as Hal Lindsey and other literalists of Bible prophecy.  Personally, I believe that “Armageddon” is a symbolic term due to all the battles fought there, just as “Sodom” is symbolic of homosexuality, and “Babylon” is symbolic of spiritual whoredom.

We passed Mount Tabor, where Barak and Deborah the judges had their military base.  Next we approached Megiddo, the strategically located fortress where many famous men died, among these was Josiah.  We were also approaching Mount Carmel.

We observed other fruits in Israel in this area, namely strawberries, grapes, olives, oranges, avocados, cantelopes, etc.

We went by picture perfect Nain, a pretty hamlet on a hillside.  Then we went through Afula.

We came even closer to Megiddo and Mount Carmel (Megiddo is actually a part of the Carmel Mountain Range).  Megiddo is a tell of   about twenty towns which were destroyed.  As mentioned, Megiddo was in a strategic place – blocking the Carmel mountain pass.  Megiddo goes back to 1500 B.C., and Canaanite kings before Joshua.  There is a model of the Megiddo tell on the scene.  The importance of Megiddo lies in the fact that it is the only pass through the mountain range, for the invasion of Jerusalem from the west.  Ancient Megiddo goes back from 4000 B.C. to 500 A.D.  The source of water was an underground tunnel and spring which was camouflaged so the enemy could not poison it.  Mount Carmel is easily scene from Megiddo.  The Catholic “Elijah Church” is seen on Mount Carmel, and is the alleged place where Elijah called down fire from heaven and slew the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.  From Megiddo, one can see the mountain of Ahab’s Palace to the west, the Gilboa mountains, Mount Tabor, and the Nazareth mountains.  The oldest feature known in Megiddo is a center for Baal worship which dates back to 4,000 B.C.  There were many huge grain silos at Megiddo from the time of Jeroboam.  Ahab had a “chariot city” at Megiddo in the 9th Century B.C.  Also featured in Megiddo are horse stables and a feeding trough from the time of Solomon and/or Ahab.  We went through the water tunnel which leads to the spring, the water source of Megiddo.

Upon leaving Megiddo, we noticed anti-aircraft, Israeli tanks, and military installations everywhere.  We went down the narrow Megiddo pass upon exiting.  We passed one of the largest Israeli Arab settlements in Israel.  During our travels, Pastor Grimes and our Jewish guide Naphtali were talking about King David.  Naphtali said he came from Bethlehem.  In response, Pastor Grimes said that David HAD to come from Bethlehem because he was a type of Christ.  It seems that the best way to witness to Jewish people is to reveal prophetic truths in the Old Testament, show them how the Old and New Testament fit together, show them how the New Testament completes the Old Testament, and show them how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the entire Word of God, and the law, the psalms, and the prophets (Matthew 5:17, Luke 24:44).

We approached Caesarea where Philip the evangelist lived with “his four daughters who did prophesy.”  Caesarea, as you can probably tell by the name, was a Roman settlement.  The town featured all of the attractions of Roman life – an amphitheater, race tracks, administrative buildings, and a regular theater in the round.  Our guides informed us along the way that the Byzantines took over the east after the time of the Roman Empire; the Byzantines came out of Turkey.  This brought to my mind the many empires that have risen and fallen during the ancient history of man.  Here is a list of just a few of the empires that I thought of:  1) Sumerians 2) Babylon 3) Assyria 4) Syria 5) Egypt 6) Neo Babylon 7) Medo-Persia 8) Greek  9) Roman 10) Byzantine 11) Muslims (Arabic) 12) Crusaders 13) The Ottoman Empire of the Turks in 1500.  All of the aforementioned empires had a heavy influence on Israel in the past.  If we thought even more, we could probably add several more to the list such as the Canaanites, Philistines and others.  It is no coincidence that Israel is a “land bridge” where many nations crossed in the past.  In this way, other countries could learn the gospel, and Israel could be humbled by other nations when she stepped out of line.

Herod built Caesarea for the Romans only.  Augustus Caesar made Herod “King of the Jews,” hence Herod named the town Caesarea in honor of the emperor Augustus.  On the way to Caesarea, we passed through the large, modern, contemporary Israeli city of Tel Aviv, where Naphtali our guide is from.

Caesarea was built in the first century by Herod the Great.  We observed an aqueduct built by Herod.  It had two large ducts on top in which to transport water.  The water came nine miles from Mount Carmel and into Caesarea.  We passed the hippodrome (hippo means horse), or Roman race track.  Caesarea also has a “Crusader City” or castle.  The thirteenth century Crusader’s castle is complete with walls and a moat.  The castle was in very good condition.  Caesarea, like many places in medieval times in the Holy Land, changed hands several times between the Muslims and Crusaders.  We stopped and looked at the semi circular Roman theater in Caesarea.  Next, we looked at the remains of the Herodian Palace.  (How many palaces and fortresses did Herod the Great have?)  All of the statue heads were hacked off by Muslims, who despised Roman pagan practices of nudity.  Caesarea is still one gigantic tell – most of which is still uncovered.

We passed through Hadera, on our way to Tell Aviv.  As we again approached Tell Aviv, we observed a beautiful sunset.  Tell Aviv was built in 1909 by Jews from Istanbul.  It is the largest city in Israel, and very modern.

We passed through the city of the Ottomon Empire, which was 500 years old, founded by a Turkish Sultan – New Joppa.  We then arrived in the older part of town, Old Joppa.  This, of course, is the home of Simon the tanner (Peter).  Jonah also went to Joppa, attempting to flee from God’s will.  It is interesting that when we tie Joppa in with Peter and Jonah, with both men the city is significant because it had to do with their respective commissions of taking the gospel to the Gentiles.  There were many narrow streets and shops near the water.  Excavations revealed the third century B.C. Greek occupation of Joppa.  It is a very quaint and pretty town, it reminds one of a fishing port.

Onward, for our one hour drive to Jerusalem.  On our way south, we passed the place where the sun stood still for Joshua’s army.  As we went towards Jerusalem, we gradually ascended.  Hence, even though we were going south, we were going “up” to Jerusalem.  The ONLY way to Jerusalem is a narrow, rocky canyon road.  The Arabs blocked this road in 1948.  Jerusalem is a town of vast hills and valleys.  Jerusalem is over 3,000 feet high and has a population of 450,000.  It has an old city and a new city – our attention will be focused on the old city.  When we arrived for the night, we stayed at the Shalom Jerusalem Hotel in the new city.

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 4

Day #4

We were told that we would go near Gilgal when we crossed the Jordan River this morning.  This is where Elisha and Elijah crossed the Jordan River prior to Elijah being taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, and the beginning of the ministry of Elisha.  Our tour guide in Jordan, Jack, will take us to the border of the Jordan River, where another guide will pick us up and show us Israel.  We were informed that the inspection station at the Jordan, Israel border was very strict because of the tense situation in the Middle East.  Along our way, Dr. Grimes passed along some valuable information to us about Jericho, one of the first sites we will see on this date.  He said that the Jericho of today, or New Jericho, is at its present location because of Elisha’s Spring, where the bitter waters were made sweet.  It is amazing to observe how God’s blessings from thousands of years ago still bless and affect people today.

As we approached Israel from Jordan, we noted more trees, grass and hills.  We approached Mt. Seir which was both high and long.  This is where Esau settled, and Seir means red, the color of Esau’s hair.  Beyond Mt. Seir, we saw the beautiful Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.  The scenery was spectacular.  We passed by Mt. Nebo, from where Moses saw Israel before he died.  We could really appreciate how easily Moses could see the Promised Land from Mt. Nebo.  As we quickly descended the mountains in Jordan our ears popped, and we were whisked to an entirely different atmosphere.  We passed banana trees, and tropical palm trees could be seen as we approached the Dead Sea.  The descent to the Dead Sea became more slow and gradual, and now we observed orange trees and cactus.

We finally reached the border inspection station, and we were advanced in front of other larger touring groups because of our small size.  So far so good.  Then we ran into the biggest snag and disappointment of our entire trip.  We were held up about two hours because we had to wait for a “regulation wheelchair” for Steve Abbott.  Steve’s wheelchair could not be taken into Israel in case someone planted a “pipe bomb” or something else inside it.  Finally, after a lengthly delay we were off again.

We were informed that the Dead Sea is rapidly sinking.  Potassium is the main product used from the Dead Sea.  One can see mountains all around the Dead Sea.  In America, I believe the Shennandoah Valley looks similar to the topography in this area – a low area that is surrounded by mountains.

The name of our new guide in Israel was Naphtali (one of the twelve tribes of Israel), and he was from the Levite Tribe.  It is amazing, I thought, for an unbelieving Jew to “guide” people who know Jesus Christ.

We passed through New Jericho.  The people in New Jericho are not Israelites, but citizens from Jordan.  Arabs also occupy the West Bank (1,200,000 of them), a section of Jerusalem, and other parts of Israel.  Jericho is an oasis or green spot.  We passed the Mount of Temptation on our left.  This, of course, is where Jesus was tempted by Satan for forty days in the wilderness.

Next, we visited the palace of the Islamic Muslim ruler Hisham, who ruled from 724-743.  The palace was destroyed by an earthquake only four years after it was completed.  In the realm of architecture, the Muslims copied the Corinthians, Byzantines, Romans, and Greeks.  Hisham stole the ruins from Herod’s palace at Jericho, in order to make his palace.  This place was furnished with bath houses, steam rooms, and spas similar to the Romans.  The palace had mosaics, a mosque, and an ornamental pool.

Now we proceeded towards historical Jericho, passing a couple Refugee Camps for Nomads and Bedouins along the way.  Jericho is the oldest city in human history, dating to about 7300-8300 B.C.  There are various cities in Jericho differing in age – 8000 B.C., 2000 B.C., etc.  The Jericho from the time of Joshua dates to about 1300 B.C.  Despite legendary folklore, the famous walls that tumbled down in Joshua’s battle have never been located with complete certainty.  Finally, in Jericho, we saw the spring of Elisha where he made the bitter waters sweet.  Fruits were plentiful in the area, including tangerines, pomegranates, figs, and dates.

We left Jericho northbound on a long ride towards Galilee.  We could appreciate the good shape that Jesus and the disciples were in to walk such a distance on foot.  Immediately, after we left the oasis of Jericho, the landscape once again became brown, barren, and dry.  As we moved toward Samaria, we saw grapes, fruits, and other crops.  On our left, we passed the mountains of Samaria.  Naphtali pointed out the mountains where the Maccabees hid.  Then we went by the Gilead mountains on our right.  We passed a road to Shechem, which was noted from Jacob’s time for his well.  We passed Jerash, Jordan which was one of the Roman Decapolis cities.  Next, was the Brook Gibok, where Jacob met God.  There is never a dull moment in this incredible land.  We passed a couple of tells, which are mounds containing the ruins of ancient cities.  One tell we passed, may have been Makula, where Elisha came from.  We finally left the Jordan River Valley, noting the Gilboa mountains on our left, where Saul fought the Philistines and killed himself.  We went through Bet Shean, and passed Afula on our way to Tiberias.  We went by another Crusader’s fortress, and fortified mountains on our left as we went north.  The Jordan River is sixty miles long from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.  Finally, we approached the Sea of Galilee.

We entered Tiberias, a Roman town noted for its hot springs.  It was a Muslim town and walled only one hundred years ago.  Tiberias was of importance to the Romans as a place of relaxation and therapy.  The Jewish Talmud was completed in Tiberias by 200 A.D. by Herod Antipas.  Herod built Tiberias in honor of the emperor.  All of the Herods were always trying to placate the Romans, since it was through them that they received their power.  Jesus never witnessed or preached in Tiberias, probably knowing that the gospel was not ready to be received there.

We passed a Jewish stronghold used against the Romans.  Then we passed Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene.  Next, we went by Ginnosar (Ginnessaret).  We saw bananas and olive trees.  It is 600 feet below sea level even at the Sea of Galilee.

We then went to the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount, or the Mount of Beatitudes.  We then approached the area where Christ fed the multitude of five thousand.  We saw an olive press outside the church called Tabgha, right off the Sea of Galilee.  Again, this is where it is thought Jesus fed the multitudes.  The Basilica of Tabgha was new.  The original church was built in the fourth century.  The Crusaders built a church on this site, then the Muslims ripped it down.  The Crusaders built it again, and once again the Muslims tore it down.  There were many icons inside the new basilica.  We then proceeded to the Golan Heights region on the north shores of the Sea of Galilee.  We saw barbed wire and many evidences (foxholes, bunkers) of modern warfare.  Nightfall came rapidly and we stayed at the beautiful Ramot, right off the shores of Galilee, opposite Tiberias.  We had fish for breakfast.

One interesting observation of our trip thus far, is the heavy Roman influence, all the way from Petra in south Jordan, to Tiberias in northern Israel.

The Jordan River is a very powerful river from Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee, then tapers off from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.

Another thought is that I believe we should be wary of “traditional sites,” such as 1) Moses smoting the rock at Rephidim, the Wadi Feiran.  2) Where Jesus taught at the Mt. of the Beatitudes.  3) The feeding of the five thousand at the Tabgha basilica.  4) Aaron’s burial place at Mt. Hor, etc., etc.  5) The place of ascension by Jesus on the Mount of Olives.  6) The rock where Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane.  7) The place of the upper room on Mount Zion.  8) David’s tomb.  9) The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – the place of the birth of Jesus Christ.  All of the traditional locations show the weak faith of man.  The important thing is that they happened.  In many cases we are just not sure where they happened – and it really does not matter.

I was surprised by the fact that you can see all the shoreline on the Sea of Galilee.  I thought it was larger.  At Lake Okeechobee, Florida, for instance, you cannot see all the way across.  This just added to its’ quaintness.  We could see Tiberias across Galilee from Ramot; at night the cities’ lights were beautiful.  Just as in the time of Jesus, the region of Galilee today is noted for health resorts, spas, saunas, etc.

Note:  I do not agree with the aforementioned dates of Jericho’s age as a city.  I do not believe the world dates prior to about 4000 B.C.  This is what the Bible tells us.  Radio Carbon dating methods are totally unreliable.  Furthermore, since this paper was written in 1988, there is much more archaeological proof about the location and discovery of the famous walls in Jericho that fell down during Joshua’s conquest. 

 

 

 

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