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.

 

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 42

Jim Fletcher    ~    Interviewed By Doug Hagmann & Joe Hagmann

Jim Fletcher blogs about prophecy on a regular basis and has his own radio show.  Jim was a Christian editor who took a trip to Israel in 1998 and the trip had a profound effect on him.  Jim was fascinated how everything in Israel was Biblical.  When one visits Israel, they will observe a chain of places and sites from ancient times until now.

Now we observe antisemitism in Europe, Germany, the Middle East and even in America.  Why is this?  We seem to be advancing faster and farther than we thought we might.  Zechariah tells us that all nations will come up against Israel and Jerusalem, hence we should expect this.  It hurts us to see America treating Israel this way, yet Bible prophecy tells us plainly that this is what we should expect.  There is more persecution recently against Jews, and even vandalism and destruction against their synagogues.  Jews are erroneously blamed by many as the great problem in the world, just as they were in Germany in the 1930’s.  It is amazing that the Jewish people are blamed for all the problems in the world when they themselves are the ones in the cross hairs.

In the American church, we do not see the leaders stepping up and supporting Israel.  Some even cozy up to Muslim groups so these are strange times that we find ourselves in.  There is a move away from the support of Israel even among top evangelical leaders.  These are peculiar circumstances that have taken us by surprise.  Benjamin Netanyahu was recently snubbed by President Barack Obama.  President Obama is a totalitarian and acting like a totalitarian.  This is unsettling for us to see the president treat Israel this way, and we probably have not seen the last of it.  We pray that a friendly administration towards Israel would follow this administration.  Nonetheless, Jim Fletcher does see the government of the United States of America one day abandoning Israel.  At the end of the day, however, Israel is NOT the nation in trouble- it is everyone else!  The Lord has promised to preserve them and fight for them, and He has done that consistently.  Israel has won many major battles since their inception as a nation in 1948 that do not make sense in the natural.  That trend will continue.  Jim Fletcher agrees with Bill Salus, that the Psalm 83 war will pit a confederation of nations against Israel.  There will be a miraculous intervention by the Lord.  Jim Fletcher expects a coalition to attack Israel just as we are told in Ezekiel.  A third temple will be built in Israel.  The temple coalition have the materials to do so.  It could happen within our lifetime.  Once this happens, events will move quickly.  Why do the Arabs believe they own the land on the temple mount?  The Koran even says the land belongs to the Jews.  Still, the Muslims believe they must conquer this land.

Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers  were staunch pro Israel leaders.  Since their passing, a vacuum has been left and filled with leadership that is not pro Israel.  Jim Fletcher does not believe we have seen the end of this trend.  We are seeing this happen at an alarming rate, and we will be even more separated from Israel.  Palestinians bring in propaganda and lies to American churches about Israel.

 

 

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur consists of three famous films:

1)The 1925 silent epic which was “state of the art” for its’ day.

2)The 1959 classic, winner of 11 academy awards.

3)Just released-

Image result for ben-hur
Ben-Hur
PG-13

2016 ‧ Drama film/Action ‧ 2h 30m

 
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) loses everything after his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), now an officer in the Roman army, returns to Jerusalem and accuses the young prince of treason. Stripped of his title and separated from his wife (Nazanin Boniadi) and family, Ben-Hur must endure years of slavery on a galley at sea. When fate brings the estranged brothers to an epic and deadly chariot race, Ben-Hur finally gets the chance to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his life.
Release date: August 19, 2016 (USA)
Budget: 100 million USD

*********************

I saw the recent release of Ben-Hur and I thought the movie was very good.  I have also seen the 1925 silent film version and the classic (11 Academy Awards Version) 1959 film with Charlton Heston.  The recent release had different slants in the story line which is always refreshing.  The movie went into detail about Judah Ben-Hur and his adopted brother Messala’s boyhood.  Messala helped save Judah’s life when he was thrown from his horse.  Messala felt he did not fit in with the Ben-Hur’s aristocratic family and went to Rome to find his fortune.  Upon Messala’s return, he imprisoned the entire Ben-Hur family.  In the 1959 epic film, a loose tile on the roof of their home fell near the marching Roman leader by accident.  In the new film, the harbinger that lead to the families’ imprisonment was a Jewish Zealot who deliberately shot an arrow at the Roman leader and just missed him.  Once again, the Ben-Hur family was falsely accused of the crime.  Judah Ben-Hur  had no relationship with Quintus Arrius in the new film and did not save his life, leading to Judah’s freedom.  I do not recall Quintus Arrius in this movie at all.  Judah broke free from the chains while the ship was sinking, and ended up on the shore where the Arabian lived, whose horses he ran in the Jerusalem chariot race.  He won the race as well as his freedom.  Judah saw Jesus a couple of times prior to His crucifixion, and this movie emphasized Judah’s conversion much more so; and unlike the ’59 version, Judah was at the cross while Jesus was crucified.  Judah’s salvation was much more personal and highlighted.  The characterization of Jesus Christ was very good, and different from the previous movie.  [Jesus, the God man, is always a challenge to portray, and both movies did a great job].  The chariot race was a technological marvel.  The Jerusalem amphitheater was built into a mountain and the race was extremely brutal.  The graphics were spectacular.  The Roman blood lust was really emphasized!  Unlike the ’59 version, Messala did not die after the race, full of hate.  He observed Judah’s conversion, and he too, laid down his sword and hatred.  The Ben-Hur family was reestablished in their Jerusalem home along with Messala rejoining them.   It was called a box office bust by the critics, but I thought it was a very good movie.  I would encourage Christians to see this classic movie, remade once again.  I will purchase the DVD once it is available.

Pastor Steve  <><

 

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.

 

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 31

Billy Crone    ~    Why Won’t My Pastor Preach On Prophecy?

Unfortunately, the trend in the church today is they do not want to touch Bible prophecy with a ten foot pole.  Why would you want to hide such great news from your congregation?  Pastors and many churches refuse to teach Bible prophecy.  Studying Bible prophecy is one of the greatest blessings to the church.

Revelation 1:1-3  King James Version (KJV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

King James Version (KJV)by Public Domain

Revelation is about Jesus Christ.  Why would you not want to read and share that?  We are blessed to read the words of this prophecy, and to hear it and take it to heart, because the time is near.

Why has all this been twisted around in the church and people have been taught that there is no blessing?  The naysayers  tell us they do not want to hear that message of doom and gloom.  God calls Revelation a blessed message.  Certainly Satan is behind the lie about the book of Revelation.  This is spiritual warfare.  Secondly, pastors are not faithful to preach the entire counsel of God when they omit Bible prophecy.  Bible prophecy covers about one third of the Bible.  In the last days the church will be given over to apostasy and tickling the ears of the parishioners with a false feel good Gospel.  They will only preach pleasant things and myths (stories made up).  90% of the American churches are like this, proving that we are in the last days.  How about God’s wrath?  What about His hatred of sin?  What of His holiness?  What happened to repentance?  These doctrine do not tickle people’s ears.  If your pastor does not teach on Bible prophecy, he has been duped and seduced, and believes the lie.  But if you are a faithful shepherd, you will preach the whole counsel of God whether people like it or not.  Do not be a people pleaser.  Preach the Word!

*****************

Three Reasons Bible prophecy is a blessing:

1)It reminds us that we are going to heaven.  Revelation 21:1-4.  This is exciting and the future inheritance of every Christian who is born from above.  We will receive new imperishable bodies!  We should look forward to going to heaven forever.   [There is no doom and gloom for the Christian.  Do you see how the enemy has twisted the message?]

2)We are going to the millennium.  Satan will be bound.  Revelation 20:1-4.  The government will be a theocracy, with the Messiah, Jesus Christ, ruling and reigning as King in Jerusalem.  The twelve tribes will be assigned to rule.  Judges will be raised up and will demonstrate the Theocratic power of Christ to rule with inflexible righteousness and justice.  War will be a thing of the past.  Jerusalem, known for war, bloodshed, and international tensions, will at last become the city of peace and the capitol of the world.  There will be religious peace with Jews and Gentiles worshipping the Lord together.  There will be a just economy for everyone, and no longer will wealth be monopolized by only a few privileged families.  Nature will cooperate with man again and productivity will return.  Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc., will be absent.  Isaiah 65:20-  We will once again experience longevity and a long life.  God is going to turn things back to the Garden of Eden.  Isaiah 11:6-9-  We will have peace with nature.

Why would you want to hide this from your church?  Why would you not want to study this as a Christian? 

3)I’m going to see my Lord Jesus Christ.  Revelation 19:1-9.  The wedding of the Lamb has come.  All of heaven is excited about the return of Jesus Christ.  Are we excited?  He will put an end to all of the evil and suffering in the world.  He died on the cross, forgave us for our sins, and will bless us with heaven- an existence beyond our wildest dreams.  He rescued us from eternal torment in hell.  Jesus Christ is our King!  The rapture can happen at any time and then everything mentioned above begins.  This is truly exciting.

Let us encourage ourselves with Bible prophecy, and remind ourselves how close His return truly is!  Maranatha, the Lord is coming!

“Watch therefore.  For you do not know the hour your Lord is coming.”  Matthew 24:42

 

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988

Introduction

 Many entries will appear in this category because I kept an extensive journal on this trip.  This particular venture was designed as a sight seeing tourist excursion, but wherever our pastor went, by default it became a mission trip.  He would share Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation with anyone who breathed air, including our tour guides and fellow travelers.  If there was only one country that I could go to and see during my life, it would be Israel.  

If you are contemplating a trip to this locale, I would recommend that you study the Bible and the land of Israel extensively before you go.  The more you know, the more you will be blessed when you arrive there.  One who is new to the faith will not be able to connect the dots nearly as well.  Israel is a land that is surreal.  Every square inch represents something big in Biblical history and is an archaeological site of some sort.  If you are a shutter bug and enjoy taking pictures, this is the place for you.  For instance, a short drive from the Mediterranean climate of Jerusalem will take you to the tropical atmosphere of Jericho, and then to an even warmer area, as well as the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, where you can float on top of the water while reading a newspaper.  The entire country is like this- a land of sudden contrast and beauty.  A chronological account of this mission trip will be given.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

Note:  A lot of prayer must be given prior to any mission trip in our day.  Our world has suddenly become a much more volatile place.  Each nation is unique and the circumstances change rapidly through new regimes coming to power, rogue terrorists asserting themselves, etc.  The State Department gives updated advisories, dealing with the safety or the lack thereof, regarding different countries around the globe.  The Holy Spirit gives the born again Christian an even better warning!

  

Sound Counsel From The Bible For All People

Amos was a farmer who also took care of sycamore trees.  He came from Tekoa, a small town ten miles southwest of Jerusalem.  Although he was from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, he preached primarily to the backslidden Northern Kingdom of Israel in the city of Bethel.  The text below is the heart and soul of his message.  If Amos were living today, he would be the equivalent to a street preacher.  Street preachers are my heroes because they boldly share the Gospel with people who will never darken the doors of a church.  I have seen the text below on more than one barn roof while motoring down the highway in rural areas:  “Prepare to meet thy God.”  Farmers have more common sense and are much smarter than 99% of our politicians.  Pastor Steve

Amos 4:12-13  King James Version (KJV)

12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 5

Bob Cornuke, New Findings In Biblical Archaeology

When I saw Bob’s name on the list of conference speakers, I wondered why he was addressing a prophecy conference.  After all, he calls himself an explorer and amateur archaeologist  …That is, until I noted he was studying and researching the site of the temple in Jerusalem.  The exact location of the temple is of the utmost importance in reference to the Israelites and their plans to rebuild it.  Prophecy students realize that this is all going to come into play during the Great Tribulation.

Bob thinks outside the box.  He throws tradition to the wind, and follows the Bible.  I purchased his book “Temple” and asked him to sign it.  He put the verse in the book that was his legacy, and represented his strategy throughout his career:  Mark 7:13  “Thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have   handed down; and you do many things such as that.”  (NASB)  Bob realizes that there is often a large time gap from the time of the Biblical historical events, and the time that they are “located.”  This gap is usually several hundred years!  Hence the facts become distorted and totally lost, and false traditions and guess work take priority.  Bob shared the following quotation in order to add even more clarity:  “Evidence is not the proof, the proper interpretation of evidence is the proof.”  Bob has studied the site of the original temple for over twenty five years, and received a lot of his information from Earnest Martin, the original scholar of Solomon’s Temple.  [Never one to leave his audience bored, he furthermore shared that there is yet another HUGE discovery on the bubble!  Stay tuned.]

The following passage reveals volumes of why historians, researchers and archaeologists do not have the correct site of either the temple of Solomon or Herod.  (Herod’s temple replaced Solomon’s temple).  Matthew 24:1-2   “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  Hence according to Jesus Christ, the Wailing Wall is NOT the temple, it is the part of the Fortress of Antonio!  In 70 AD, the time of the destruction of the temple, Josephus said:  “The temple was so destroyed, no one would know a temple was there.”  The Bible plainly tells us that the temple was built in the Stronghold of Mount Zion (II Samuel 5:7), the City of David, originating at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite (II Chronicles 3:1).   *Modernists have messed up the location of Zion in Jerusalem.*  The scriptural key is that the temple is in Zion, the City of David (Psalm 2:6, 20, 138; I Kings 1:38-39, Joel 3:17, etc.).  A concept that further leads to clarity is the realization that from 400 A.D. onward, the temple site was located via mere speculation and tradition. 

Another important point made by Bob is that the Roman Forts that housed their soldiers looked exactly like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  That is, the huge rectangular slab of concrete upon which the Dome of the Rock (also known as the Mosque of Omar) sits was previously the Fortress of Antonio!  The Temple Mount was built by the Romans as the base of the Fortress of Antonio and has nothing to do with the temple of Jerusalem.  Bob and his team also found a Roman coin dated about 20 A.D. at the base of the Temple Mount area, adding further credence that this site was a Roman stronghold and not the site of the temple.

How ironic that orthodox Jewish rabbis are wailing at the wrong wall and that the wall to the temple does not even exist at the present.  But do you think they would trust the words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:1-2) or an American archaeologist?  This is exciting to behold, and it does not get any more cutting edge than this.  The news is dramatic to the student of prophecy.  If Bob’s assertions about the location of the temple are true, then there is absolutely no conflict whatsoever about the Dome of the Rock being in the way of the Israelite’s desire to rebuild the temple.  The challenge is for the nation of Israel to understand this.  Interestingly, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) toured the tunnels underneath the City of David with Bob, so that is indeed a start!  Why is all of this so important?  Because as soon as the Israelites break ground to build the temple, that is another sign of end times prophecy, the Great Tribulation period and eschatological events.

I would recommend every serious student of prophecy to purchase a copy of “Temple” by Bob Cornuke.  I am 60 pages into this 200 page book and it is excellent.  This book will further elucidate and clarify what you just read here.

Maranatha, Pastor Steve

 

Classic Scripture Passage On The Lord’s Faithfulness, Grace And Mercy

In the midst of Jeremiah’s description of the Lord’s judgment on Jerusalem, is this beautiful ray of hope.  This passage is truly the proverbial rose between two thorns.  No matter how dark our lives may be at times, this scripture reminds us of God’s unceasing love for us, and that dawn will eventually break the darkness.  Because Of Him, Pastor Steve

Lamentations 3:22-26  King James Version (KJV)

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.