Tag Archive: Jewish

Without question the greatest reason that we live for God is our unwavering belief in the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is through His resurrection from the grave that we have hope and the promise of life eternal with him. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the apostle Paul explains that, because of these promises of a future resurrection and of living eternally in the kingdom, believers have not only the motivation but also eternal responsibilities for our lives here on earth.

The apostle Paul touches on such responsibilities in his concluding statement in the 15th chapter of his first letter to the Corinthians. He declares that, if we really believe and if we are truly thankful that our resurrection is sure, we should “therefore” demonstrate our assurance and our thankfulness by “standing firm, letting nothing move us” and “always giving ourselves full to the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). This, then, is the believer’s responsibility: to stand firm in the faith and give himself completely to the Lord.

The Greek for “standing firm” is hedraios, which literally refers to “being seated, being settled and firmly situated.” The Greek for “letting nothing move you” is ametakinetos, and it carries the same basic idea but with more intensity. It means “being totally immobile and motionless,” indicating that we should not even budge an inch from His will. And with our being totally within the will of God, we are to be “always giving ourselves to the work of the Lord,” being careful not to be “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

Why did Paul give us this warning? Simply because, if our confident hope in the resurrection wavers, we are sure to abandon ourselves to the ways and standards of the world. Therefore, if there are no eternal ramifications or consequences of what we do in this life, the motivation for selfless service and holy living is gone. In other words, our eternal responsibilities are abandoned.

Conversely, when our hope in the resurrection is clear and certain, we will have great motivation to be attending to the responsibility we have to “always giving ourselves to the work of the Lord.” The Greek for this phrase carries the idea of exceeding the requirements, of overflowing or overdoing. A good example of this is found in Ephesians 1:7-8 where the word is used of God having “lavished” upon us the riches of His grace. Because God has so abundantly provided for us who deserve nothing from Him, we should determine to give of ourselves abundantly in service to Him, to whom we owe everything.

The Bible teaches us that our responsibility as believers is to work uncompromisingly as the Lord has gifted us and leads us in this life. We must fully understand that until the Lord returns there are souls to reach and ministries of every sort to be performed. We are responsible for our money, time, energy, talents, gifts, bodies, minds, and spirits, and we should invest in nothing that does not in some way contribute to the work of the Lord. James tells us, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26).

Our work for the Lord, if it is truly for Him and done in His power, cannot fail to accomplish what He wants accomplished. Every good work believers do has eternal benefits that the Lord Himself guarantees. Jesus tells us, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

Simply put, our responsibility lies in working for the Lord, whether it is in “looking after orphans or widows in distress” (James 1:27), giving to the hungry, the naked, visiting those in prison (see Matthew 25:35-36), serving in our workplace (see Colossians 3:22), or doing whatever we do (Colossians 3:23). And our motivation is that we have God’s own promise that our work “is not in vain” in the Lord “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:24).

The gift of discerning spirits, or “distinguishing” spirits, is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit described in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. Like all these gifts, the gift of discerning spirits is one of the gifts believers are given by the Holy Spirit, who disperses these gifts to individuals for service in the body of Christ. Every believer has spiritual enablement and capacity for a specific service, but there is no room for self-choosing. The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts according to the sovereignty of God and in accordance with His plan to edify the body of Christ.

When it comes to the gift of discerning spirits, every born-again believer has a certain amount of discernment, which increases as the believer matures in the Spirit. In Hebrews 5:13-14 we read that a believer who has matured beyond using the milk of the Word as a babe in Christ is able to discern both good and evil. Not only is the maturing believer empowered by the Spirit of God through the Scriptures to tell the difference between good and evil, but also between what is good and what is better. In other words, any born-again believer who chooses to focus upon the Word of God may be enabled to be spiritually discerning.

There are certain individuals, however, who have the God-given ability to distinguish between the truth of the Scriptures and erroneous and deceptive doctrines propagated by demons. Although we are all exhorted to be spiritually discerning (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1), some in the body of Christ have been given the unique ability to “spot” the forgeries in doctrine that have plagued the church since the first century. But this does not involve a mystical, extra-biblical revelation or a voice from God. Rather, the spiritually discerning among us are so familiar with the Word of God that they instantly recognize what is contrary to it. They do not receive special messages from God; they use the Word of God to “test the spirits” to see which line up with God and which are in opposition to Him. The spiritually discerning are those who “rightly divide” (2 Timothy 2:15) the Word of God in a thoughtful and diligent manner.

As the apostle Paul writes, there may be diversities of equipping in the body of Christ, but those diversities are meant for the edification and building of that body as a whole. And the success of that body is dependent upon all parts of the body faithfully fulfilling their place in the body as God has enabled them. No spiritual gift should be used to “lord it over” others or claim for oneself a special anointing from God. Rather, the love of God is to be the basis of how we use our spiritual gifts to edify or build up each other in the Lord.

From: Genesis 2

We have here,

I. The settlement of the kingdom of nature, in God’s resting from the work of creation, Gen. 2:1, 2. Here observe,

-1. The creatures made both in heaven and earth are the hosts or armies of them, which denotes them to be numerous, but marshalled, disciplined, and under command. How great is the sum of them! And yet every one knows and keeps his place. God uses them as his hosts for the defence of his people and the destruction of his enemies; for he is the Lord of hosts, of all these hosts, Dan. 4:35.

-2. The heavens and the earth are finished pieces, and so are all the creatures in them. So perfect is God’s work that nothing can be added to it nor taken from it, Eccl. 3:14. God that began to build showed himself well able to finish.

-3. After the end of the first six days God ceased from all works of creation. He has so ended his work as that though, in his providence, he worketh hitherto (John 5:17), preserving and governing all the creatures, and particularly forming the spirit of man within him, yet he does not make any new species of creatures. In miracles, he has controlled and overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, nor repealed nor added to any of its establishments.

-4. The eternal God, though infinitely happy in the enjoyment of himself, yet took a satisfaction in the work of his own hands. He did not rest, as one weary, but as one well-pleased with the instances of his own goodness and the manifestations of his own glory.

II. The commencement of the kingdom of grace, in the sanctification of the sabbath day, Gen. 2:3. He rested on that day, and took a complacency in his creatures, and then sanctified it, and appointed us, on that day, to rest and take a complacency in the Creator; and his rest is, in the fourth commandment, made a reason for ours, after six days’ labour. Observe.

    -1. The solemn observance of one day in seven, as a day of holy rest and holy work, to God’s honour, is the indispensable duty of all those to whom God has revealed his holy Sabbaths.

    -2. The way of sabbath-sanctification is the good old way, Jer. 6:16. Sabbaths are as ancient as the world; and I see no reason to doubt that the sabbath, being now instituted in innocency, was religiously observed by the people of God throughout the patriarchal age.

    -3. The sabbath of the Lord is truly honourable, and we have reason to honour it—honour it for the sake of its antiquity, its great Author, the sanctification of the first sabbath by the holy God himself, and by our first parents in innocency, in obedience to him.

    -4. The sabbath day is a blessed day, for God blessed it, and that which he blesses is blessed indeed. God has put an honour upon it, has appointed us, on that day, to bless him, and has promised, on that day, to meet us and bless us.

    -5. The sabbath day is a holy day, for God has sanctified it. He has separated and distinguished it from the rest of the days of the week, and he has consecrated it and set it apart to himself and his own service and honour. Though it is commonly taken for granted that the Christian sabbath we observe, reckoning from the creation, is not the seventh but the first day of the week, yet being a seventh day, and we in it, celebrating the rest of God the Son, and the finishing of the work of our redemption, we may and ought to act faith upon this original institution of the sabbath day, and to commemorate the work of creation, to the honour of the great Creator, who is therefore worthy to receive, on that day, blessing, and honour, and praise, from all religious assemblies.

Hurt by Hurt

Sonya Isaac Yeary performing “Hurt by Hurt”

What a powerful song for a world of hurting people. Thank God for this anointed song.

This simply touched my heart when I heard this song on Gaither Homecoming this past weekend.  Thankful for the hurts for in  them, I have grown so much closer to my Lord. Amen.

Abraham is one of the best-known people of the Bible. He’s a key figure in the history of both the Jewish and Arab people. He was the great-grandfather of Judah, whose descendants became known as the Jews, and he was also the father of Ishmael, from whom many of the Arab people are descended. Abraham was a Hebrew, and although the ancestor of both, Abraham himself was neither Jew nor Arab.Abraham

“The Sons Of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth…The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech. Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber. Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan. Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah and Abram (that is, Abraham). The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael.” (1 Chronicles 1:4,17-28)

From two other people come two other very well-known identities: Israelites are the descendants of Isaac’s son Jacob, who God renamed Israel, and from Jacob’s son Judah come the terms Jew and Jewish.

So how do all of these designations relate to the people involved?

  • The term Shemite is derived from Noah’s son Shem.
  • The term Hebrew is derived from Shem’s descendant Eber. Eber was a Shemite, and the first Hebrew, but not an Israelite or a Jew because neither existed yet.
  • Abraham was Eber’s descendant. Abraham was a Shemite and a Hebrew, but not an Israelite or a Jew because neither existed yet.
  • Isaac was Abraham’s son. Isaac was a Shemite and a Hebrew, but not an Israelite or a Jew because neither existed yet.
  • Jacob, who God renamed Israel, was Isaac’s son. Jacob was a Shemite and a Hebrew, but not a Jew because Jews originated with his son Judah. The first Israelites were the children of Jacob.
  • Judah was one of Jacob’s twelve sons (see Children of Jacob and The Tribes Of Israel). Judah was a Shemite, a Hebrew, and an Israelite. The first Jews were the children of Judah. The descendants of the other eleven of Jacob’s sons were not Jews, but were themselves named accordingly e.g. from Levi came the Levites, from Benjamin came the Benjamites and so on.

A vitally important fact in understanding Bible Prophecy is that while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews. All are Hebrews, but only the descendants of Judah are Jews. Many prophecies apply specifically to the Jewish people of today, while other prophecies apply specifically to the descendants of the other so-called “lost” tribes of Israel.

Isaiah 47:13-14—You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you from what shall come upon you.  Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before!    Scripture mentions six forms of demonic practice!

(1.) Horoscopes.  Seeking direction for your life from any other source that God is idolatry and behind every physical idol is a demon spirit.  Isaiah clearly stated God’s position on horoscopes (Isaiah 47:13-14). (2.) Divination.  Briefly defined, divination is the employment of supernatural revelation to predict your future.  Any revelation of the future that does not glorify Christ and is not uplifting is the spirit of divination. ( 3)  Necromancy. This term is from “nekros” meaning a dead body and “manteia” meaning divination.  Necromancy is the consulting of the dead for direction in life.  Saul did this (1 Samuel 28:8) and God took the throne of Israel form him and he committed suicide the next day.  Some charismatic writers are openly talking about consulting the dead for inspiration to write books, etc. It’s a dangerous thing and a heinous sin. (2 Chronicles 33:6). (4.) Magic. The magicians of Egypt had supernatural powers through magic.  When Moses came before Pharaoh and threw his staff down and it become a snake, then the magicians of Pharaoh’s court, Jannes and Jambres, threw their staffs down and their staffs also became snakes. The superior power of God’s kingdom was evidenced by the fact that Moses’ snake consumed the snakes of the magicians.

The last hurdle the Children of Israel had to clear before they were delivered from Egypt’s bondage was the occult.  The last hurdle the church will have to clear is the battle with the occult.

It is to be understood that magic is far more than slight of hand.  Magic in the Biblical dimension involves the supernatural power of the occult.

(5.) Witchcraft. This is the use of supernatural power to place curses or spells on other people.  Any person who seeks to control another person beyond the dimension of spiritual authority God has permitted in Scripture is practicing witchcraft.

A mother or father trying to control their thirty-year-old married son or daughter is practicing witchcraft.  The spiritual leader who tries to manipulate people for his won purposes is practicing witchcraft.

(6.) Sorcery.  This is the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits.  Sorcery is distinguished from witchcraft in that it may be practiced by anyone with the appropriate knowledge, using charms, spells or potions.  Witchcraft is considered to result from an inherent mystical power and to be practiced by invisible means.

In Acts 19:19 Paul had the Jews and Greeks of Ephesus burn their books “which used curious arts (sorcery formulas).”

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

God’s blessings to us are not meant to end with us. His desire is that they filter down to others. This principle applies in all areas of our lives, including finances. Did you know that our heavenly Father has plans for your money? God’s children generally want to discover what His will is for their lives, but so often they fail to consult Him about His desires for their paychecks.

The Lord graciously supplies us with incomes so we can provide for our needs and even our desires. But He also wants us to use our money to achieve His plans. And one of His goals is that we share our resources with others. If we purpose in our hearts to participate in His plans, He commits to provide all we need to live and to give.

Just look at His extravagant promise in verse 8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (emphasis added). Now, that’s a verse to claim as your own! Sharing our blessings with others will never lead to deprivation. In fact, the Lord promises to increase the harvest of our righteousness and enrich us in everything in response to our generosity. We can never outgive God.

A hoarded blessing is never enjoyed as richly as a shared one. Using your gift to meet someone else’s need glorifies God by demonstrating His grace at work in your life. Don’t let His generous provisions end with you. Pass them on and discover the joy of a never-ending cycle of blessings.

Evidence from Tacitus

Although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, many people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony that corroborates its statements. In the introduction to one of his books, F.F. Bruce tells about a Christian correspondent who was told by an agnostic friend that “apart from obscure references in Josephus and the like,” there was no historical evidence for the life of Jesus outside the Bible. This, he wrote to Bruce, had caused him “great concern and some little upset in [his] spiritual life.” He concludes his letter by asking, “Is such collateral proof available, and if not, are there reasons for the lack of it?” The answer to this question is, “Yes, such collateral proof is available,” and we will be looking at some of it in this article.

Let’s begin our inquiry with a passage that historian Edwin Yamauchi calls “probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament.” Reporting on Emperor Nero’s decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:

Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .

What all can we learn from this ancient (and rather unsympathetic) reference to Jesus and the early Christians? Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have “suffered the extreme penalty,” obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixion. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus.

But what are we to make of Tacitus’ rather enigmatic statement that Christ’s death briefly checked “a most mischievous superstition,” which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? One historian suggests that Tacitus is here “bearing indirect . . . testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave.” While this interpretation is admittedly speculative, it does help explain the otherwise bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal. How else might one explain that?

Evidence from Pliny the Younger

Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan’s advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.

At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food–but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.

This passage provides us with a number of interesting insights into the beliefs and practices of early Christians. First, we see that Christians regularly met on a certain fixed day for worship. Second, their worship was directed to Christ, demonstrating that they firmly believed in His divinity. Furthermore, one scholar interprets Pliny’s statement that hymns were sung to Christ, as to a god, as a reference to the rather distinctive fact that, “unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth.” If this interpretation is correct, Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as God! Of course, this agrees perfectly with the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was both God and man.

Not only does Pliny’s letter help us understand what early Christians believed about Jesus’ person, it also reveals the high esteem to which they held His teachings. For instance, Pliny notes that Christians bound themselves by a solemn oath not to violate various moral standards, which find their source in the ethical teachings of Jesus. In addition, Pliny’s reference to the Christian custom of sharing a common meal likely alludes to their observance of communion and the “love feast.” This interpretation helps explain the Christian claim that the meal was merely food of an ordinary and innocent kind. They were attempting to counter the charge, sometimes made by non-Christians, of practicing “ritual cannibalism.” The Christians of that day humbly repudiated such slanderous attacks on Jesus’ teachings. We must sometimes do the same today.

Evidence from Josephus

Perhaps the most remarkable reference to Jesus outside the Bible can be found in the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. On two occasions, in his Jewish Antiquities, he mentions Jesus. The second, less revealing, reference describes the condemnation of one “James” by the Jewish Sanhedrin. This James, says Josephus, was “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.” F.F. Bruce points out how this agrees with Paul’s description of James in Galatians 1:19 as “the Lord’s brother.” And Edwin Yamauchi informs us that “few scholars have questioned” that Josephus actually penned this passage.

As interesting as this brief reference is, there is an earlier one, which is truly astonishing. Called the “Testimonium Flavianum,” the relevant portion declares:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.

Did Josephus really write this? Most scholars think the core of the passage originated with Josephus, but that it was later altered by a Christian editor, possibly between the third and fourth century A.D. But why do they think it was altered? Josephus was not a Christian, and it is difficult to believe that anyone but a Christian would have made some of these statements.

For instance, the claim that Jesus was a wise man seems authentic, but the qualifying phrase, “if indeed one ought to call him a man,” is suspect. It implies that Jesus was more than human, and it is quite unlikely that Josephus would have said that! It is also difficult to believe he would have flatly asserted that Jesus was the Christ, especially when he later refers to Jesus as “the so-called” Christ. Finally, the claim that on the third day Jesus appeared to His disciples restored to life, inasmuch as it affirms Jesus’ resurrection, is quite unlikely to come from a non-Christian!

But even if we disregard the questionable parts of this passage, we are still left with a good deal of corroborating information about the biblical Jesus. We read that he was a wise man who performed surprising feats. And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. When we combine these statements with Josephus’ later reference to Jesus as “the so-called Christ,” a rather detailed picture emerges which harmonizes quite well with the biblical record. It increasingly appears that the “biblical Jesus” and the “historical Jesus” are one and the same!

Evidence from the Babylonian Talmud

There are only a few clear references to Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud, a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings compiled between approximately A.D. 70-500. Given this time frame, it is naturally supposed that earlier references to Jesus are more likely to be historically reliable than later ones. In the case of the Talmud, the earliest period of compilation occurred between A.D. 70-200. The most significant reference to Jesus from this period states:

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.”

Let’s examine this passage. You may have noticed that it refers to someone named “Yeshu.” So why do we think this is Jesus? Actually, “Yeshu” (or “Yeshua”) is how Jesus’ name is pronounced in Hebrew. But what does the passage mean by saying that Jesus “was hanged”? Doesn’t the New Testament say he was crucified? Indeed it does. But the term “hanged” can function as a synonym for “crucified.” For instance, Galatians 3:13 declares that Christ was “hanged” (see also Deuteronomy 21:23)  , and Luke 23:39 applies this term to the criminals who were crucified with Jesus. So the Talmud declares that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover. But what of the cry of the herald that Jesus was to be stoned? This may simply indicate what the Jewish leaders were planning to do. If so, Roman involvement changed their plans!

The passage also tells us why Jesus was crucified. It claims He practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy! Since this accusation comes from a rather hostile source, we should not be too surprised if Jesus is described somewhat differently than in the New Testament. But if we make allowances for this, what might such charges imply about Jesus?

Interestingly, both accusations have close parallels in the canonical gospels. For instance, the charge of sorcery is similar to the Pharisees’ accusation that Jesus cast out demons “by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” But notice this: such a charge actually tends to confirm the New Testament claim that Jesus performed miraculous feats. Apparently Jesus’ miracles were too well attested to deny. The only alternative was to ascribe them to sorcery! Likewise, the charge of enticing Israel to apostasy parallels Luke’s account of the Jewish leaders who accused Jesus of misleading the nation with his teaching. Such a charge tends to corroborate the New Testament record of Jesus’ powerful teaching ministry. Thus, if read carefully, this passage from the Talmud confirms much of our knowledge about Jesus from the New Testament.

Evidence from Lucian

Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:

The Christians . . . worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.

Although Lucian is jesting here at the early Christians, he does make some significant comments about their founder. For instance, he says the Christians worshipped a man, “who introduced their novel rites.” And though this man’s followers clearly thought quite highly of Him, He so angered many of His contemporaries with His teaching that He “was crucified on that account.”

Although Lucian does not mention his name, he is clearly referring to Jesus. But what did Jesus teach to arouse such wrath? According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. That’s harmless enough. But what did this conversion involve? It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings. It’s not too difficult to imagine someone being killed for teaching that. Though Lucian doesn’t say so explicitly, the Christian denial of other gods combined with their worship of Jesus implies the belief that Jesus was more than human. Since they denied other gods in order to worship Him, they apparently thought Jesus a greater God than any that Greece had to offer!

Let’s summarize what we’ve learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover. Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God!

I hope you see how this small selection of ancient non-Christian sources helps corroborate our knowledge of Jesus from the gospels. Of course, there are many ancient Christian sources of information about Jesus as well. But since the historical reliability of the canonical gospels is so well established, I invite you to read those for an authoritative “life of Jesus!”

By: Robert Mock: “Destination Yisra’el

Pope John Paul II celebrates mass at Site of the Last Supper
Pope John Paul II celebrates mass at the Traditional Site of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City

With the recent election of the new Pope, Pope Francis I will now sit on the throne of the Vatican in Rome. This new “Jesuit Saint” whose ministry to the poor and the downtrodden in Argentina, has been carefully scripted into his future image is now being transmitted around the world as the new personification of the Roman Catholic “Jesus Christ” who will bring “Peace” to the Middle East.

Looking through the telescope of history, it is thereby important for descendants of the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” to bear in mind that it was this same Orthodox Jewish rabbi who spoke to his disciples concerning the “last days” but gave with this prophecy a warning:

Matthew 24:4 – “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. You will hear the noise of wars nearby and the new of wars far off; see to it that you don’t become frightened. Such this must happen, but the end is yet to come.

For people will fight each other, nations will fight each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world; all this is but the beginning of the ‘birth pain.’ At that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me.

At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, many false prophets will appear and fool many people; and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from the Torah.”

With these words in mind, recently the outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon left his official post in the Israeli government and when he did, it was revealed that he has left a stain of deception which screamed out in the recent headlines in the Jerusalem Post that announced:

Jerusalem Post – “Jerusalem is on verge of signing agreement to formalize diplomatic relations with the Holy See.”Why would the State of Israel be signing diplomatic relations with the Vatican? The international news has been quiet for almost eight years on any diplomatic moves by the Vatican with the State of Israel. With this announcement there came the report of “conflicting and disturbing reports” concerning the status of the “Upper Room” (Cenacle Shrine of the Coenaculum) where it is believed that the Jewish rabbi, Yahshua HaNotzri (Jesus the Nazarene) once hosted with his disciples the “Last Supper” that occurred on Wednesday evening according to the Passover traditions of the Essenes.

The Tomb of King David

What is most interesting is that this Prince of David was actually presiding over a “Passover” season meal with his disciples in a place that the Nazarene history called the “House with the Upper Room.” What was even more amazing was that this “Upper Room” was located physically in the midst of the Essene Quarters of southwestern section of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. Not only that, this Prince of King David, known as Rabbi Yahshua was sitting right over the traditional Tomb of King David; a powerful political statement.

Today, this same site is now the central campus of the Diaspora Yeshiva on the hill called Mount Zion. Back in October, 2005, BibleSearchers Reflections quoting Israel National News stated this report:

Israel National News – “An official Vatican newspaper has reported that during his upcoming visit to the Vatican, President Moshe Katsav will sign an agreement giving parts of David’s Tomb over to papal control. If such an agreement is signed, it will put an end to drawn out negotiations that began in 1998. Israeli and Vatican representatives began discussing issues of jurisdiction over certain sites around seven years ago. These sites include various buildings and parcels of land that the Catholic Church claims it used to control.

The church is now seeking to reclaim its ownership of these sites. Among the places under debate is an area that the church refers to as the site of the “last supper,” which is situated at the burial site of Kings David, Solomon, Rechavam (Rehoboam), Assa (Asa), Chezekiyahu (Hezekiah) and Amatzia (Amaziah). The Vatican newspaper, El Messagero, reports that President Katsav is expected to sign an agreement during his visit that will give the church control over the upper part of David’s Tomb. The church has already shown Israel a trial agreement, according to which the Vatican will receive.”

The news after that time went underground. Now eight years later it is resurfacing again. This time it was not open to the media or to the Jewish people but in the back offices of the Foreign Ministry department. In 2005, there was an uproar that was led in part by the indomitable Jewish Israeli reporter Barry Chamish, that uncloaked the underhanded diplomatic agreements that were about to be signed by the Israeli President Moshe Katsav. This included also the threat, later to Israeli President Olmert of creating a “Jewish Holocaust in Rome” if the State of Israel did not accept the Vatican sovereignty to the site of the “House with the Upper Room”, and did not accept the “Spanish Initiative” to remove Israeli soldiers in Gaza and replace them with soldiers from Vatican Europe.

It was Richard Owen in Rome in “The Times on Line” who continued to document this historic move by the Vatican on October 13, 2005, in an article titled, “Vatican offers swap deal to regain site of Last Supper.”

The Times on Line – “Vatican is hoping to regain control of the Room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in Christianity. It will, in exchange, hand over to the Jewish community the historic synagogue at Toledo in Spain, at present a Catholic church. The proposals, contained in a draft agreement between the Israeli Government and the Vatican, come on the eve of a state visit to the Vatican next month by President Katsav. Final details on a long-delayed accord on the status of Roman Catholic properties in the Holy Land are expected to be agreed during the visit, marking a new era of reconciliation between Christians and Jews after centuries of hostility.”

The current site of the “Church with the Upper Room” was rebuilt by the Roman Christian Crusaders in the 13th century upon the earlier foundations of the original Jewish Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue that was spared by the Roman general Titus in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Today, it is also believed that three walls of this current structure still exist from its earliest Jewish roots built by the guardians of King David’s Tomb.

The Holy Zion Octagonal Church was later built by Theodosius I about 382 CE, and later enlarged by Bishop John II into a rectangular basilica with five naves alongside and outside the original and ancient foundations of the historic Synagogue of the Nazarene’s Apostles. This latter building was razed by the Persian in 614 CE, and partially rebuilt by the Patriarch Modestus.

It is stated that the entire structure was razed to the ground by the Muslim caliph, Al-Hakim in the 7th century CE, and afterwards was replaced by the current structure built by the Roman Christian Crusaders in the 12th century as a five aisled basilica in what is called today the Dormition Abbey named after the Jewish Princess of David whom the Roman Christian Church recognizes as Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The strangest fact is that this same site was once located within the walled compound of the ancient Essene Quarters that was located at the southwestern corner of the Walled Old City of David. These secretive people, the Essenes, who were probably disciples of the famed Torah giant and Nasi of the Great Sanhedrin, Hillel the Great and his Vice-President, Menahem the Essene where they were stationed both in Damascus, where their disciples fled in 20 BCE, in the Essene Quarter of Jerusalem and at Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

In ancient times, there were four religious parties in the 1st century Temple of Herod era culture in Jerusalem. These were the Sadducees that included the aristocratic families of the high priests of Jerusalem, the Pharisees Beit Shammai, the competing yeshiva (Jewish seminary) to Beit Hillel, the party of the Scribes and the Lawyers (Mechoqeck), and what was known as the 4th Philosophy or the 4th Party of Judaism; the Essenes and the Hassidim. As BibleSearchers Reflections wrote in 1999:

House with an Upper Room called the Cenacle
The House with an Upper Room called the Cenacle

BibleSearchers Reflections – “The tradition of the Essenes goes back to about 150 BC when the Chasidim, rebelled and split off from the Jewish hierarchy in protest to their secular accommodation with Persian and Roman authorities. They were the most mysterious of all the sects in Judea. Outside of Josephus and Philo, the early Jewish and Christian scholars had very little documentation until the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered in the Qumran site near the Dead Sea about this mysterious sect.

The most prominent thesis accepted today is that Qumran was a library and manuscript production site, and possibly the major headquarters of the Essenes in Judea. Hundreds of documents, scrolls and fragments have been discovered and catalogued on every book of the Old Testament except the Book of Esther. Also included were scores of books and commentaries outside the Old Testament Canon.

What was even more revealing were the words and their meaning of their literature such as, ‘the poor’, ‘the meek’, the ‘four thousand’, the ‘five thousand’, the ‘elect’, which were used in the teachings and ministry of the Nazarene. They were a prophetic group with a defined apocalyptic mission. They felt they were to wait the soon coming messiah and to protect him when he arrived.

The Essenes, about one hundred fifty years before Yahshua HaNotzri’s (Jesus the Nazarene’s) birth, split as part of the Chasidim separatists, over the Sadducee party who were working as ‘accomplices’ with the Romans to rule and for the security of Judea. To them, the Sadducees were usurpers of the role of the temple priests. Later the High Priest from the descendants of the Levitical priestly line of Zadok, the appointed High Priest of King David, but they too, were collaborators with Herod the Great, who brought them over from the Jewish temple in Leontopolis in Egypt.”

Understandable, during this era, Imperial Rome was trying to take control of Judea using Herod the Great as their ally and accomplice. In the year of 37 BCE, Herod the Great sent a courier to Alexandria, Egypt and to the Jewish temple at Leontopolis. The noted priest by the name of Boethus was requested to return to the land of Israel and assume the control of the office of the high priest in the Temple in Jerusalem that Herod the Great was now expanding to become the largest and most opulent temple in the world.

The Zadokians, according to some experts had set up a separate Temple service outside of Jerusalem, at Khirbet Mird, a Hasmonean Palace, which they claimed was ministered by the pure line of Zadok temple priests. Yet, it was in year of 6 CE that the high priests now ruling as the official high priests of the House of Zadok became corrupted when the famed high priestly dynasty of Ananus (Ananias) the Great took control of the office of high priest by out bidding “bribing” the Procurator of Rome sent to rule the Roman province of Judea and whose dynastic family virtually controlled the office of the high priest until the temple was destroyed in 70 CE.

To the Essenes, Herod the Great was the personification of evil. The princes of the House of David and Solomon by this time were being followed by the masses of Jewish peasants, who rose in revolt against Rome, and became known as the Zealots of Judea. What is known is that one of their prime duties was to become the guardians of every Prince of David; each of whose life was watched and protected by the Secret Guardians of the Essenes.

The Cenacle was later destroyed again in 1219, yet was again spared and rebuilt in 1340 CE, when the Franciscan Order of Friars took custody and possession of this site. This possession by the Roman Catholic Church lasted only 200 years when in 1552, the Ottoman Turks took possession and transformed this building into an Islamic Mosque.

The truth of this fact is that within the Cenacle is a semicircular niche called a mihrab that indicated to the Muslim worshippers the qibla, or the direction where the Kaaba in Mecca was located. This was important to know by every Muslim worshipper for they were to pray towards that direction; not towards the Temple Mount and the sight of Solomon’s Temple but towards Mecca. This again suggests the disregard that the Arabs who lived during the Middle Ages had towards the Temple Mount. Even then the Arabs did not place any sanctity to this place but only further to the East in Mecca.

It was in 1967, when the State of Israel won the 6-day war against her Muslim neighbors who once again sought to annihilate the Jewish people in Israel. Amazingly, it was seven hundred years earlier that a famous 12th century Jewish rabbinic sage, Rabbi Judah ben Samuel predicted, in that in the year of 1967 the Jewish people would once again take possession of all Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

He proclaimed that they, the Jewish people, would hold possession of this site for one Jubilee (fifty years) before the Messiah son of David would begin his messianic reign in Jerusalem in the year of 2017. Nowhere in any biblical or Jewish prophecy does it suggest that the Jews with the State of Israel will relinquish sovereignty of the Temple Mount. The Nazarene Judaism prophetic testimony stated that there would be “Two Witnesses” who would protect Jerusalem and the Holy Land for 1260 days (3½ years) up until about 18 hours before the revealing of the Messiah, when they would be executed as the Islamic hordes dance over their bodies. That said, there are numerous hints that a Jewish temple or a Temple for all religions (Masonic Temple) would be built upon the Temple Mount in an ecumenical bid to “Peace, with Great Security” for the whole earth.

Since 1967, the Jewish government in Jerusalem has faithfully guarded and allowed peoples from all religions to worship in every holy site in the State of Israel. This is a historical fact to the credit of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. It contrasts, non-the-less, against the Arab guardians of the Temple Mount called the Islamic Waqf, who have desecrated every bit of Jewish evidence upon the Temple Mount even though the State of Israel still maintains sovereign control and that they have been given only semi-autonomous rule over the Temple Mount.

When we look at the history of the Roman Christian Church, we also see an even more predator like role, of possession for the sake of power, greed and control. This gave rise to the Roman Catholic Inquisition in the 13th century and its role of destroying all forms of free speech and the right to the free expression of worship.

What is the historical truth today? Of all peoples that come to worship in the Holy Land of Israel, as former Labor MK Daniel ben Simon shockingly observed, only the Jewish people are discriminated from worshipping upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; the holiest sacred place in Judaism today. Another historical truth, the Cenacle where the disciples of the Jewish rabbi called Jesus the Nazarene participated in a sacred ritual called the “Last Supper” that was akin to the Wednesday evening Passover rituals as celebrated by the ancient Essenes in Judea.

As a matter of symbolism, it was a statement of authority when Yahshua, the Prince of David sat in his reclining couch as was the custom in that age. Why? He was sitting directly over the Tomb of David. The fact that it was protected and guarded by the Essenes in its original site in the 1st century city of Jerusalem and that it was the Essenes who were the guardians of all Princes of David, suggest, that layers of hidden truth still remains as to the identity of this mysterious rabbi who claimed that his only mission was that he was “sent by his Father, to find the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

When all the apparent and literal knowledge we know of this “One Man” who has made the most profound impact upon human history, whether it be in its most simple understanding (peshat) or in his most hidden and mysterious meanings (sod) and understandings, the most profound implication is that the Roman Christian “Jesus Christ” and the Jewish Orthodox Nazarene “Jesus the Nazarene” are about the same historical man, but the Roman Christian Jesus of corruption of the Prince of David Yahshua.

There is overwhelming evidence that the Jewish messiah of the Nazarenes was lifted out of the philosophic and religious domain of historical Judaism in the 1st century Temple of Herod era and corrupted and replaced with the philosophical and religious understanding of the Greco-Roman Hellenistic world at that time.

The archetypical and historical reality is that when the Jewish (yehudi) neshama soul was placed in time and space in Judea and Galilee as an observant Jew, a prince of David, and a Jewish Pharisee who evoked the halakhic understanding of Torah after the Yeshiva (school) of Hillel the Great, his imprint upon the majority of the peasantry class of Jews was profound in its impact. Yet this understanding was three centuries later carefully remolded and amalgamation with the surrounding pagan ideas of Mithraism and the Roman gods of the Greco-Roman world.

It was the First Church of Rome that destroyed the documentation and original historical archives of this Jewish prince of David and messiah and replaced its authentic Jewish history with a power structure that rose up in history as the Roman Catholic (world-wide) Church who sought to smother all of his authentic Jewish roots.

The facts still exist that the pathway of halakhic Torah truth as espoused by 1st century Judaism was permitted by the G-d of Israel to become the pathway of restoration eventually for the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel. It was they who completely lost their identity, their way, and their G-d. Even so, the G-d of Israel promised them that He would restore them also to their chosen destiny as Klal Yisrael (All Israel).

Since the day of the liberation of Eastern Jerusalem from the Occupiers of the State of Jordan in 1967, this site, the “Upper Room” sitting directly over the Tomb of King David has also been for almost one Jubilee the site of Jewish religious schools called yeshivas. Today they are teaching the new generations of observant Jews how to live and keep the commands of the Torah.

Yet, like the Temple Mount, who also the State of Israel claims sovereignty rights over its possession, did give control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf, only to have the Waqf begin a process of systematically destroying all the evidence of its Jewish heritage and replace it with Islamic mosques forbidden by Jews and Christians alike from entering. So today, the sites of these Jewish seminaries (yeshivas) are now being threatened to be turned over to the control of the apostate Christianity called the Roman Catholic Church.

Palestinian youths hurl stones Israeli riot police

Palestinian youths hurl stone towards Israeli riot police during scuffles at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the sacred Temple Mount of Judaism on October 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

Yet, Jews have already walked that walk before, when in 1967, they turned over the managing control of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem. What did they receive in return; riots, Jewish people arrested, rocks thrown down from the Temple Mount to the praying worshippers below and more recently throwing “fire bombs” as Israeli police protecting the Temple Mount that turned one policeman into a fireball? All of these things are committed by the Islamic occupiers while the Jews have to observe that the sanctity of the site where once stood the two sacred temples of Judaism; Solomon’s Temple and King Herod’s Temple while they also observe children playing games, adults loitering with abandonment, and no real care given to the real sanctity of this site to the G-d of Israel.

Muslim Arabs stoning Jews praying at the Western Wall
The Muslim Arabs stoning Jews praying at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem while accusing Israel of “Sacrilege”

The control of the Cenacle officially had been sought by the Roman Christian Church every since the days of Oslo Peace Accord in the early 1990s when in that agreement, the Temple Mount was to have been given possession to the Roman Catholic Church. It was in the year of 2005 that this fact was made official, when this same dispute once again flared up and again the G-d of Israel put His divine finger down and halted this hegemony of sovereign power sought by the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, it was done in the strangest of ways.

At that time, the official negotiator of the “Upper Room” was the President of Israel, President Moshe Katsav. Yet this same Israeli president later received his reward by the Divine when on December 3, 2011, President Moshe Katsav began serving a seven year sentence in the Israeli Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla for two counts of rape, obstruction of Justice plus other charges in a landmark decision that was upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court. Will this same scenario also be repeated today? Or will the City of Jerusalem truly have to descend once again to the 49th level of Tuma (Degradation) as it did in the 40 years between 30 CE and 70 CE when the entire city of David and Herod’s Temple were destroyed in a fiery inferno. As BibleSearchers Reflections wrote in 2005 in the article titled: “The Vatican seeks to reclaim it own; “The Vatican wants Jerusalem”:

BibleSearchers Reflections – “Within all the conflicts of the Middle East, the first implication is what Jesuit Father Francesco Rossi de Gasperis of the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Jerusalem called a “theological negation of the people of Israel, a kind of cultural and spiritual Shoah, not dissimilar to what was seen in the churches of Europe during the age of ‘Christendom’.”

By creating a Catholic Church within Israel and “for Israel” comes from its deep seated denial for even the very existence of the state of Israel. Over the course of Christian history, the original “Church” was actually a Hebrew community composed of Jews that were faithful to the Torah, believers in the Jewish rabbi, Yahshua haMaschiah (Jesus the Messiah). Is the guiding hand of the G-d of Israel even calling the core of the Catholic faithful back to a “historical turning point,” nominating a Catholic bishop ´ad Judaeos´? Is the soul of the Catholics also at stake in that the overarching bid to gain control over the holy sites of Jerusalem will in turn radically change the nature of Christian Catholicism today?

While this shift may isolate the Jewish secular Zionists, it also isolates a Latin patriarchate that is intentionally of an “overwhelming Palestinian character.” This political and religious battle for the hearts of souls of both the Arabs and the Jews, the Vatican is playing very carefully. It is a battle that does have its costs.

Latin patriarch of Jerusalem

The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem carries a figure of the baby Jesus through St Catherine’s church in Manger Square

Over the years the Latin patriarchate has overtly declared its diminishing interest in any dialogue with the Jewish people. In the city of Jerusalem, there is no Catholic library at all. In 2001, the Pontifical Institute “Ratisbonne” in Jerusalem was shut down and placed for sale. The contenders to buy were the Opus Dei (of Dan Brown’s “De Vinci Code” fame), the Salesians and the Neocatechumenal Way. Abbot Gourion came under the wrath of the patriarchate for receiving an honorary award in one of the halls of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament while the Melkite pastor of Nazareth, Émile Shoufani, who though an Arab is not anti-Semitic nor anti-Israeli when he was attacked mercilessly for taking an ecumenical pilgrimage of Jews and Palestinians together to Auschwitz.

While the prophetic vision of bringing all men to Jerusalem as the “house of the Lord of hosts” is seriously considered in the revival of Hebrew Christianity, the Jewish rabbinate see a threat to the survival of Judaism with the rise of Jewish believers who believe in Jesus as the Jewish and Christian messiah. The pathway to the expectations of the coming of the coming messiah may bring some unexpected surprises to both Christians and Jews.

This rift or fissure in the Catholic community is serious and thought provoking especially within the orthodox circles of the Roman Church. The Christian Church is already fractured by many different denominations. Now within the Catholic community the dialogue centers around whether the Hebrew-speaking Catholic ecclesiastical church should remain separate or in close affiliation with the Arab Latin patriarchate. Though the Jewish Catholic members number about 250 members, it is a vibrant community with its leader, French Benedictine abbot, Fr. Jean-Baptiste Gourion of the Monastery of the Resurrection in Abu Ghosh. What is fascinating is that in Israel, two of the three main Catholic representatives in Israel are of Jewish descent. This tension between the Jewish and the Arab interests keeps the Roman Catholic Church embroiled in the broader issues between the Israeli-Palestinian and the Jewish-Christian.”

With the inauguration of the new Pope Francis I, as the visible supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church, we may be in for a big surprise if the Prophecy of St. Malachi comes to its final prophetic fulfillment.

Today, the outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, who has retired and Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who has recently taken a leave of absence awaiting trial for charges of fraud and breach of truth are about to face off in court over charges that include money laundering and bribery. Both of these “servants of the State of Israel” officially represented the State of Israel with the Vatican in Rome’s legal dispute for sovereignty rights to multiple sites in Judea and Samaria.

According to the LA Times, outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon will now become an instrumental witness against his former boss and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior ally with Lukud-Beitinu Party, Avigdor Lieberman. It was this controversial Israeli foreign minister who was indicted in December, 2012 on charges of fraud and breach of trust that included prior charges of money-laundering and bribery.

Yet, Danny Ayalon also has shadows of corruption hovering over him. Over the years he has been implicated in cozy relations now not only as the chief negotiator with the Vatican in Rome but with numerous Christian Evangelical Organization who also continually seek possession to claim and possess the sacred land in the Land of Israel, but also the political rights, to “missionize” and proselytized Jews into becoming “apostate Christians.” According to JewishIsrael:

JewishIsrael – “JewishIsrael has repeatedly expressed concern over any negotiations which would compromise Mount Zion. We have been especially concerned over Daniel Ayalon’s position as chief negotiator on Vatican issues, since he is a maverick when it comes to ventures to grant Christians special status in Israel.

Both Daniel Ayalon and his wife, Anne, are intimately involved with the Evangelical and Catholic communities and have comfortably appeared on missionary television . Anne has significant business and real estate dealings with the Christian community and was listed as a “Talking Head” for the Pope’s Visit on Christian-Israeli Relations” in a pamphlet put out by The Israel Project (T.I.P.) at the time of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit in May 2009

In November 2005, this writer reacted to reports of an apparent swap deal between Israel and the Vatican which would grant the Vatican control of the Upper Room. I was in correspondence with David Chappell, then deputy managing editor of the Times of London, who confirmed my concerns of a draft agreement. At the time, a number of activists formed the Committee to Save Mt. Zion and effective pressure was exerted on the Israeli government to abandon the plans to relinquish control of the Upper Room.”

It is important to look at the context of the above international diplomatic push for the Roman Catholic Church to take possession of one of Israel’s most important landmarks, the tomb of King David. It is also important to see these present international Vatican thrusts to not only grab Mount Zion that not only includes the ancient site of the “Church with the Upper Room” and sits literally over the “Tomb of King David”.

Pope Francis I
Pope Francis I

So we ask, will we soon see Pope Francis I, who is being reincarnated as the new Francis of Assisi in the Roman Catholic Church, now carry forth the mantle of the Franciscan Order of Friars who have over the centuries sought complete control and rights to the Land of Israel?

Will this current pope, representing the Roman Catholic “Saint” Francis of Assisi, one of the most venerated religious figures in religious history also carry the mantle of the transformed human life by giving up wealth and fortune and become one of the iconic poor where wealth is evil and poor is righteous except for global possession, when “The Church” has every spiritual right to become the temporal and spiritual ruler over the entire world?

Though Barry Chamish and Benjamin Fulford do not walk in the corridors of international power that seek Power, Greed, and Control over the entire world, they both, being Jewish, do appear to pose the microscope of international investigation with the same premise, the global powers that have controlled the world of the past, are still active and well today. As Benjamin Fulford recently posted his perspective on the New Pope, the New Israeli government and their relationships as the One World Order is created to rule during the “Last Days”, as we read the hints of this fact in the following:

Benjamin Fulford – “It may be just a coincidence but it may also be a sign that something big is about to happen. There will be a new Pope, a new Bank of Japan governor and a new Israeli government taking office on March 19th, a date of occult significance for Asian secret societies (and also, by sheer coincidence, this writer’s birthday).

Pope Francis has already made it clear the soon to be reformed Vatican bank will now be spending its money helping the poorest and weakest people on the planet. Haruhiko Kuroda, the new BOJ governor, also supports plans to use Japan’s overseas assets, the world’s largest, to finance a major campaign to end poverty and stop environmental destruction. The new Israeli government is bankrupt and cannot finance anything but perhaps they are about to become serious about peace for the first time since that troubled country came into being.

There are also many reports of bad guys dropping off the radar screen recently.

In Japan, for example, the Zionist slave and war-mongering right-wing crypto-North Korean pseudo-nationalist politician Shintaro Ishihara has gone into hiding, according to Japanese military intelligence. This is clear a sign the entire post-war cabal apparatus for secret control of Japan is falling apart. In the US and Europe the arrests and resignations are continuing as well. See this site for a partial list:

As far as Queen Elizabeth, (who like the Pope supports a big push to end poverty), is concerned, this is what an MI5 source had to say:

“She is well. She has some ‘lingering’ symptoms which she said last week that the doctors can’t explain. This serves to confirm our previous reports of avoiding the Rome trip [for security reasons]. She has missed some public appointments in the UK also but is working hard behind the scenes.”

However, the biggest change in the past week has been at the Vatican. Pope Francis, the first Jesuit to become Pope, chose March 19th to formally take the job because it is the Feast day of St. Joseph, the guardian of Jesus.

The name Francis was chosen for a series of reasons, according to a P2 freemason source. First of all, St. Francis of Assisi, among other things, introduced the concept of caring for nature to Catholicism. Another namesake, Francis Xavier, was the top Jesuit for Japan and India. Finally, the third head of the Jesuits, Francis Borgia (from the aristocratic Italian family) challenged corrupt popes.

The Jesuits are also featured as prominent fighters against Satan, notably in the movie the Exorcist, which was supposedly based on a true story.

However, there is also a spooky side to the name because the Pope’s family comes from Rome and one of his birth names was Peter. For believers in the prophecies of St. Malachi, it means he is Peter the Roman, the last pope. The prophecy of Malachi, according to Wikipedia, ends thus:

“Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”

If Pope Francis is serious about reforming the Vatican bank, he will confront the Satanic cabal that has illegally commandeered the Western financial system. The last time somebody tried to do that, the (Rothschild) cabal staged the 911 terror attacks to preserve their financial control. It is thus extremely urgent to make sure the cabalists are prevented from any attempt to destroy Rome and its priceless cultural and social heritage.”

As we see with the “Signs of the Times” swirling around us, it suggests that there is truly more undercurrents flowing in the vast prophetic river than we can imagine. It appears that all the mini-streams of prophetic history are now merging into the final raging vortex of the “time of the end”. The important thing to remember, the G-d of Israel is the sovereign G-d of the Universe. His power and control is universal and in the end, the rule of our planetary system will be by the Maschiah ben David, who will rule with the “Rod in his mouth” as evil people and as evil systems will be destroyed. Only then will the Era of Messianic Torah Enlightenment begin in Israel.

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians  5:22-23) but can often seem elusive for Christians. Before delving in to how  we can experience joy in the Christian life, we must first recognize that joy is  not based on circumstances. In fact, joy may not even prevent us from  experiencing negative emotions. Rather, joy is a deep-seated sense of happiness  in what God has done and what He is doing. The Greek word for “joy” is related  to the Greek word for “grace.” Truly, joy is a grace bestowed on us by God. So  how can we accept and experience the gift of joy?
In many ways,  perspective is key. When we look at what God has done for us, we naturally  respond with thanksgiving and joy. When we look at difficult circumstances or  the frustrations of life, we naturally respond with discontent. This is not to  say that we do not acknowledge the difficulties of this life or the lack in our  world. Rather, we do so while still recognizing that God is in control and that  He loves us. The Psalms display this truth beautifully. David, for example,  poured out his complaints to God. He did not deny the hardships of life, his  depression, his hurt, or his disappointment. Yet by the end of each psalm, he  generally seemed encouraged (for instance, Psalm 3; 6; 7; 13; 16; 18).
When we voice our concerns and allow ourselves to be reminded of the goodness  of God, we release our burdens. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are  heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,  for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For  my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew  11:28-30). We can experience joy when we give our burdens to Jesus. He helps  carry the heavy load. He also reminds us of Who He is. Knowing of His care for  us and our ultimate victory in Him, we can experience joy even in our hardships.
Paul was no stranger to hardships (2  Corinthians 11:23-27). And yet he was also prolific on the topic of joy,  particularly in his epistle to the Philippians. Paul writes, “Rejoice in the  Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to  everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in  everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be  made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will  guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7). We give our burdens to God through  prayer and do so with thanksgiving.
But we don’t stop there. Paul goes  on to say, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever  is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there  is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these  things” (Philippians  4:8). After we have given our requests to God, we keep a proper perspective.  We think on things that are pure, full of splendor, excellent, right, and  praiseworthy. We do not dwell on our heartache but on the goodness of God and  the beauty He infuses into our lives.
In addition to prayer and proper  perspective, we glean joy from community. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one,  because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift  up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to  lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep  warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will  withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We were created for  community, as can be seen by God’s creation of Eve to be a helper for Adam and  in Paul’s description of the church as a body of believers (Romans 12:3-13).  Christians are instructed to encourage one another (Hebrews  3:13; 1  Thessalonians 5:11). We can share both our hurtful and happy moments with  friends (Romans  12:15).
Ultimately, these practical tips for experiencing joy are  just a small part of living of joyful life. Jesus describes what it means to  abide in Him in John  15:1-11, linking it with remembering His words, living in His love,  depending on Him, and obeying His commands. He then says, “These things I have  spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). We experience  joy in our Christian lives by giving our lives completely over to Jesus,  accepting His gift of grace. When we truly abide in Him, we will know the  fullness of His joy.