Epic Finds in Archaeology


We have had no shortage of bad news, but consider that the Lord chose our generation to unveil Biblical finds of truly epic proportions.

Now is the day of salvation.  The Lord is trumpeting — sending a shofar blast to the ends of the earth — urgently calling the lost to repentance; He is “pulling out all the stops”.  If you see the Bible as a book of colorful fables, consider the following finds, and entertain the possibility that archaeological evidence has been discovered for each of the following Biblical narratives:

  • Noah’s Ark
  • Red Sea Crossing
  • Mount Sinai
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Sodom and Gomorrah

Indeed, the rocks are crying out, are you listening?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7MNo5ASK5s

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t17Z7U-LeNw

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAoNOc_gjg

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZKBHyIBrHA

To learn more about Mount Sinai and the Red Sea Crossing, Prophecy In The News co-hosts J.R. Church and Gary Stearman interviewed famed Swedish Archaeologist Lennart Moeller.  In 2001 Moeller created the DVD: The Exodus Revealed, and he wrote a 300-page book based on his findings: The Exodus Case!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MShdUvcLcLE

 

Perhaps more adversity, trials and persecution lie in store for the followers of Jesus Christ today than any other time in history.  Indeed, all the men of the world are being tried as in a crucible by fire.  The Antichrist kingdom is poised to launch its most vicious attack against humanity.  About the end times, Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)

However, in our generation, the Lord has compensated by affirming arguably some of the greatest portions of Scripture.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. (Romans 5:20b)   May the Lord be glorified, and may many souls come into His kingdom – of which “no man can number“.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

 




Alien Abduction Files: A Christian’s Response


What are your thoughts about aliens?  Are they real – are they fake – is there a government cover-up?  It may surprise my readers to learn that the Holy Bible gives mankind ancient wisdom to understand all of the modern UFO sightings as well as alien encounters of every kind, and alien abductions.

What are aliens?  Extra-terrestrials, or Inter-Dimensionals? Are you aware that “aliens” cannot continue an abduction if its victim cries out for help in the name of Jesus?   Why is the alien subject to the Lord Jesus Christ?  We will explore this and more in my Open Letter to the coauthors of The Alien Abduction Files.  Originally I intended to send this letter by email to the authors only, but have since decided that it may be useful for all of my readers.

My original motivation for writing this open letter – nearly 50 pages in length – is due to great compassion for the authors, especially Denise Stoner who was herself an alien abductee.  And even more sad than her abduction claim was her attitude towards her captors.  I would suggest Mrs. Stoner betrayed characteristics of what is commonly know as “Stockholm Syndrome”.  (Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.)

Regardless of your current position on aliens, UFOs or the alien abduction phenomenon, I pray each reader will consider, and be open-minded to learn more about this topic, of which millions of people around the world claim to have experiential knowledge:

The Alien Abduction Files: A Christian Response.pdf

 

 




Healing of a Broken Man (Part 2)


MATTHEW THE GOSPEL WRITER (Pt.2)

I can just see Levi sitting there in his office discontented, feeling empty even though his pursuit of worldly goods had gotten him every material possession after which men strive. But that ordinary day, he had an unplanned meeting with the Man everyone in Israel had been talking about. “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.” (Matt. 9:9, KJV). The reality of Levi’s discontent is obvious when we see his response to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. “And he left all, rose up, and followed him.” (Luke 5:28, KJV).

What caused Levi to have no qualms about letting all of his While-You-Were-Out slips go unanswered that day and forever follow Jesus? What happened in that momentary encounter that made him never want to return to his office? I think we can get an insight here by taking a closer look at the way Levi himself wrote about this moment in his own writing of the gospel of Matthew. While everyone else looked at Levi as a hated ‘dog,’ or even as the gospel writer Luke simply named him, “a publican,” (Luke 5:27, KJV), Levi writes that Jesus saw a “man,” (Matt.9:9 KJV). Jesus saw Levi as a person, as someone worthwhile. Levi would never be the same. His direction of life completely changed and so did his name. Now he would be called Matthew, which means “gift of Jehovah.”¹ Jesus came by at exactly the right time and rescued Levi from his empty pursuit of selfish gain and gave his life a whole new meaning and purpose.

jesuscallsmatthew
I’m sure Matthew had previously heard about this new prophet in Israel and knew that Jesus was getting a big following everywhere He went. He could hardly even imagine that this Man who was going into all the villages and towns, healing people and teaching them about God, would ever have anything to do with him, a hated tax collector. But when Jesus “saw” him, Matthew’s heart must have exploded with hope. If there were any doubts in his mind about the compassion and sincerity of this call to him by Jesus, they were fully and finally erased that evening when Jesus went to Matthew’s house for a party. That night Jesus defended Matthew and all of his outlaw friends against the attacks of the religious elite.

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 9:10-13, KJV).

The Healing of a Broken Man

The transformation of this man’s life from one of brokenness and hurt to a compassionate disciple and apostle of Jesus, can be detected from the very gospel account which he wrote about Jesus. Matthew knew what it meant to be depressed, to feel so bad about himself that he didn’t see any hope for anything bright in his future. Maybe when he was sitting in the tax office that day staring out the window before Jesus showed up, he had finally given up on himself. Maybe the reality of how his countrymen hated him finally dawned upon him. Maybe he was realizing how he had been betraying his own people by cheating them through the tax system. Maybe he was thinking that his life might as well be over, that his future held nothing to look forward to. Maybe he was experiencing that day what one writer calls the fog of the broken heart.

“The fog of the broken heart. It’s a dark fog that slyly imprisons the soul and refuses easy escape. It’s a silent mist that eclipses the sun and beckons the darkness. It’s a heavy cloud that honors no hour and respects no person. Depression, discouragement, disappointment, doubt…all are companions of this dreaded presence.”²

This could be why he later included in his gospel account a quote about Jesus (Messiah) from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench,…” (Matt. 12:20, KJV). Matthew’s gospel is the only one of the four gospels to have this verse. He had truly felt that tender touch upon his broken life when Jesus not only noticed him, but actually spoke kindly to him, even asking him to be one of His own disciples.

The battered and bruised man was gently nurtured back to wholeness, the smoldering wick in his dark soul suddenly became a bright flame of passion toward the Master. Matthew was a first hand recipient of the Master’s tender compassion and forgiveness. No doubt with great expectations of giving hope to other bruised and broken people he penned the Savior’s words,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30, KJV).

Throughout his gospel writing, it is very apparent that Matthew’s quest is to show Jesus as the promised Messiah to the Jewish people, the promised Son of David. He repeatedly quotes Old Testament Scriptures and references them to Jesus. He was most likely thrilled when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the genealogy of Jesus, taking Jesus’ earthly ancestry back to Abraham, the father of the Jews. Convinced of the reality of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, Matthew put this genealogy at the very beginning of his writing.

“In the first chapter he divides the genealogy of Jesus into three parts: (1) from Abraham to David; (2) from David to the Exile; and (3) from the Exile to the ‘Son of David,’ Jesus the Christ. Moreover, he carefully arranges the generations in each of the three groups so that they number fourteen. Not only is this an especially sacred number, because it is twice seven or Sabbath, but, more important, it is the numerical equivalent of the name of David, the Great King! That is, the Hebrew letters which spell the name of David (and which also stand for numbers in Hebrew) add up to fourteen. This intricate arrangement of the genealogical table can hardly be accidental. It is Matthew’s way of emphasizing that Jesus is the promised Son of David, fulfilling the Messianic prophecies.” ³

CONCLUSION

Fear and helplessness have become a daily potion of life in today’s world when we look into the face of modern weaponry, big brother surveillance, corrupt political institutions and financial moguls who care only about amassing the earth’s wealth and resources for themselves. Is there any hope for us individually and collectively as we are literally seeing our world on the brink of extinction?

Matthew, the tax collector turned gospel writer, can be a source of great encouragement to every person. His life prior to Jesus reveals the very same emptiness every person faces sooner or later because of the disappointments and destruction, the brokenness and harsh reality a person can experience in this earthly life. Matthew’s life clearly gives each and every person hope. He assures us God looks beyond our faults and sees our need for a Savior, and loudly proclaims in his gospel that Jesus Christ is truly that wonderful Savior sent by God.

 

1 William Smith, L.L.D., “Matthew,” Smith’s Bible Dictionary, MacDonald Publishing Company, p. 387.
2 Max Lucado, “The Fog of the Broken Heart,” No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Multnomah Press, 1986, p.129.
3 The Gospel According to Matthew, “Spiritual Message,” The New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, p. 911.



Healing of a Broken Man (Part 1)


MATTHEW THE GOSPEL WRITER

Believers in Jesus Christ have much to be thankful for when they consider the work of the  gospel writer, Matthew. His contribution to the New Testament is a major one considering that the Holy Spirit used him to write one of the four gospels telling the life and ministry of Jesus while He walked this earth. Here I will examine the life and character of Matthew, the apostle, and portray how his life was impacted and completely changed when he encountered Jesus of Nazareth.

Matthew – A Jew of Jesus’ Time

I suspect that the times in which Matthew lived were not much different from our own. Political tension with the occupying Roman legions in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Israel must have kept the Jews in a constant state of internal resentment. Religious pressures from the Jewish hierarchy insisting that the Jews keep all of the laws of both the Torah and the Talmud, were a daily burden. The hectic pursuit of property and possessions in the arena of trade and commerce kept people in a frenzy of worry about this life and its cares.

At that time, no prophet had been heard from in Israel since Malachi, some four hundred years before. One day, however, people were astir talking about someone named John. He was telling the Jews to repent of their sins because the kingdom of God was at hand. John was announcing the arrival of Someone very important in God’s plan for the Jews. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matt. 3:11, KJV).

Shortly into John’s ministry, Jesus came from Galilee to where John was preaching at the Jordan River and began His public ministry to the people of Israel. Everywhere Jesus went He stirred people from their ignorance and apathy. The religious leaders were very skeptical of Him. However, the common people were attracted to Him because of his miracles of healing and deliverance, His authoritative teaching, and because of His compassion for the lowly and forgotten.

It was to this religious, politically oppressed nation, Jesus embarked on His mission to save the world. He began by choosing some individuals out of the crowds, specifically asking them to be His followers. A very diverse crew was this group He called out—ordinary people in all types of trade. One of the not-so-ordinary people Jesus chose was someone whose name was Levi.

Levi The Tax Collector

It’s probable that Levi’s parents named him after one of the Jewish patriarchs, Levi the son of Jacob. From this son descended those whom God chose to be the priestly line, of which were Moses and his brother Aaron. It was the Levites whom God ordained to maintain the temple and all of the vessels of worship.

History gives us some background on this Levi whom Jesus chose to be a disciple.

“He was a Jew. His father’s name was Alphaeus. His home was at Capernaum. His business was the collection of dues and customs from persons and goods crossing the Sea of Galilee, or passing along the great Damascus road which ran along the shore line between Bethsaida, Julius and Capernaum.”¹

How did this Jew named Levi ever become a tax collector? What drove him to seek a profession that assisted the very government of tyranny that suppressed his own people? What made him betray his own priestly name and pursue a vocation that caused his fellow Jews to despise him? Was it only greed?

I think we may find a clue to answer these questions in the very gospel account that Levi (whose name was changed to Matthew), later wrote. It could very well be that before Jesus came into the life of this tax collector, Levi had totally given up on his heritage and the hope of a Messiah because of the hypocrisy he saw in the religious elite. He saw how these leaders lived double lives and he wanted nothing to do with their system of empty rules and regulations.  They don’t look too much different than the pompous religious elites of today. Ours have reduced Jesus to a sentimental pacesetter and dwindled His powerful repentance/salvation gospel message to an impotent mishmash of do-good, social justice catch-all of community ideals.  Matthew is the only gospel writer to record Jesus’ scathing rebuke of the religious leaders, the Pharisees and scribes. Bible translators have termed this section ‘the seven woes’, seen in chapter twenty-three of Matthew’s gospel.

Jesus_sevenwoes“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves…

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. ”
(Matt. 23:13-15, 23-25, 27 & 28, KJV).

Jesus exposed the real creed by which these leaders lived their lives – IMAGE IS EVERYTHING. Instead of giving glory to God by their lives, they were glorifying themselves, and it showed.

Though Levi had every right to despise this system of hypocrisy, nonetheless, his pursuit in the opposite direction left him with the hopelessness of a man without a country. He must have daily felt the despising of the Jews as he exacted dues and taxes from them to give to the hated Romans. I’m sure he would hear his countrymen referring to him as a dog. “The epithets dog, dead dog, dog’s head were used as terms of reproach.”²   This would have been especially hurtful since every Jew knew that a dog was considered one of the unclean animals.

This wealthy tax collector from Capernaum, the city built by Rome and often referred to as the Exalted City because of its beauty, seemed to be carving his own niche in a hostile environment. He came across as a person who was undaunted, fearless and getting everything he wanted. But was he?

The ‘Dog’ Turns Disciple

“Tax collectors have never been popular, but they were especially hated in the Roman Empire. Originally they were paid on a commission basis, so the more taxes they could collect the more they could keep for themselves. As a result they badgered the public and extorted money over nearly every transaction. Jews who became tax collectors were considered traitors because they took money from their own people in the service of pagan Rome. Tax collectors were called ‘wild beasts in human shape’ and classed with assassins and robbers. They were forbidden to enter a synagogue, their money was considered unclean…For Jesus to add such a man to his team was akin to a Billy Graham enlisting a Mafia mobster to help in an evangelistic campaign…”³

Healing of a Broken Man  (Part 2)

1  William Smith, L.L.D., “Matthew,” Smith’s Bible Dictionary, MacDonald Publishing Company, p. 387.
2 William Smith, L.L.D., “Matthew,” Smith’s Bible Dictionary, MacDonald Publishing Company, p.147 & 148.
3 Bill Counts, “I.R.S. – Roman Style,” Once A Carpenter, Harvest House Publishers,1975, p. 48.

 

 

 

 




I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY


I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

I love to tell the story…
The story of how Jesus takes broken dreams
and makes a new and different dream

——-

I love to tell the story…
The story of how Jesus recaptures hope after all is lost and destroyed

——-

I love to tell the story…
The story of how Jesus won every battle against evil,
and because He won, we win.

——-

I love to tell the story…
The story of His love for you and me.

——-

I climbed a mountain of self-seeking;
He climbed a hill of self-sacrifice.

I climbed to reach the top of a mountain
called esteem by good works;
He laid down all his royalty and climbed
to the top of a hill called Calvary.

 ______________

Trust betrayed;
…kissed by a friend, incarcerated by soldiers of an angry mob.

———-

She peers out the window of the factory for the aged,
the hallways of fate bringing no familiar face, no comforting voice;
“…and they all forsook Him and fled.”¹

———

The child cowers in fear, dreading the approach of an angry parent;
…thirty-nine lashes.

 jesuswhipped

———-

Mistaken identity…the prisoner’s mind screams in desperate,
silent rage as he cradles his forehead in sweaty palms;
a thorn pierced brow.

crownofthorns

———-

 Stolen virginity;
“…My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?²

jesusforsaken

 ——-

 Love freely given, evil returned;
…from the brutal thrust of a deadly weapon aimed at the heart,
blood and water flowed out.
³

jesusspeared

——-

But you don’t know what I’ve done!!
“… go your way, tell his disciples AND Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 4

jesusrisen

I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love.

¹ Mark 14:50
² Matt. 27:46
³ John 19:34
4 Mark 16:7