The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority are enabling the public to view impressive new sections of one of one of the most magnificent public buildings uncovered from the Second Temple period. The discovery – the fruit of archaeological excavations recently conducted in the Western Wall Tunnels – will be part of the new route opened to visitors ahead of Rosh Chodesh Elul and Slichot (Penitential prayers). Part of the structure, to the west of Wilson’s Arch and the Temple Mount, was discovered and documented by Charles Warren in the nineteenth century, followed by various archaeologists in the twentieth century. Now that its excavation is complete, we know that it contained two identical magnificent chambers with an elaborate fountain between them. The walls of the halls and the fountain were decorated with a sculpted cornice bearing pilasters (flat supporting pillars) topped with Corinthian capitals. The decorative style of the building is typical of opulent Second Temple-period architecture. Mordechai Soli Eliav, Chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation says, “It is exciting to reveal such a magnificent structure from the Second Temple period while we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and pray for its restoration. These chambers are part of a new walk through the Western Wall Tunnels, where visitors will view fascinating finds and walk for the first time along the entire route among Second Temple-period remains that illustrate the complexity of Jewish life in Jerusalem between the Hasmonean and the Roman periods.” According to Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, Excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is without doubt one of the most magnificent public building from the Second Temple period that has ever been uncovered outside the Temple Mount walls in Jerusalem. It was built in around 20–30 CE. The building, which apparently stood along a street leading up to the Temple Mount, was used for public functions – it may even have been the city council building where important dignitaries were received before entering the Temple compound and the Temple Mount. Visitors to the site can now envisage the opulence of the place: the two side chambers served as ornate reception rooms and between them was a magnificent fountain with water gushing out from lead pipes incorporated in the midst of the Corinthian capitals protruding from the wall. The excavation also uncovered the original massive stone slabs with which the ancient building was paved. The archaeologists believe that the guest rooms, which were also used for dining, contained wooden reclining sofas that have not been preserved. Reclining dining rooms were common in the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman worlds from the fifth century BCE to the third–fourth centuries CE. They are known in the archaeological record from private homes, palaces, temples, synagogue complexes and civilian compounds. Dining or feasting while reclining is mentioned as early as the Book of Amos – in the first half of the eighth century BCE – when the prophet rebukes the people of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. In the late Second Temple period, before the Temple’s destruction, extensive changes made throughout the area included alterations to the building, which was divided into three separate chambers. In one of the chambers, a stepped pool was installed that was used as a ritual bath.” Shachar Puni, architect for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Conservation Department explains, “The new route provides a better understanding of the complex and important site known as the Western Wall Tunnels, while emphasizing the extent of this magnificent building. It creates a new visitors’ route that passes through the building and leads to the spacious compound at the foot of Wilson’s Arch (one of the bridges leading to the Temple Mount), which was also excavated by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority. By making the route accessible and opening it to the public, visitors are introduced to one of the most fascinating and impressive sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.”
All of the O.T prophets were given a picture of the final restoration of Israel with their Messiah ruling all the nations. The Millennial reign of Jesus is all about fulfilling the unconditional covenant God made with Abraham.
“Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. and He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11–12)
Isaiah’s prophecy is speaking of a final regathering that is patterned after the original Exodus from Egypt. The first was out of Egypt, the second is from all over the world, at the end of the great tribulation. It cannot be the 1948 regathering as Jesus is not ruling Israel and the nations.
“In that day the LORD will start His threshing (His separation of the righteous from the wicked) from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” Isaiah 27:12-13 2
In the regions situated between the Euphrates River, which would include parts of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, and the “brook of Egypt,” which was most likely located in what is now the central Sinai Peninsula.
“Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them,’ for I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.” (Jeremiah 16:14–15)
In Jeremiah’s mind, the final restoration to the land is an ultimate Exodus, far superior to the historical Exodus.
“As I live, declares the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:33-38
For Ezekiel, the coming redemption, the ‘Second Exodus’, overshadows its ancient prototype as the ultimate manifestation of Yahweh’s might.
“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land… Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:24-28
Ezekiel connects the great end time outpouring of the Holy Spirit to Israel’s regathering to their land
“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,” Deuteronomy 30:2
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6
Moses gives this amazing prophecy to the nation before they enter the Promised Land. Note at this time of regathering they experience an inner circumcision of their hearts resulting in total obedience.
Micah envisions the final restoration of Israel through the lens of a second Exodus.
“In that day they will come to you, from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt to the River, from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain… As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them marvelous things. The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;” Micah 7:12, 15
In chapter 7, the prophet speaks of Israel’s eschatological restoration and the expansion of her national borders: “On that day will your boundary be extended” (v. 11).
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, (Jesus) whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-3
Notice the plan is all about JESUS ( the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature). God our heavenly Father, created the world through Jesus and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. Jesus came into this world to pay the price for our SIN (disobedience of Adam and Eve at the Fall of Man, the penalty for which was death). Jesus died in our place “making purification for sins” so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life.
The only important event missing from this summary is Jesus return to this earth to complete the promise the Father made to Abraham. Jesus will rule all nations, the world from Jerusalem. God has unfinished business with His nation Israel that He established for His purposes.
“And when He (Jesus) had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11
We must not miss the eternal purposes of God in His everlasting covenant with Israel. The following scripture was given by Jesus to make this truth in a profound way.
When a woman from modern-day southern Lebanon found Jesus and begged Him to heal her demonized daughter, He ignored her. (Matthew 15:21-28 – Faith of a Canaanite Woman) She kept at it, and wouldn’t relent (much like the widow in Luke 18). His disciples, ever known for their abounding compassion, offered to get rid of her so they wouldn’t have to hear the inconvenience of her desperation. Jesus, blessedly, ignored the immaturity of the twelve apostles to make a point through this interaction—a point we need to have clarity on today.
He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me!”
He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed.
Here is a non -Jewish Gentile approaching the Son of David and begging Him for help. If we miss what Jesus wants to convey to us in this passage i.e. the eternal purposes of God in the everlasting covenant, then He initially does not come across as the loving, merciful Jesus we know. Thankfully, this incredible woman did not miss these critical issues, and Jesus drew this confession out of her for all of us to hear—and heed.
Consider this paraphrase of the verses above given in the FAI Prophecy, Proclamation, Covenant and Controversy, MAY 13, 2021:
Jesus: “I cut a covenant on the hills of Hebron to form a nation-state wherein I’ll reveal My eternal purposes and glory to the world. The house of Israel is therefore marked with a covenantal peculiarity your people are not marked with.”
Lebanese Woman*: “You are the LORD, and I know enough about You to know You can help me.”
Jesus, shrugging: “The covenantal provisions are for the children of the covenant.”
Lebanese Woman: “I’ve heard about You, and I’ve heard about Your covenant—and I submit to Your right to do what You will as You will, when You will and how You will, to whom You will and through whom You will. And I know You’re going to bless the nations through this covenant—I know there’s enough of You to go around, and even a Gentile like me can receive the overflow from the covenantal table.”
Jesus: “YOU GOT IT! I love your faith!”
The FAI video series Covenant and Controversy is a must watch for every Bible believing Christian. Not only must you watch this series but you need to promote it as widely as possible. After you have watched the first video then you will now why I am promoting this video series so enthusiastically.
Joel interviews Tim Mahoney, creator and director of the Patterns of Evidence films. The most recent being the second of the films in the Red Sea Miracle film series. Tim has been on a crusade to show that the books of the Bible that Moses wrote are true history. Jesus said, “if you won’t believe Moses and the prophets then you won’t believe me.”
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27
“He (Jesus) said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
These books are foundational to the Gospel message. Tim understands this, hence his dedication to the Patterns of Evidence series. His first film was The Exodus then The Moses Controversy and now the Red Sea Miracle Series. I believe God has raised up Tim to produce these films for this hour to prove He is the miracle working God that established Israel for His purposes and the Bible is His inerrant Word.
You need to not only watch these films yourself but to promote them as widely as possible both to church members and to use them in promoting the truth of God’s Word.
In a special ceremony in the City of David, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman dedicates a plaque commemorating the bond between Israel and the United States.
Friedman said that he hoped that the plaque would prompt all those who read it to think of the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was founded and “how those values were inspired by ancient Jerusalem and its inhabitants.”
The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, along with the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, held a special ceremony at the City of David on Monday in recognition of the “seminal role” the archeological site plays “in connecting its visitors to the origins of the values that helped shape America.”
On June 30, 2019, Paul Packer, Chairman of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad participated with other American dignitaries in the City of David’s inauguration of the “Pilgrimage Road,” the path taken by millions of pilgrims ascending from the Pool of Siloam up to the Temple more than 2,000 years ago.
In his remarks, Packer commended the City of David for its contribution to America’s heritage, adding that with the ceremony, “we are fulfilling another, larger purpose: to unify Americans around our foundational principles and values. The City of David serves as a living testament to those enduring values, and it is our duty to ensure it remains for generations to come.”
America was set up by its founding fathers to serve God and it has received the abundant blessings of God. Moreover, it has received many warnings, as did Israel, as it has increasingly turned away from God. Jonathan Cahn documented those warnings in his book, The Harbinger. Cahn documents how in 2001, God took His hand of protection off of American and allowed the terrorist (Assyrians) strike of 9/11, since then catastrophes have intensified, just as God struck Israel, and unless America repents of its horrific sins such as killing its babies, now gay marriage and transgender madness, it may suffer the same fate of Israel, utter devastation (70AD).
I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE TRAGIC THAN LIVING LIFE WITH A FALSE SENSE OF REALITY.
I am certain God exists because I have the Holy Spirit resident in my spirit. The Holy Spirit came to be my counsellor, teacher and comforter when I repented of my godless lifestyle, recognised who Jesus is and what He had accomplished for me by dying on the Cross.
God has revealed in His Word why this world is as it is with pain, death and suffering. True history reveals that God is involved in this worlds events. The extent of man’s rebellion against God was revealed when God destroyed all of mankind except one family that He preserved on a massive boat. The fossil record – dead things buried all over the world including fossil fuels demonstrates the truth of God’s judgement with a world wide flood.
Next God established the nations and caused them to disseminate throughout the world when He created new languages for each people group at Babel. There is no other sensible explanation for the languages or existence of tribes and nations.
God then established Israel as His nation to show the world His rules for fallen mankind living on His planet. At the outset, Israel knew that God would bless them if they obeyed but would judge them if they disobeyed (blessings and curses). God gave them His calendar with appointed Feast Days and the design for a Temple where sacrifices were to be offered as an atonement for sin. These sacrifices were but a foreshadow of God’s son, Jesus, ultimate sacrifice to provide a way for mankind to come back into a relationship with our heavenly Father.
JESUS entered history at the appointed time to establish His church and to divide history into BC and AD.
Israel has clearly demonstrated mankind’s inability to live according to God’s Laws and of course God knew that beforehand. Moses prophesied this would be the case prior to Israel even going into the Promised Land. He said they would be scattered throughout the nations and that only prior to Jesus return to this earth would Israel be regathered and reestablished as a nation ready for Jesus to rule and reign with a rod of iron for 1000 years. Israel’s very existence is proof God exists.
Ultimately, the belief that is true will be consistent with the real world and the one which is untrue will present a view of life that is not in harmony with reality. The paradigm that this world evolved from nothing by chance is a view of life that is not in harmony with reality. Nothing comes from nothing and this complex world where DNA (a word made up of many letters) is the building block of all living things reveals that God’s Word reveals the truth.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5
In this brief treatise on world history showing when God intervened to control the outcome, I have made no mention of God’s adversary Satan and his involvement to upset God’s plan for mankind. Satan deceives mankind. His ultimate aim is their destruction. However, he was created by God. He is a spiritual being in rebellion against God and is unable to do anything outside of God’s control. We need to understand that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and followed Satan’s lead they gave their sovereignty of this earth to him. If we do not repent and except God’s forgiveness through Jesus sacrifice on our behalf then we continue to be under the authority of Satan and will do evil continually.
What is your world view does it line up with reality?
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin wound up the last day of his trip to Australia on Wednesday with a meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Parliament House in Canberra.
Rivlin thanked Morrison for “Australia’s friendship and commitment to the State of Israel and to the Australian Jewish community,” stressing that relations with Australia were among “the cornerstones of Israeli diplomacy.”
Australia is adamant that the ICC has no jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes in Judea and Samaria, and Gaza, since it does not “recognise a so-called ‘State of Palestine’” and does not “recognise that there is such a State Party to the ICC’s Rome Statute,” an Australian Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated.
Morrison told Rivlin that “Australia is happy to stand with Israel in the international arena,” stressing the “important” relations between the states and its people.
It seems as if Scott Morrison understands that God’s covenant to bless those nations that bless Israel and to curse those nations that curse Israel is still operative and will be until Jesus returns and rules the nations from Jerusalem in the Millennium. Smart move Scott (Australia’s friendship and commitment to the State of Israel and to the Australian Jewish community), you will bring further blessing on this nation. We are extremely thankful to God for the recent rains to break the drought in NSW.
There is the scoreboard that cannot be contested, the disproportionately high number of Nobel Prizes Jews have won, and the incontrovertible fact that, despite their tiny numbers, Jews have risen to the top of just about every conceivable field of endeavour except those from which they were excluded. Jews have won more than 20 percent of all Nobel Prizes that have been awarded.
As New York Times columnist Bret Stephens noted, we inevitably are confronted with the following question: “How is it that a people who never amounted even to one-third of 1 percent of the world’s population contributed so seminally to so many of its most path breaking ideas and innovations?” God provides the answer.
God said, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
But as Stephens soon discovered, in today’s “woke” world in which any discussion about the achievements of any group, but especially the Jews, is forbidden, to even ask such a question is to call down upon oneself an avalanche of abuse.
Rather than calling out as racists those who recognise the reality of a certain genius that Jewish civilisation has produced, it is those who find this notion insufferable who should be asked what it is about the reality of Jewish success that makes them so angry.