Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Four Winds - The Gathering - By John M. - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/07/03/four-winds-gathering-john-m/
When you read Matthew 24:29-31 for the first time, you might agree with the post-tribulation rapture proponents. Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:29-31, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
In Mark 13:24-27 Jesus stated, "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."
The discourse in Matthew and Mark is the same.
Now, you have to ask yourself several questions. What is the purpose of the tribulation? Who is the audience Jesus is speaking to in Matthew 24 and Mark 13? Is this the same gathering the Apostle Paul wrote about in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and II Thessalonians 2:1? What are the four winds pertaining to?
Let's look at the first question. We know that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are an outline of Daniel's 70th week. In Jeremiah 30:7, it is called "the time of Jacob's trouble." If the first 69 weeks pertained to the nation of Israel, the last week of years will pertain to Israel.
Daniel 12:1 states, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
Jesus referred to this verse in Matthew 24:21, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
God will not just be dealing with individual Jews at this time. He will be dealing with them as a nation.
Hosea 5:15 states, "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early."
When Jesus ascended to Heaven in Acts chapter 1, the preaching of the Gospel gradually was transferred to a mostly Gentile Church. It has been almost 2,000 years since Jesus ascended to the third Heaven.
Jesus stated in Matthew 23:37-39, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate (Destruction of Temple in 70AD). For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Jesus clearly said in verse 39 that He will not return until they say "blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." This will be at the height of their affliction during the great tribulation. When the anti-Christ desecrates the temple in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the tribulation, the elect or born-again Jews and Gentiles in Judea are commanded by Jesus to flee. The "man of sin" will become the "man of lawlessness." He will cause the temple offerings to cease. He will make war on the saints of God.
I have already answered the second question above. The audience in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are mainly elect Jews living in Israel at that time of the end. The woman in Revelation 12 is clearly Israel. The people that are protected by the nations in Revelation 12 are the elect Jews that were commanded to flee in Matthew 24:16-18. I believe some Gentiles will be part of this Exodus like at the time of Moses.
How will these Jews get saved? By the preaching of the 144,000 Israelites in Revelation Chapters 7 and 14. They will preach the Gospel of the kingdom to the whole world, starting in Israel. This was the pattern during the time of Jesus and the Apostles. They went to the Jews first, then to the Gentiles. Also, you have the two Jewish witnesses in Revelation 11 who will be prophesying in Jerusalem for 42 months. The gifts of the spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12 will be in full operation. The two witnesses will be anointed with great power.
Revelation 11:5-6 states, "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."
Let's look at question three. Is the gathering in Matthew 24 the same gathering the Apostle Paul wrote about in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and II Thessalonians 2:1-4?
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 states, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
II Thessalonians 2:1-4 states, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
This question will be answered later in the article.
What are the four winds pertaining to? The four winds pertain to the four corners of the earth, not the third heaven. When I entered four winds or four corners into a Bible search box, I was astonished to find that many of the scriptures that speak to the four winds or four corners pertained to the gathering of the Jews in the latter days. Here are some:
Ezekiel 37:9-14 states, "Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
"Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD."
May 14, 1948 was the beginning of this fulfillment.
Next, Isaiah 11:11-16 states, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
"The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."
Finally, Deuteronomy 30:1-5 and Isaiah 27:12 are the icing on the cake.
Deuteronomy 30:1-5 states, "And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
"If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."
Isaiah 27:12-13 states, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem."
Please notice the great trumpet. The great trumpet in Matthew 24 and Isaiah 27 initiates the same event.
As stated above, the 144,000 Jews selected by the Lord will preach the Gospel of the kingdom to the whole world during the tribulation.
Revelation 7:1-4 states, "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Please notice again the four corners, four winds of the earth. Also, how the four corners, four winds pertain to Israel.
Based on the scriptures above, the gathering in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 clearly refers to the gathering of the born-again Jews from the four winds or four corners of the earth. This is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic land and spiritual covenants. The Jews that lived in the northern kingdom [Israel] were dispersed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. Some did migrate to Judah, but most were scattered throughout the Assyrian empire.
In 586 BC and 70AD, the first and second Jewish temples were destroyed. In 70AD, the Romans destroyed the second temple. Jesus prophesied the destruction of the second temple buildings in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. There was one more attempt to take back Jerusalem in 135AD, but that attempt failed. The Jews that were in Israel were scattered throughout the nations until May 14, 1948.
The rapture of the Church takes place in Revelation 4:1. Jesus wrote the following promise to the Church of Philadelphia. Jesus prophesied in Revelation 3:10-11, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."
The overcoming Church is exempt from the "hour of temptation." The overcoming Church will be gathered prior to Daniel's 70th week, and then the man of sin will be revealed in Revelation 6:2 and II Thessalonians 2:3, 8.
The Church indwelt by the Holy Spirit is the restraining force that is currently stopping the anti-Christ from being revealed. Jesus said He will come "quickly" for the Church.
I Corinthians 15:51-53 states, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
The twinkling of an eye is less than a second. Now, that is quick.
Jesus made unbelieving Israel the following promise during His first coming:
Jesus states in John 5:43, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
The "son of perdition" will confirm an existing covenant with Israel and other nations for 7 years (Daniel 9:27).
The Jews will listen to this man for the first 42 months because of promised peace. But, there will be such great affliction after the "abomination of desolation" that Israel as a nation will finally accept Jesus as their Messiah. It will be at a great cost.
Zechariah 13:8-9 states, "And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God."
The angels in Matthew 24:31 may be the 144,000 Israelites from the 12 tribes, or heavenly angels that appear to every born-again Jew throughout the world. This will occur "immediately" after the tribulation. The bottom line is that the gathering in Matthew 24 and II Thessalonians 2 are two different harvests. Jesus made promises to the Church and to Israel. Israel, or the natural branch, will be grafted back into their olive tree. Why? "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29). This land belongs to God and the Jews.
This is a warning to you in the Church that are teaching replacement theology. God made promises to Abraham that will come to pass. Israel's borders will be enlarged to the specifications promised to Abraham. The natural and wild olive branches will finally be grafted into the same tree as one new man in Christ Jesus. Jesus will rule and reign on David's throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years (Luke 1:32; Revelation 20:2-7).
The last enemy that will be destroyed by our Lord will be death. After the reign of Christ for 1,000 years, the final judgment will take place. This is called the second death. A new heaven and new earth will be created. The New Jerusalem will come to earth. Day eight will commence, and the Lord's kingdom will never, ever end. Amen.
Israel Pounds Iranian Targets In Syria - Will Iran Get The Message? - By Yaakov Lappin -
The airstrikes that hit multiple targets across Syria early on Monday were extensive and too widespread for the Bashar Assad regime to be able to deny. The overall message behind them appears to be aimed at telling Iran that it should give up on attempts to turn Syria into a war machine against Israel.
The details coming out of Syria appear to suggest that a major wave of strikes targeted Iranian and Hezbollah weapons development, storage and transfer facilities, at least some of which were embedded in Syrian military bases.
Syrian state media said the Israeli Air Force hit targets around Damascus, Homs in western Syria and on the Syrian-Lebanese border on Monday morning, adding that 16 people were killed (15 were noted in original news reports).
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israeli jets and naval missile ships pounded targets belonging to the Assad regime, Iranian militias and Hezbollah.
One of the targets reportedly included the notorious Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), a major complex that develops biological, chemical and missile-weapons technology. Israeli satellite company ISI published images on Monday showing that a hangar at the SSRC--thought to contain advanced weapons, and which was linked to Iran and Hezbollah--was obliterated.
The strikes indicate that Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, were involved in a major new weapons' development or smuggling project, possibly aimed at giving Hezbollah new precision missile capabilities with which it can target strategic Israeli sites.
'Lebanon is turning into an Iranian attack site'
Speaking hours after the attack at the Herzliya Conference, Mossad director Yossi Cohen seemed to provide valuable context to the shadow war raging between Israel and Iran.
"I believe that Iran will reach the conclusion that it is just not worth it," said Cohen, relaying Israel's long-term goal in Syria.
In addition, he said, the Mossad has seen Iran and Hezbollah shift their activities in Syria northwards, setting up bases further away from Damascus and away from the Israeli border. This comment matches previous reports that said Iran is increasingly relying on more distant sites, like the T4 airbase in the central Syrian desert, for smuggling in and developing weapons.
"They mistakenly think it will be harder to reach," Cohen warned, issuing an explicit Israeli threat. Iran is also creating weapons bases in neighboring Iraq and in Lebanon, he said.
In Lebanon, Iran is moving "huge quantities of weapons" into Hezbollah bases, and pursuing a "widespread program" that seeks to convert unguided projectiles into accurate missiles, said Cohen. "Lebanon is turning into an Iranian attack site. During a war, Lebanon could be damaged by Israeli defensive measures. It is important for the Lebanese government to stop Iran from building offensive weapons in Lebanon."
The Mossad plays a key role in the Israeli campaign to contain and thwart its aggressive activities. Cohen's comments provide a small glimpse into a much wider confrontation. The comments also carry clear warnings to the Islamic Republic and to Lebanon over the dangers of their actions, and Israel's firm determination to stop them.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, former security advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Israel Project on Monday that the latest events are a reminder of Israel's decision to prevent "the Iranians from building an independent war machine in Syria," whatever effort is needed to accomplish that.
Referring to the trilateral meeting held in Jerusalem last week, which saw national security advisors from Russia, the United States and Israel meet to discuss Iran's role in Russia, Amidror said the fact that "we had important meetings in Jerusalem should not prevent us from the important efforts to contain the Iranians."
Ultimately, Israel must remain "very determined not to let the Iranians build what they have in mind in Syria," argued Amidror. "We won't let the Iranians bring weapons systems, and transfer technology and know-how to Hezbollah. Whatever is the place [that was hit], it was probably connected to one of these efforts by the Iranians," he assessed.
'Israel is a player in the Syrian balance of power'
During a conference call with journalists, organized by Media Central, a media liaison center based in Jerusalem, Col. (res.) Eran Lerman, a former senior Israeli intelligence official, discussed the significance of that trilateral conference last week.
"Israel is a player in the Syrian balance of power," he said. "The Russian leadership has a very healthy respect, based on experience and knowledge, for Israeli military capabilities ... this is why this conversation takes place here," he said.
Lerman, vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said that Israel's realistic hopes from the conference is to get "a very clear delimitation and a capping of Iranian penetration [of Syria]. Gradually getting rid of the Shi'ite militias that the Iranians have been bringing in. And a very clear limit on how much the Iranians can use Syrian territory."
Iran has been seeking to use Syria, both to destabilize Jordan and launch attacks on Israel, said Lerman.
Israel would hope to see a clear signal from Moscow, he added, according to which, if Assad wishes to have Moscow comfortably at his side during the very difficult period of rebuilding Syria, "he needs to be much more proactive in not letting the Iranians run the country."
The question of whether Tehran will continue to use Syria to attack Israel, threaten Jordan and consolidate its hold on Lebanon--or whether it will be marginalized, and Russia becomes the key player in stabilizing Syria--lay at the heart of the summit, stated Lerman.
In the meantime, the latest strikes indicate that Iran and Hezbollah have not evacuated the Damascus area and have paid a significant price as a result.
With Iran's regime under considerable economic pressure at home due to U.S. sanctions, the Islamic Republic's "long reach" in Syria is also under severe Israeli pressure.
Iran's plans to surround Israel with terrorist armies doesn't stop with Syria. During his speech, Cohen of the Mossad revealed that Tehran paid more than $100 million for the military build-up of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip over the past two years.
While Israel is prepared to deal with threats from Gaza, its top focus appears to be Iran's ongoing attempt to take advantage of its role in the Syrian war to consolidate its power. As Syria--bloodied and battered after eight years of fighting--edges back towards becoming a state again, Iran must have no military or terrorist presence in it, Israel is clearly saying.
It remains to be seen whether Iran will heed the message.
Nearing Midnight: The Bread and Circuses Phase of the American Empire - Todd Strandberg -
The decline and fall of the Roman Empire has been well documented by many observers of history. Will Luden in "Bread and Circuses for the Masses - Not Just Ancient Rome" describes the Roman government policy as "Emperors, in the later stages of the Empire, used both free bread (and other food) and free entertainment to placate the larger number of people who were otherwise poorly served by their government."
The Oxford Reference provides the following definition:
"A term referring to the potential of spectator sports and mass spectacle to divert populations or factions of a population away from the weightier business of politics and society."
The Democrats are currently in a bidding war over who can offer the American people the most goodies in exchange for their vote. It is bread and circuses on a scale that would stump the imagination of the Roman leaders.
Last week, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders presented a plan that would wipe $1.6 trillion in student debt, and offer Fund-Free State College. The massive student-debt jubilee would be financed with a tax on Wall Street: specifically, a 0.5% tax on stock trades, a 0.1% tax on bond trades and a .005% tax on derivatives trades.
The primary problem with this plan is that it would cause the cost of higher education to explode. If Uncle Sam is going to pick up the check, you might as well go to medical school. Colleges would be able to raise the cost of education at will. The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676 at private colleges. Under Bernie's plan, the cost would easily double in a few years.
Most Democratic presidential candidates support a growing plan to offer reparations for slavery. If we lived in a world of unlimited wealth, there is no amount of money that could satisfy these race hustlers. The price of freedom was paid with the lives of 500,000 people. The H.R. 40 bill would, according to its summary heading, "establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and a proposal for reparations" for the descendants of African American slaves.
A House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing two weeks ago on the issue of slavery reparations. The Sponsors of this bill seem to think that we are living in 1865. Columnist Coleman Hughes offered stunning testimony against reparations:
"I understand that reparations are about what people are owed, regardless of how well they're doing. But the people who were owed for slavery are no longer here, and we're not entitled to collect on their debts. Reparations, by definition, are only given to victims. So the moment you give me reparations, you've made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that: you've made one-third of black Americans - who consistently poll against reparations - into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner.
"The question is not what America owes me by virtue of my ancestry; the question is what all Americans owe each other by virtue of being citizens of the same nation. And the obligation of citizenship is not transactional. It's not contingent on ancestry, it never expires, and it can't be paid off. For all these reasons, bill H.R. 40 is a moral and political mistake. Thank you."
Presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren jumped on the reparations bandwagon with her own crazy idea. She came out in favor of legislation that has been equated to "gay reparations." Under the Refund Equality Act, same-sex couples would be able to amend their past taxes, readjusting with jointly-filed tax returns and accepting refunds from the IRS. "Our government owes them more than $50M for the years our discriminatory tax code left them out. We must right these wrongs," said Warren.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has the most straightforward plan. He just wants to hand out cash to everyone who needs it. Yang promotes universal basic income - a modern welfare scheme through which citizens are granted income from the government, without condition. Yang is hosting a Twitter contest whereby he will give away $1,000 per month to 20 lucky people.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is too young to run for the White House, but she holds the record for the most expensive proposal. Her patently insane Green New Deal resolution would cost up to $93 trillion over 10 years, according to the American Action Forum. AOC was all for Sanders' $1.6 trillion plan. She is currently on track to be our first quadrillion-dollar congressperson.
It is stunning to hear Democrats proposing plans that would bankrupt our nation. I think their insanity is merely a precursor of a coming salesman that will put them all to shame. The Antichrist will be the king of Bread and Circuses ideas. He will use signs and wonders to sell people schemes that will ensure eternal damnation.
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie" (2 Thes 2:9 NIV).
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Rev 14:11 KJV).
Recently Discovered Ancient Factory for Blue Dye Techelet: "Fulfillment of Prophecy in Zechariah" - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
Thus said the lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold-they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you." Zechariah 8:23 (The Israel Bible™)
Shards of Phoenician pottery recovered fifty years ago from the archeological dig in Tel Shikmona located south of Haifa have finally been studied and revealed an amazing story. The Iron Age settlement dates back to the 11th to 6th centuries BCE century BCE and despite its existence on the coast being well documented, the purpose of the original site has puzzled researchers. It is located in a rocky section of the shoreline, inaccessible to boats and the area is not suited for agriculture. For this reason, a recent discovery study by Prof. Ayelet Gilboa and Ph.D. candidate Golan Shalvi of the University of Haifa may have been the key to finally explaining this mystery.
The researchers focused on analyzing remnants of blue and purple dye left on almost 30 sherds, the largest amount ever found in a single archeological site, which allowed them to determine that the dye was produced from Murex snails. The site also contained tools for manufacturing and working with textiles such as loom weights and spindle whorls.
"What we found seems to be a factory for producing dye from the murex snail," Shalvi told Breaking Israel News. "The rocky reefs adjacent to Tel Shikmona were the ideal habitat for the snails."
"In general, researchers use the term Argamon to refer to all of the dyes produced from snails," Shalvi said. Argaman and Techelet are mentioned in the Bible to refer to a dye used for decorating items in the Temple. "There is a debate over the source of Techelet, but most researchers now think that it is a blue color also produced from the murex snails, similar to purple."
Techelet is a blue dye highly prized by ancient Mediterranean civilizations and mentioned 49 times in the Hebrew Bible. It was used in the clothing of the High Priest, the tapestries in the Tabernacle, and in tzitzit (ritual fringes worn by Jewish men). The practice of dying one thread in the tzitzit was discontinued after the destruction of the Temple and the knowledge of how to produce the dye was lost however according to some opinions, the dye was made from the murex snail.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, the head of Israel365, believes this recent archaeological discovery has powerful implications for the Redemption.
"For centuries, many things, like Techelet, have been hidden from us," Rabbi Weisz said. We are currently witnessing them being revealed in vivid full-color and 3-D. Only in recent years was the Murex discovered. This weeks discovery is even more evidence of Biblical truth.
"The meaning of the prophecy in Zechariah was hidden, actually indecipherable," Rabbi Weisz said, citing the verse.
Thus said the lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold-they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you." Zechariah 8:23
"As the lost secrets of the tzitzit are revealed, so is the deeper meaning of this verse referring to the fringes of our garments," Rabbi Weisz said. "The nations are actually doing this. That is why we created The Israel Bible. That is the purpose of Breaking Israel News. This discovery portends a greater fulfilling of this prophecy."
Though the researchers could not make a definitive connection between the Techelet factory at Tel Shikomona, they allowed that such a connection was quite possible.
"In our research, we use the term Argaman to refer to all of the dyes made from snails," Shalvi said. Argaman is a term used in the Bible to refer to a dye used for creating items in the Temple. "It is possible to produce dyes of a similar shade from plants but chemical analysis proved that this dye was made from snails. This was higher quality, lasted much longer and was much more expensive."
The site began to operate as a textile factory in the Late Bronze Age in the 11th century BCE and continued to operate until the 6th century BCE. This meant it was in operation throughout the period of the Judges and even into the period of the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel.
To date, this is the only production site discovered from biblical times that was solely intended for the production of the Argaman dye. "No other center for the production of purple has been found in Iron Age Phoenicia," Shalvi said. "We know that there were production sites in Tyre and Sidon and other sites in Lebanon, and thousands of Murex shells have been found there, but it is impossible to date them and there is still no evidence of the production installations themselves and no direct evidence of the dye. Our identification of the character and function of Shikmona shows that it was certainly an important center for purple-dyed textiles. Rather than being considered a region of secondary importance in this period, the Carmel Coast can now gain its rightful place as one of the most important production areas of the dye in ancient times in general, and during the biblical period in particular."
The pottery and other finds at the site link it to the ancient Phoenician culture and it was probably operated by Phoenicians. From there the dye was exported to various regions in the Mediterranean and may have been was of Phoenician origin but Shalvi notes that it may still have been the source of dye for the Temple. For most of the Iron Age, there were tight commercial contacts between the Phoenicians and the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Purple-dyed textiles and garments were undoubtedly one of the more important exchanged commodities.
"I cannot determine definitively that this was or was not the source for Techelet and Argaman for the Temple, but even if it was a Phoenician site this does not exclude this possibility," Shalvi said. "After all, according to the Bible, the Phoenicians (Hiram, king of Tire) were partners in building the Temple."
The Shikmona project is conducted under the auspices of the Zinman Institute of Archeology at the University of Haifa, with the support of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Maritime Museum in Haifa. Recently excavations at the site were renewed by Drs. Michael Eisenberg and Shai Bar from the Zinman Institute. Some of the findings are permanently displayed in the National Maritime Museum in Haifa.
Some of the purple dye sherds have already been analyzed in the past by Nira Karmon and Prof. Ehud Spanier from the University of Haifa. Currently, a new chemical examination of dozens of such vats is being undertaken by Dr. Naama Sukenik, curator of organic materials in the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with a team of researchers from Bar Ilan University - Dr. David Ilouz, Dr. Alexander Vervack, and Prof. Zohar Amar.
Daily Jot: Remembering the American Revolution - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
As we approach the day of our Independence from Britain, it may be helpful to be reminded of the sufferance of the Founding Fathers and what was going through their minds as they decided to take on the most powerful political and military force on the planet. They said, "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." What happens when that "Prince" collectively becomes the government and the news media working to usurp and awe the will of the people? What happens when people are so confused about our history and our Constitution that they cannot act even to save themselves? Great introspect is needed. Let us remember.
The Declaration of Independence is a masterful document that served as the true "preamble" to our Constitution. It begins by saying: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
"--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government." The signatures of 56 men were written on the Declaration after this sentence: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
In other words, they risked everything. They counted the cost. They understood the will of God. They acted. This Independence Day, please take time to remind yourself and others about the sufferance of those who made such a pledge on their Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor. Please contemplate our national condition. Please seek God. For as Peter and the disciples said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men." And recall the words of James 1:25, "But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." The body without spirit is dead, faith without works is also dead. Please consider your destiny.
Daily Devotion: A Reason to Rejoice - by Greg Laurie -
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. - Habakkuk 3:17-18
It's been said that worry is the advanced interest we pay on troubles that seldom come. We try to justify worry, of course: "It's okay for me to worry because I'm in a difficult situation." In many ways, we all are-some more than others. But maybe we all just need to lighten up a little when we can. You might think, "Easy for you to say."
I want you to consider the following words of the apostle Paul, who was writing under adverse circumstances. Paul was under house arrest. There was the possibility that he might be acquitted, or he might be beheaded. He didn't know what his future held. Yet he gave us some of the most inspiring words found in the pages of Scripture: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:4-6).
I love these verses. Paul wasn't sitting in some ivory tower, spinning up practical theories. He was not lounging on some beach in the Mediterranean, eating a falafel and having an iced tea. This was a man who was incarcerated, yet he was able to say, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
By the way, that is a command from God Himself. To put it another way, to not rejoice is disobedience to God. Anyone can rejoice when things are going reasonably well. But when we're facing adversity or sickness or hardship or death and then we rejoice, we are obeying God.
God is on His throne. He loves you and is watching out for you. So rejoice in the Lord.
FROM THE HEART
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