We have returned to the Temple Mount: A survey of Jewish Presence on the Jerusalem Temple Mount from the Destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) until the Six Day War (1967)

Click on the link to go to his website: http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4412&q=1

By Prof. F. M. LOEWENBERG. Sun Jun 12 2011

F. M. LOEWENBERG is a professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan-University in Israel. He was born in Germany and now lives, together with his wife, in Efrat, a town 22 kilometers south of Jerusalem. At the age of 12 he immigrated together with his parents and brothers to the United States. He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B.), Columbia University (M.S.), and Wayne State University (Ph.D.). He immigrated to Israel in 1971 and became a professor of social work at Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of many books and articles in professional journals.

Early in the morning of June 7, 1967 Israeli paratroopers entered Jerusalem's Old City through the Lion's Gate, the easternmost entrance to the city, and made their way to the Temple Mount. General Motta Gur (1930 - 1995), the commanding general of the paratrooper brigade was not far behind the lead tank. When he reached the Temple Mount he radioed to the General Command: “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” Later in the day he said to his troops, "For some two thousand years the Temple Mount was forbidden to the Jews. Until you came... and returned it to the bosom of the nation."

What is the Temple Mount? Why is it important? What connection, if any, do Jews have with it? And was the Temple Mount really forbidden to Jews for two thousand years?

Ancient Jewish traditions suggest that all of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) prayed on Mount Moriah, the mountain that today is known as the Temple Mount.i Both the First and the Second Temple, the most sacred places of Jewish worship, were located on Mount Moriah. During the Second Temple period the Jews were in control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, but politically and economically were the subjects of various foreign empires. A rebellion against the oppressive Roman rule in Palestine broke out in 67 CE. Three years later the Roman armies, commanded by Titus Flavius Vespasianus, conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple.

It is widely believed that the Jews abandoned the Temple Mount after the destruction of the Second Temple. Though they continued to pray and hope for a return to this holiest place, they lost direct contact with the Temple Mount once they went into exile. The evidence we will present does not support this myth. There were, of course, times during the almost twenty centuries since the destruction of the Second Temple when Jews were not able to ascend the Temple Mount because foreign rulers prevented them from doing so. But whenever permitted, Jews did go up to the Temple Mount in order to pray there.

We will briefly review the highlights of the continued Jewish presence on the Temple Mount during the past two millennia.

Roman rule (70-300). The Jews of the Roman province of Palestine made their last stand against Roman armies on the summit of the Dead Sea fortress of Masada three years after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. But once the rebellion had been put down, Jews were again permitted to visit Mount Moriah, the site where the Temple had stood only a few years earlier. This "liberal" policy may seem strange to contemporary observers but the Romans, who were idol worshippers, did not object to the continued worship of local gods. Once the rebellion had been suppressed there was no longer any impediment to the resumption of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. And Jews did ascend, as we know from numerous Talmudic accounts.ii

Some Jews continued to offer sacrifices on the Temple Mount on an altar that had survived the destructive fire. There are scholars who suggest that the sacrificial services continued almost without interruption for 65 years following the Temple's destructions, while others suggest that the sacrificial services were resumed only during the three years (132-135) that Bar Kochba's forces controlled Jerusalem.iii

Not only did the Jews continue to offer sacrifices and prayer on the mount, but at least once in the half-century following the Temple destruction did they begin to build a new edifice for the Third Temple. Emperor Hadrian (76 - 138), eager to gain the cooperation of the Jews, granted them permission to rebuild their temple. The Jews started to make the necessary preparations, but before long Hadrian, at the instigation of the Samaritans, went back on his word and the project stopped.iv

When, decades later, Hadrian had put down the Bar Kochba rebellion, he ordered the Temple Mount be ploughed under and the altar that had survived from the Second Temple to be completely destroyed. He also prohibited Jews from ascending on the Temple Mount. Despite Hadrian's decrees and the destruction of whatever had survived from the Second Temple, there is ample evidence that pilgrimages to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount continued long after 135 CE when Beitar, the last Jewish fortress town of the Bar Kochba rebellion, fell. Hadrian's decree prohibiting Jews on the Temple Mount was reissued in every generation, indicating that it was not rigorously enforced.

Byzantine Empire (300-618). A decisive turning point in the history of Western civilization occurred in the fourth century when the pagan Roman Empire became a Christian country. Jerusalem which had become a relatively insignificant provincial city now became the focus of Christian pilgrimages and worship. A new church was built on the site of Hadrian's Aphrodite Temple. This church became the central religious site for the Christian city and replaced the Temple Mount. Not one Christian building was built on the Temple Mount until the Crusaders conquered the city eight centuries later; instead the mountain served for centuries as the city's garbage dump.

The political and religious changes made life for the Jews of the Roman empire much more difficult. Emperor Constantine renewed the edict that prohibited Jews from living in or even visiting Christian Jerusalem. They were allowed access to the Temple Mount only one day a year on the anniversary of the day when the Second Temple was destroyed. When the Christian Pilgrim from Bordeaux came to the Holy Land in 333, he described in some detail the desolate Temple Mount and made note of a "perforated stone" which the Jews rub with oil once a year on Tisha b'Av. While standing in front of this stone he heard the Jews recite Lamentations and saw that they tore their clothes as a sign of mourning.v

Despite the official proclamation of Christianity, idol worship was still prevalent throughout the empire. Things seemed to change when Constantine's nephew Julian became emperor in 361. As a child Julian was a Christian, but later he rejected this religion and felt a deep revulsion toward it. He believed that making Rome Christian had been a political mistake and epitomized a sickness in the body politic. Among his first acts after becoming emperor was an edict of universal religious toleration that extended freedom and equal rights to the members of all sects and beliefs - pagans, Jews and Christians. Later he promised that he would do his utmost to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem because he felt strongly that its restoration would demonstrate the falsity of the Christian claim that the Church was the true Israel.

Diaspora Jews greeted Julian's plan to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple with great enthusiasm, but the Sages were apprehensive, questioning the wisdom of placing their hopes on a man who was here today and gone tomorrow. Julian was upset by the hesitation of the Sages to join his plan and appointed Alypius, his best friend, to supervise the Temple rebuilding project. The imperial treasury supplied large sums of money and building materials. Many Jews came to Jerusalem to assist the skilled craftsmen and masons in the first step which was the removal of the existing foundations. However, the Christian residents of the city opposed the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple and gathered in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to pray for the termination of the project. All work was halted abruptly when mysterious fire balls killed many of the construction workers. Jerusalem's Christians saw in this unexpected turn of events a great miracle, but Jews suspected Christian arson. Others suggested that a major earthquake in May of 363 caused the cessation of construction of the new Temple.vi

By the latter part of the fourth century the Temple Mount had disappeared from the landscape of Christian Jerusalem. The attempt to erase the Temple Mount from the Christian world was so successful that the mosaic world map of Medaba which depicts Jerusalem in great detail omits the Temple Mount altogether. Jews, on the other hand, never forgot the Temple Mount, even though no ruin of the actual Temple building remained. Wherever Jews lived, they face Jerusalem three times every day to pray for the restoration of the Temple and the renewal of the sacrificial service. More than that - there are indications that Jews actually did go up and pray on the Temple Mount at this time. The Babylonian Talmud cites instructions issued by a late fourth century sage, Rabbi Bibi, that those who go up on the Temple Mount: are not allowed to spit, to carry a walking stick, to wear leather shoes, to carry a coin purse, or to use the Temple Mount as a short cut -- because all of these behaviors degrade the holiness of the place.vii

When Empress Eudocia went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 438 she was greeted in every city on the way by the Jewish population, who viewed her as a messenger of the Redemption which they believed to be at hand. In the Galilee she met with the leading rabbis of the region. They asked her for permission to ascend the Temple Mount once again, something that Jews had been forbidden to do for a very long time (except on Tisha B'av). She immediately agreed with the rabbis and issued a proclamation to this effect. Great excitement gripped the Jews of the area who saw in this edict another sign of the proximity of the Final Redemption. The rabbis sent letters to Jewish communities throughout the world, informing them of the good news and asking them to come on pilgrimage to Jerusalem on the coming Sukkot festival.

More than one hundred thousand Jews came to Jerusalem on that Sukkot festival, according to contemporary Christian sources. There was, however, great enthusiasm because once again Jews were permitted to ascend the Temple Mount. Jerusalem's Christians, however, feared that these developments threatened their primacy in the city. Led by the priest monk Barsauma, thousands of Christians from throughout the country assembled in Jerusalem in order to stop the Jews from going up to the Temple Mount. They physically blocked access to the mountain and threw heavy stones on those Jews who nevertheless tried to go up, reportedly killing four Jewish pilgrims. In a subsequent trial the judge ruled that the accused Christians were innocent of murder since the stones "came from Heaven." The Jews were chased out of the city and did not return for almost two centuries.viii

For 180 years, until the Persian conquest in 618, Jerusalem officially was a city without Jews. But there are grounds to believe that throughout this period Jews continued to go up on the mountain surreptitiously. One supporting clue is a halakhic ordinance included in the sixth century Midrash Shir Hashirim Rabba which instructs Jews on the direction they are to face when praying: "...those praying in Jerusalem should face the Temple site... and those who pray on the Temple Mount should turn to the Holy of Holies."ix

Persian interlude (619-628). King Khosru II of Persia (591-628) invaded Palestine in the second decade of the seventh century in his attempt to re-establish the ancient Achaemenid Empire. The King had agreed with the Reish Galuta, the head of Babylonian Jewry, that in return for supplying 30,000 Jewish soldiers to the Persian army, these soldiers would be given permission to participate in the capture of Jerusalem and a Jewish governor would be appointed to rule over the city. Once the Persians had captured the city, Nehemiah, son of Hushiel, was appointed as governor. One of his first acts was to reestablish the sacrificial service on the Temple Mount. Before long, however, the Persians executed him, either because they feared his messianic pretensions or because they thought that the support of the larger Christian population was more valuable than that of the smaller number of Jews living in Palestine. In any event, the s lost control of Jerusalem after only ten years. The Byzantines regained authority over Syria, Egypt and Palestine in 629 and remained the country's rulers for another ten years.x

Early Muslim rule (638-1099). Jerusalem was conquered by the Muslims in May 637. Upon entering Jerusalem on a white camel, Caliph Omar rode straight to the Temple Mount, thus indicating that the Muslims intended to establish their rule over this site. A Jewish letter written in the 11th century describes what happened next. The Jews who accompanied the Arab invaders showed Omar the exact spot where the Temple once stood. In return they received a number of concessions, including the right to reside in Jerusalem, the assignment to keep the Temple Mount clean, and, perhaps most important, permission to pray on the Temple Mount without interference.xi

Jews worked as servants and cleaners of the mosques that were erected on Temple Mount. As many as twenty Jews were employed to clean the mosques. Other Jews were engaged to manufacture and attach the glass and the candelabras and other things. They also supplied wicks. The medieval Arab historian Mujir al-Din al-Ulaymi (1456-1522) described the role that the Jews played on the Temple Mount in the early Muslim period; he suspected that the Jews took these jobs only to gain a foothold on the Temple Mount so that they could offer their prayers at the place where their Temple once had stood.

It has been suggested that at his time Jews received permission to build a synagogue or prayer-and-study hall on the Temple Mount. Some even indicate that the first wooden structure that had been built over the Foundation Stone was originally meant to be a synagogue, but before it was completed the Muslims expropriated the building and gave the Jews another site on the Mount.

Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1187). In 1095 Pope Urban II called on all Christians to rescue Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the grip of the infidels. His appeal was answered by masses of people who on their way to the Holy Land massacred entire Jewish communities in the Rhineland and the Balkans. The religious tolerance practiced by the Muslims was replaced by intolerance and vicious assaults on all those whose religion was different. Within hours of breaching the walls of Jerusalem the victorious Crusaders had murdered almost all of the city's Jewish and Moslem inhabitants.

On the very day of the mass slaughter of non-Christians in the city of Jerusalem, the Crusaders also captured the Temple Mount and there gave thanks to the Almighty for this great miracle. They converted the Dome of the Rock into a church and called it the Temple of God (Templum Domini). Al-Aqsa Mosque became a church, called the Temple of Solomon (Templum Solomnis). The Mount was declared off-limits for all non-Christians as it became the center of religious and civil life in Crusader Jerusalem. The synagogue on the Temple Mount was destroyed by the Crusaders soon after they captured the city.xii

Nevertheless Jews continued to ascend the Mount even during the Crusader years. The most prominent visitor during this period was Maimonides who visited Jerusalem in October 1165. On 21 October 1165 he "entered the Great and Holy House [and] prayed there." Many scholars suggest that he ascended the Temple Mount and prayed near the ruined synagogue or the ruins of the Second Temple.lxiii

The Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela who visited Jerusalem sometime between 1159 and 1172 also wrote that Jews continued to pray "in front of the Western Wall [of the Dome of the Rock], one of the [remaining] walls of what was once the Holy of Holies."xiv The Western Wall that Benjamin described was not the present Western Wall (which did not become a site for prayer until the 16th century) but the ruins of the western wall of the Temple building itself, on the Temple Mount.

Later Muslim and Mamluke Rulers (1187-1516). Saladin regained control of Jerusalem from the Crusader kingdom in October 1187, after he defeated the Crusader army in the battle of Karnei Hittin in the Lower Galilee. He permitted both Jews and Muslims to settle in the city and to worship on the Temple Mount. Even when the Temple Mount was reconsecrated as a Muslim sanctuary, the Muslim authorities acknowledged that the Jews had the right to erect a synagogue on it.xv

Rabbi Menachem Meiri (1249 - 1316), the famous French Talmudic scholar, never visited Jerusalem but had no doubts that in his days Jews prayed on the Temple Mount. He writes, "We have heard that it is the accepted custom to enter [the Temple Mount]" xvi

On the other hand, Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro, the well-known Mishnah commentator who arrived in Jerusalem in 1488 wrote that in his days no Jews would go on the Temple Mount.xvii Yet a generation or two later, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi David ben Shlomo Ibn Zimra (1479-1573) wrote that the city's Jews regularly went up to the Temple Mount in order to view the entire Temple ruins and pray there. He added that "we have not heard or seen anyone object to this".xviii

Ottoman Empire (1516-1856). The Ottoman emperors became the preeminent power in the eastern Mediterranean once they had conquered Constantinople in 1453. But it was only in 1516 that Jerusalem became a part of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, Suleiman I the Magnificent (1520-1566), one of the most prominent monarchs of 16th century Europe, ordered the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem that had been in ruins almost three centuries. His positive attitude toward the Jews of Jerusalem persuaded many European Jews, especially those who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal a generation earlier, to settle in the Holy city. Fourteen years after he rebuilt the city walls Suleiman instructed his court architect to prepare the Western Wall of the Temple Mount as a place for Jewish prayer. He issued a firman that established for all times the right of Jews to pray at the Western Wall. This royal decree was said to have been issued to the Jews in compensation for their relinquishing their legal rights to pray on the Mount itself - which now became off-limits for all non-Muslims.xix

Outlawed visitors. For more than three hundred years everyone who was not a Muslim was forbidden to enter the Temple Mount. Armed guards kept non-Muslims away. Those who disobeyed and were caught on the mountain were executed, unless they were categorized as feeble-minded. But throughout these 300 years some Jews did visit the Temple Mount furtively - some to pray, some to observe, and some for other reasons. Most of these visitors left no record of their visit so that we do not know how many risked their lives. We only know from the Muslim court records of those few who were caught by the authorities.

For example, one morning in 1833 the Muslim guards opened the Temple Mount and discovered a young Jew who had spent the night there. "He had made great havoc among the costly lustres, lamps, lanterns, and the like - whatever, in fact, he was able to destroy. But it was speedily perceived that he lacked reason, and was not much less than downright crazy." The Muslims dragged him off the mountain, threw him into prison and beat him mercilessly all day long. They planned to burn him at the stake, but Mahmud Ali Pasha of Egypt, the ruler of the land, ruled against this punishment. He wrote that the guards who had been negligent deserved to receive a punishment. He ordered that the Jew be freed "because the Jew is also circumcised and is thus somewhat akin to a Muslim."xx

Nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One of the consequences of the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (1853-1856) was the opening of the Temple Mount to all visitors, no matter what their religion - a concession that the victorious British demanded. The Ottomans were required to pledge that the Temple Mount would be open daily to all non-Muslims (except on Fridays). However, until 1910 each visitor was required to obtain a special permission which was issued only after paying a large amount of money to the official who issued this document.

In response to this new policy the rabbis of Jerusalem once again issued a decree that prohibited Jews from going up to the Temple Mount. Any Jew who dared to ignore this rabbinical decree faced a fierce response from the Jewish community, including being put under the ban. Nevertheless, an increasing number of Jews ignored this ban and did go up - including many prominent visitors to the Holy Land, such as Sir Moses Montefiore, Dr. Ludwig August Frankel, and Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild, as well as many secular Jews from the "New Yishuv".xxi On the other hand, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the father of the Zionist political movement decided against such a visit in order to respect the feelings of the Jerusalem Jewish community

Just before the establishment of the State of Israel, General David Shaltiel (1903-1969), the Jerusalem sector commander of the Haganah, the Jewish underground forces, consulted with Rabbi Herzog, the chief rabbi of the Holy Land, what to do in the forthcoming war. The rabbi instructed the general that if his forces captured the Temple Mount, they should make every effort to expel all of the enemy forces - but once they had accomplished this, they should leave the Temple Mount as quickly as possible because of the holiness of the place. But Shaltiel never had a chance to follow this directive since in the 1948 War of Independence the Jordanian army occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City and all of its Christian and Jewish holy places. For nineteen years no Jew was allowed to approach the Western Wall or the Temple Mount. This absolute ban was strictly enforced, despite provisions in the Jordan-Israel Armistice Agreement that called for free access to all holy places.

Nineteen years after the Jordanian army captured Jerusalem's Old City, including the Temple Mount, Israeli paratroopers entered Jerusalem's Old City and made their way to the Temple Mount. That was when General Motta Gur, the commanding general, radioed his famous message: “The Temple Mount is (again) in our hands.” Later in the day he issued an order-of-the-day, praising his troops for returning the Temple Mount to the bosom of the nation. He ordered three paratroopers to climb to the top of the Dome of the Rock and unfurl an Israeli flag over it. Four hours later, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered that the flag be taken down immediately.


Avi-Yonah, Michael (1984). The Jews of Palestine: a political history from the Bar Kokhba war to the Arab conquest. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.

Baron, Salo Wittmayer (1952-1983). A Social and Religious History of the Jews. 2nd ed., revised and enlarged. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

Benjamin of Tudela (1960). The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela. Jerusalem. Hebrew University. Based on Adler's edition of 1907. [Hebrew]

Berkovicz, S. (1978). The Legal Status of the Holy Places in Israel (doctoral dissertation, Hebrew University). [Hebrew]

Dinor, B.Z. [Dinaburg]. (1929). "'A House of Prayer and Study' for Jews on the Temple Mount in the Period of the Arabs," Ziyon, 3. [Hebrew]

Elon, Menachem.(1993). Temple Mount Faithful - Amutah Et Al v. Attorney-General, Inspector-General of the Police, Mayor of Jerusalem, Minister of Education and Culture, Director of the Antiquities Division, Muslim WAQF - In the Supreme Court Sitting as the High Court of Justice [September 23, 1993]; English translation in 45, 3 (Spring 1996) Catholic University Law Review. Pp. 866-942.

Gaddis, Michael (2005). There is no Crime for Those who have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Empire. Berkeley CA.University of California Press.

Holum, Kenneth (1989), Theodosian Empresses. Berkeley: U. of Calif.Press

Levenson, David B. (2004)."The ancient and medieval sources for the Emperor Julian's attempt to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple". Journal for the Study of Judaism, 35, 4, 409-460.

Madden, Thomas (2005) The New Concise History of the Crusades, Rowman & Littlefield

Mann, J. (1920). The Jews in Egypt and in Palestine under the Fatimad Caliphate. Ithaca NY. Cornell University Library.

Offenbacher, E. (1985). Prayer on the Temple Mount. JerusalemQuarterly 36:129-140.

Panella, Robert. (1999), "The Emperor Julian and the God of the Jews," Koinonia, 23 15-31.

Russell, K.W. (1980), "The Earthquake of May 19, AD 363." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 238, 47-64.

Sagiv, Tuvya. (2003). "Ha-knissa l'Har Habayit - T'shuvat Haradbaz" [Entering the Temple Mount - the Decision of the Radbazö, pp. 46-81 in Kumo v'Na'aleh, ed. Yehuda Shaviv. Alon Shvut:Machon Tzomet.

Schwartz, Joseph. (1850). Geography of Palestine, (trans. I. Leeser). Philadelphia. [Original Hebrew:Tevuot HaAretz. 1845; ed. A.M.Lunz, 1900]

Shilat, Yitzhak (1986). "Building a synagogue on the Temple Mount in our days", Tehumin 7, pp.489-512. [Hebrew]

Shilat, Yizhak. (2003) "Building a synagogue on the Temple Mount in our days," Tehumin 7, pp.489-512. [Hebrew]

Stemberger, G. (2000). Jews and Christians in the Holy Land - Palestine in the Fourth Century. Edinburgh:Clark.

Ya'ari, Abraham (1943). Igarot Eretz Yisrael (Eretz Yizrael Letters). Tel Aviv. [Hebrew]

* The author may be contacted at pob1234@gmail.com

i Rashi's comment on TB Pessachim 88a

ii Among these are TB Makkot 24b, TB Shabbat 15a, TB Rosh Hashanah 31a, and many others.

iii M Eduyot 8.6, Rambam H. Bet Ha-bechira 6.15, Ha'emek Davar commentary on Leviticus 26.31

iv Genesis Rabba 64.10

v Avi-Yona (1984), p. 81, citing Itenarium burdigalensi, ed. Geyer, p. 21f. See also Elon (1993), pp. 890-892. Almost eighty years later Jerome described his commentary on Zephaniah 1.6 the mourning practices that the Jews observed on the Temple Mount on Tisha b'Av.

vi Avi-Yona (1984), pp. 196-200; Stemberger (2000), p.208; Panella (1999); Russell (1980); Levenson (2004).

vii TB Berakhot 62b

viii Gaddis (2005), p.246; Holum (1989), p. 217

ix Midrash Shir Hashirim Rabba 4

x Baron (1957), vol.3, p. 23

xi Mann (1920), vol.2., pp.188-89, Dinor (1929).

xii Madden (2005), p. 212; Baron (1957), vol. 4, p. 109.

xiii R. Elazar Ezkari. Sefer Haredim (Mitzvah 83); Shilat (1986), p. 492); Shilat (2003), p. 509-11.

xiv Benjamin (1960),pp. 20-24 (Hebrew).

xv Offenbacher (1985), p.134, citing Berkovicz (1978).

xvi Beit Ha-b'chira on TB Shavuot 16a

xvii Ya'ari (1943), pp. 98-103

xviii Responsa of the Radbaz, v.2, no. 691. See Sagiv (2003) for the full text and a critical analysis of this response.

xix This firman was still in effect in the nineteenth century. One observer noted, " No one is molested... by the Mahomedans, as we have a very old firman from the Sultan of Constantinople that the approach [to the Western Wall] shall not be denied to us, though the Porte obtains for this privilege an especial tax, which is, however, quite insignificant." (Schwartz 1850, p. 260)

xx Schwartz (1850), pp. 417-418.

xxi Many of these visits to the Temple Mount were documented in Dotan Goren's thesis, a summary of which appears at http://www.e-mago.co.il/Editor/history-1728.htm

The Life Of Enoch Part Four


Now let’s talk a bit about the temporary place named Sheol. According to Scripture, it is divided into two different compartments. In the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31, we are told the two compartments “hold the righteous believers and the unbelievers.” The writer of Luke revealed to us the two compartments are not only a distance apart from each other, but there is a chasm between the two.

Verse 23, “And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side.” Then in verse 26, “Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.”

This Sheol is the one which Jesus Christ went down into for three days and three nights. ( “For Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights,” Matthew 12:40.) Now, compare that verse from Matthew with Jonah 1:17, “Now the Lord appointed a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights.” We find that the Messiah actually did go into the heart of the earth. There is no way around this proof. 1 Peter 3:19, “In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared.”

The text of Matthew 12:40, gives us important clues to solve the answer of why the Messiah went into Hell. First of all, let us begin to find out who these “spirits” are that Peter is telling his listeners about. 1 Peter 3:19, “In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient…” The first initial clue Peter has given us is this: (He also went), this meaning is referring to Sheol. But in which part of Sheol was Jesus Christ located? He was with the wicked. After entering Hell, His second event was that He preached. In other versions of the Bible, it mentions He proclaimed. The Greek definition of the word “kerugma” states: 1. That which is promulgated by a herald or public crier, a proclamation by a herald; 2. In the N.T. the message or proclamation by a heralds God or Christ. This is from Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Page 346, Strong’s Number 2782.

The Messiah was in Sheol with the wicked who rejected the message of Noah. Inside Genesis 6:1, (“Their days will be 120 years”) I take this to account that Noah preached 120 years before the actuality of the flood. The book of Genesis gives an account of how men fell away from God. Noah, a preacher of righteousness preached to his generation, but that particular generation was waxed cold. In Genesis 6:11, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness.” Verse 12 states: “God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth.” This is that generation to whom the Messiah made a proclamation. (Those who believed in YWHW) YOD HAY VAV HAY.

Since they would not listen to Noah, they now have to listen to Jesus Christ in Sheol, the place of the wicked. Let us not get off track scripturally. The Messiah did not make a proclamation to the Niphilim Giants nor did He go into any particular region of Sheol where the Niphilim Giants dwelled in judgment. Why I make this statement is quite clear in the scripture, 2 Peter 2:4, “and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment.” Peter tells us of the temporary judgment they are in, but this passage also speaks of a future judgment for the Niphilim Giants, waiting for them.

In these four Chapters, we discussed Enoch’s genealogy, who Enoch was, what Enoch did on earth, where Enoch went, and lastly the two chambers of Sheol for the wicked and the righteous. In the next several installments, the topic we will be discussing is if Enoch could be a candidate to be one of the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation. Then, we will be closing out our final chapters about Elijah and Moses. We will be detailing the account of Moses as one of the true witnesses with Elijah in Revelation.

The Life Of Enoch Part Three

Where Did Enoch Go?

Over the span of centuries, there has been much thought surrounding the enigma of Enoch’s whereabouts. Everyone questions, “Where did he go?” So let’s get started into our Biblical journey! As I detail these crucial events, it is important for my readers to have clarity on this issue. Throughout this article I will be revealing a different view which will be Biblically sound in doctrine. I will be accounting for the Disappearance of Enoch, which is crucial. From our starting point, we need to look at several translations so we can get a bird’s eye view of what the Scriptures are truly saying about Enoch’s translation.

1. And Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God had taken him. The Stone Edition, The Chumash

2. Hanokh walked with God, and then he wasn’t there, because God took him. Complete Jewish Bible

3. And he was removed from the midst of the children of men… The book of Jubilees page 19, verse 24

4. And Enoch was well-pleasing to God, and he was not found, because God translated him. The Septuagint with Apocrypha

After reading 1-4 up above, it should be straightforward about the common theme which rings out loud about Enoch; can my readers pinpoint them?

In order they are: 1) Taken. 2) Took. 3) Removed. 4) Translated. Most currently, our Bibles use the word “took”, so intrinsically we shall focus on that word. While investigating the Hebraic definition in our study we need to focus our eyes onto a particular Hebraic word. Essentially this word is “Laqach”, which connotes the word “took”. Let us go ahead and read the text, in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Genesis 5:24, “Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him.” Located in the King James Version of the Bible, Laqach is number 3947 in Strong’s Concordance. It’s definitions are:

A. To take

B. To get

C. To fetch

D. To lay hold of

E. To seize

F. To receive

G. To acquire

H. To buy

I. To snatch

J. To take away

Those definitions that I just listed for us are our key words in understanding the background of that particular event. The scripture of Genesis 5:24, is quite striking because it does not mention anything about Heaven, but neither does the Hebraic word “Laqach”- it lacks the word Heaven in its proper description. Contrary to popular belief, humankind did not set foot into Heaven until the 40 days expired which are spoken of in Acts 1:3.

Before I further explain in detail, the book of John 3:13, states: “No one has ascended into Heaven except the one who descended from Heaven the Son of Man”. The Apostle John has given us ample proof in this text that no one had entered into Heaven until after the 40 days were expired in Acts chapter 1:3. The saints from both testament periods were resurrected after Jesus’ initial Resurrection. In Matthew 27:52, we are shown an idea although it is not a new thought. I say this with confidence because even Abraham believed in the resurrection of the dead. Hebrews 11:19, speaks of: He (Abraham) considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.”

Also found in Matthew 27:52, is this statement of fact: “The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” Then in the book of Acts 1:3, the text reads to us: “Appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” Hence, the saints I previously mentioned ascended with their Messiah. It says: “He left them and was carried up into Heaven.” Although the text shows them (the saints) to be absent in this scenario, I firmly believe they were with Jesus during those 40 days. Then, this was their ascension with Jesus Christ the Messiah into Heaven. Another reason why this has to be true is that the Messiah would not leave their resurrected bodies on earth for them to die again.

The Life of Enoch Part Two

What Did Enoch Do On Earth?

We are able to find more about Enoch in Jude 1:14. Here we are aware that he is a prophet: “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

During the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, Enoch prophesied in the context above that: a) the Lord is coming with His bride the church and the Lord will be judging the unsaved according to their “ungodly acts”; b) The unsaved will be judged by the “harsh things” they have said against Him (Jesus Christ). It is important to note that the church will be coming back with God, but the bride will not partake in any form of judgment of unbelievers with God or apart from Him.

Let us investigate a little further into what the author of the Book of Jude is telling his readers. During the following judgment process of unbelievers, there are two main phrases in the Biblical context, which I have placed in Italics. They are both highly important to know since these are the two main words which God will place on humankind when He puts them under judgment. The two phrases are “ungodly acts” and “harsh things.” These words should be sobering to the unbeliever whose acts and speech are harsh to the Messiah.

The Greek word for ungodly acts is ἔργον ἀσέβεια, this terminology means:

1.business, employment, that which any one is occupied

a.that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking

2.any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind

3.an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work.

And the translated words:

KJV (176) - deed, 22; doing, 1; labour, 1; work, 152;

NAS (169) - action, 1; behavior, 1; deed, 13; deeds, 52; doing, 1; effectual, 1; labor, 1; result, 1; task, 1; what...done, 1; work, 34; works, 62. These definitions are from the Christian website, Heartlight’s Search God’s Word.

Secondly, the other judgment for the unbeliever will constitute the harsh things they had said to Jesus Christ. In Greek harsh things is σκληρός oèvὅς.

These definitions mean:

1. hard, harsh, rough, stiff

a. of men: metaph. harsh, stern, hard

b. of things: violent, rough, offensive, intolerable

The translated words are:

KJV (11) - fierce 1 -, 6; hard, 5;

NAS (5) - difficult, 1; hard, 2; harsh things, 1; strong, 1

We can clearly see this judgment is going to be strict on the very words the unbeliever speaks against the Creator of the universe. I believe that these two particular phrases, ungodly acts and harsh things, will be judged in that particular order. The book of Matthew 12:36-37, points out to its readers this important fact. (“I tell you that on the Day of Judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned”).

The Life of Enoch Part One

There are numerous questions concerning whom the two witnesses will be that will prophesy during the Tribulation. Many people believe that one or both of them could be Enoch, Elijah, or Moses. In Jewish literature, there have been more books written about Elijah than that of Moses, or any other figure throughout the Bible. As we go through the three characters of Enoch, Elijah, and Moses, we will unlock the shrouded mystery of why it is important to know who these men were. In addition, I will give reasons as to why I personally believe it is Elijah and Moses who will be the two witnesses.

First, let us start with a series of questions concerning Enoch:

A. What Is Enoch’s Pedigree?

B. Who is Enoch?

C. What did Enoch do on earth?

D. Where did Enoch go?

What Is Enoch’s Pedigree?

Enoch walked with God 300 years after the birth of Methuselah. God counted Enoch a preacher and a prophet who walked in holiness and in righteousness. He was well pleasing to God. Adonai took Enoch up into heaven without experiencing death. I believe in order for us to understand who Enoch is, we must first extract his lineage from the descendants of Adam. The author of Genesis has given us a brief genealogy of where Enoch came from. Genesis chapter 5:20: “Jared was a hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch.” So far, we have established Enoch’s father is Jared. Although this is a brief genealogy, we can still bring out some important information regarding this biblical character.

As we keep reading about Enoch’s pedigree in verse 21 of chapter 5, this is the first introduction to Methuselah, one of Enoch’s children. How many children did Enoch have? Important note, though Methuselah is the only child mentioned by name, it’s well documented that Enoch had more children. Remember that Methuselah was sixty-five years of age when he had his first child. In Genesis chapter 5:22, we are informed of other children Enoch had. “And Enoch found favor in the presence of God three hundred years after he begot Methuselah, and begot sons and daughters.” The details of Enoch’s other children are not known; their names and what they did, are absent from scripture. The Old Testament does not mention any further details about his lineage. However, there is still more to know about the well-known man called Enoch.

Who is Enoch?

Now that we have established a bit of Enoch’s ancestry, our goal is to find out “WHO” he was! Unfortunately, we don’t have much to work with since the majority of his life is absent from Scripture. However, we can still start a molding process about Enoch from what we do know. He is regarded highly, respected, and righteous. Scriptures say he was even godly. In Hebrews 11:5, we are given an account of his faith: “He had pleased God”.

We are also informed in Genesis 5:24, “Enoch walked with God”. In a way, he was very similar to Noah. Let’s take a look at Genesis 6:9, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God”. These two Godly men are both fascinating. They were righteous and walked with God.

In Scripture, we have a detailed account of how long Enoch remained on earth until God took him. Chapter 5, verses 21-24, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years”. Enoch’s name means Dedication. “His name translated in the Hebrew is חנוך [Chanowk / khan•oke].” The Hebrew name for Enoch can be found in Theopedia, an Encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity.

What I have just written is an account of Enoch’s holy life with God. This important Biblical figure lived to be 365 years of age. He served God the father and was a pastor and a prophet of righteousness who witnessed to the unsaved world of his day. It is pretty amazing what one person can do to change the people and the world around him just by simply preaching the Word of God.

The Barley and the Wheat

    Ruth bows to Boaz

Shavuot – Sivan 6 5770

We are quickly approaching the Biblical feast of Pentecost which by the Jewish calendar falls on Sivan 6 or May 19th of this year.  This is an interesting date and one that many of us, including myself are looking at as a possible rapture date.  And, not without good reason, for Shavuot or Pentecost as it is otherwise known, is replete with symbolism regarding the gentile bride and her kinsmen redeemer.

I love how God put’s emphasis on things, so we won’t miss it.  Did you know that the Torah or law was given at Sinai on the same date that the church was born?  It’s true!  And, both of these events have to do with a marriage.  The law has to do with Israel being married to the Lord (the Torah functions as a ketubah, a marriage contract between Jehovah and Israel, just as the New Covenant does for the Church, the bride of Christ).  For this reason,  it is traditional for the book of Ruth to be read in the synagogue every year during this festival. Wouldn’t it be just like the Lord to call his bride home on this very special day.

Gleaning the Harvest

“So Boaz, said to Ruth, “My daughter listen to me.  Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here …So, Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and the wheat harvest were finished.” Ruth 2:8,23

In Leviticus 23: 15-21, God commands the Israelites to count 50 days from Passover to Shavuot.  This 50 day count is known as “the counting of the Omer.”  An omer is a biblical measure of grain.  On the second day of Passover, an omer of barley was offered in the temple signaling the start of the harvest and the beginning of the 50 day count to Shavuot.  On the 50th day, the barley harvest ends and the wheat harvest begins, the change in harvest symbolized by the waving of two wheat loaves by the High Priest in the temple before the Lord. The waving of the two leavened loaves, also, representing those who would be harvested;  both Jew and Gentile – which is why the Torah and the Church share the same birthday.

It is well accepted that Ruth, the foreigner represents the largely gentile church redeemed by Jesus, the Lord of the harvest, as represented by Boaz, who functioned as her kinsman redeemer. I find it interesting that Boaz instructs her to stay through out the barley and the wheat harvest.  In Jewish tradition, the counting of the Omer is said to be a time of preparation for receiving the Torah.  The Exodus was looked on as a gift, while the giving of the Torah required some spiritual preparation or readiness.

This presents an interesting picture.  Do the fifty days between the First fruits resurrection of Jesus and the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost constitute a period of readiness for the church as well?  I see this indicated in the instructions Jesus gave his disciples before he ascended in to heaven - “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father has promised …” Acts 1:4   I also see this indicated in Revelation 19:7,  “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.”

A ten day watch 

As noted above, May 19th or Sivan 6 is the biblical feast of Shavuot.  If the church is raptured before the 50th day, she would qualify as a first fruits bride (barley); a bride who has made her self ready.  While the church who is not ready and will still be here after the 50th day becomes part of the wheat harvest – foreshadowed, I believe by Ruth who gleaned throughout the barley and the wheat harvests. 
   “After he had said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them ‘Men of Galilee’ they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus who has been taken from you in to heaven, will come back  in the same way you have seen him go in to heaven.’” Acts 1:9-11

Ten days before Shavuot is May 9 or Iyar 25.  This will be the 40th day of the counting of the Omer.  Forty which corresponds with the 40th day before Pentecost, the date on which Jesus ascended in to heaven.  Did the angels who spoke to the men of Galilee leave a clue as to the date of his coming?  “In the same way  he left, he will come back” – Might that apply not only to the way he will come, but, the time he will come back as well?  If so, then the month of Iyar will truly be a month of Shining

 (For more on the month of Iyar, if you haven’t already read my April 17 post,  click here:


“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee.”  Psalm 122:6.   Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy



4 Horses – 4 Horns – 4 Beasts – of Zechariah and Revelation

From the website:  horses-%e2%80%93-4-horns-%e2%80%93-4-beasts-of-zechariah-and-revelation/

4 horses
Zec 6:1¶And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass.
Zec 6:2In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
Zec 6:3And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
Zec 6:4Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord?
Zec 6:5And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
4 horns
Zec 1:18¶Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
Zec 1:19And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
Zec 1:20And the LORD showed me four carpenters.
Zec 1:21Then said I, What come these to do? And he spoke, saying, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up [their] horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.
4 beasts and 4 horses
Rev 6:1¶And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Rev 6:2And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Rev 6:3¶And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
Rev 6:4And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Rev 6:5¶And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
Rev 6:7¶And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see
Rev 6:8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Thought question & proposal: are the 4 horses and the 4 horns/beasts related? If they are, then the meanings can be connected. In the last days, the 4 horses that come against Israel bringing war, famine, false peace, and death originate in the modern countries that represent the ancient enemies of Babylon, Medo-persia, Greece, and Rome. So there is nothing new under the sun, if this theory is true. There is some logic in this. For example, why would Thailand, or Iceland, or the Philippines be warring with Israel, when there has never been any disagreements between them?
horns— horsesmeaning
Babylon red –war
Medo.persianblack –famine
Greecewhite –false peace
Rome –dappled, grey — death
What is now history:
The order of the horses in Zechariah : red, black, white, dappled/bay
The order of the horns in Zechariah: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome
What is still yet to come:
The order of the horses in Revelation: white, red, black, pale
Identity of the beasts in Revelation: Greece, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Rome
Here are ancient maps showing the location of these empires-horns-beasts
Approximate borders of ancient empires that ruled in the Near East.

Macedonian Empire - White Beast (Antichrist) of false peace
(During the reign of Alexander the Great (III) 336 – 323 BCE)


Babylonian Empire (609 – 539 BCE) – Red Beast of War


Persian Empire (550 – 330 BCE) – Black Beast of Famine

RomePale Beast of Death
The 2 mountains of Brass (copper)
The next question, if this theory is correct, is exact where is this going to initiate? The scripture says all 4 chariots came out from between 2 mountains of brass. So where can 2 mountains of brass be found in this region of ancient and modern enemies?
This is a map of the region showing mountain ranges. It appears that only Iran has two mountain ranges, if only one country were to initiate the conflict. This seems possible due to Iran’s current threats to blow up Israel.
Here is a summary of countries surrounding Israel, including Israel, and their natural resources. Turkey, Iran Pakistan, and Afghanistan have copper resources. Turkey, Iran and Pakistan have active mines.
Afghanistan has the resources, but no active mines. Israel has copper mines but would not attack itself in the prophecy. In Pakistan, the copper is near the beach in the Balochistan province, but not in the mountains. Only Turkey and Iran have active mining areas that involve 2 mountains, but the scripture does not say the mines have to be active, only that there is copper in the mountains. As of how, Turkey has expressed no desire to attack Israel.
Iran is the only one making threats. The prophecy mentions the chariots came from between 2 mountains. In the Iran map, we see a desert space between the 2 mountains. But, we will have to see which nation is the real one identified by Zechariah But this graph helps us to narrow down who to watch.

Technology Behind the Mark of the Beast

By Nathan Jones

What will be the possible technology behind the Mark of the Beast?
On the March 25th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how technology plays a role in end times Bible prophecy

Bill Salus

Technology Behind the Mark of the Beast
Bill Salus: Concerning another interesting technology, 2,000 years ago the Apostle John wrote in Revelation 13 about a cashless society that would come forth in the last days. He said that there will be a point during that time when the False Prophet and the Antichrist will put together a cashless system because he reveals in Revelation 13:16-18, "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666."

Now, of course, mostly everybody has heard about 666, although they don't understand what it is related to. From these verses we know 666 has something to do with this prophecy concerning a cashless society.

Almost 2,000 years ago, John trafficked in monetary currencies of denarius, right? But, here he is talking about money that you know you can't transfer such as a denarius. You can't put a denarius inside of your hand or in your forehead. John is talking about something entirely different. He's talking about a mode of currency and monetary exchange that is apparently cashless. Mark Hitchcock wrote a book about this recently called Cashless.

Do you think John was possible trying to describe a technology that could facilitate a cashless society, and would that technology potentially be biometric which we currently have at this point in time?

Nathan Jones: You can certainly control a person by their money. There is no doubt, no doubt, that we are moving towards a cashless society. I barely use cash myself. I use credit cards for everything and then pay them back each month via electronic transfer.

Right now there is a big push to have something that you can swipe that can't be stolen. Maybe it will be implanted in you. There are even reports where certain stores have been testing this cardless system out to just see how it works. So, we are moving into that direction, and I agree it is a smart move. After all, I don't want thieves stealing my credit cards and my identity. I don't want crooks stealing my wallet. If there is something built into me that I can wave or is biometric that scans my fingerprints or something like that, that that would be a great thing. It would all have to be managed by a large database with lots of connectivity and networking, so there is definitely a huge technological component there.

I won't be the first to say that the Mark of the Beast will be an RFID chip or that we are all going to be running around with chips even before the Rapture. There are a lot of people panicking out there who believe that if the serial number on their computer chip or if a barcode on their Cracker Jacks has a 666 somewhere they'll declare, "Oh, no, I can't buy this product." I once wrote an article about this hysteria called Stop Panicking Over the Mark of the Beast.

There is just no way during the Church Age that we have to worry about taking the Mark. It is something that the Antichrist institutes at the mid-point of the Tribulation, and since the Tribulation is clearly not going on right now, we don't have to worry about taking it.

John was pretty specific in his description of what he saw concerning the Mark. For one, we are talking about a First Century man who actually could see the Mark ON the forehead and the right hand. John was not talking about it being IN the forehead or the hand. He could see it as plain as the nose on your face. So, unless it causes a big bump which would be pretty obvious, it's not implanted. These little RFID chips that have come out are encased in sliver thin glass to protect the component inside. So, I don't think they will be visible as they aren't even visible now. We put them in animals and we don't see them on the animal, right?
I believe the Mark will be a tattoo or something etched onto our skin. Maybe it could incorporate magnetic inking so it could be scanned.

Customers during the Tribulation will walk into a store, and unless the clerk sees the Mark, they know not to sell them something or they'd probably be killed themselves by the Antichrist for helping those who haven't declared their loyalty to him. While I believe there is probably technology behind the Mark, I lean more on the side that it won't be a RDIF chip.

Bill Salus: Those types of technologies if this is what John was trying to describe are in themselves not necessarily a bad thing.

Nathan Jones: Not at all.

Bill Salus: Like, for example, when you put a chip inside of your poodle's neck and if Fifi gets lost, you can use their GPS to find them. Or, let's say little Johnny gets kidnapped, you could find him if he had some tracking mechanism. You know that even your cell phones tend to have a ping that they generate so you can find someone. Our smart phones actually have these RFID-like locator chips where you can locate them through GPS. So, the technology in itself is not a bad thing.

The usage of tracking chips to monitor all of humanity like as you said with a large database is when technology can be used for evil. The Antichrist bids to be omnipresent, which he can't be because only God is, and he can't search the hearts and minds or men and women. But, to appear omnipresent, he will be able to track people's every footstep if they have a technology inserted that he can monitor through GPS or things like that. But, like you said, the Church won't be here for that. We will be raptured prior to this, so it is not a threat to us.

The Mark is more then just a technology, it is a form of worship?

Nathan Jones: Yes, it is a loyalty mark.

Bill Salus: The Mark will be a loyalty thing, as well as it also facilitates people's ability to buy and sell.

In the final segment of this interview with Bill Salus concerning Bible prophecy and technology, we'll look at the eventual decline of technology in the last days.

Tribulation - Second Seal

Main Text Revelation 6:3-4

Second Seal: Conflict on Earth

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.Revelation 6:3-4

When the second seal is opened during the Tribulation, a living creature tells John to “Come and see”. This creature is one of four that dwell in the midst of the throne of God and around the throne. Each creature has many eyes in the front and back. The first is like a lion, the second like a calf, the third has the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of these creatures has six wings and praise the Lord God Almighty day and night (Revelation 4:6-8). John then sees another horse, a fiery red one. This second horse of the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a symbol of war. The one who rides this horse was given the ability to take peace from the earth causing people to slay each other. His affect of causing peace to leave the earth is also symbolized by the great sword that he carries. As the antichrist rises to world dominance, all nations will not just “lie down” and accept him. Some will rebel rather than be subordinates to his empire which will lead to a world war. But their revolt will fail and the antichrist will gain control of the entire world. This war will be a bloody one and will impact the entire world.    

The red horseman will bring the worst bloodshed through war that this earth as ever seen. We thank our Lord that Jesus will rapture His faithful believers from the earth allowing us the escape this war. Therefore, we find hope and great joy in the day that our Savior Jesus Christ will return for His church. Until then, Blessings to Israel and to the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

Tribulation - First Seal

By Brian C Thomas

Main Text: Revelation 6:1-2
The Tribulation will contain the worst events the earth has ever seen. As bad as it is today with murders, sexual immorality, lying, cheating, drugs, pornography, abortion, etc, things pale in comparison to what it will be like during the Tribulation. The judgment of God will come upon the earth to bring all of the unsaved to repentance during this time. His judgments will occur in three forms that are recorded in the book of Revelation: seals, trumpets, and bowls. There will be seven of each for a total of twenty-one judgments. The seal judgments will occur in approximately the first quarter of the Tribulation which is the first twenty-one months of the seven year period. This teaching will cover the first of the seven seal judgments.
First Seal: The Conqueror
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2.
When the Lamb, Jesus Christ, opens the first seal, one of the four creatures around the throne of God tells John to “Come and see”. This creature is one of four that dwell in the midst of the throne of God and around the throne. Each creature has many eyes in the front and back. The first is like a lion, the second like a calf, the third has the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of these creatures has six wings and praise the Lord God Almighty day and night (Revelation 4:6-8).  John then sees a white horse. This is the first of the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The one who rides the horse wears a crown and carries a bow. This rider on the white horse symbolizes the antichrist. He is riding to conquer and establish his kingdom that will reign during the Tribulation. The crown on his head indicates that he will be successful in his conquests. Little antichrist dictators such as Napoleon and Alexander the Great rode on horses as well. This rider is “the” antichrist also known as the “little horn”, “man of sin”, and “son of perdition” (Daniel 7; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). Even though the rider on the horse has a bow, an indicator of aggressive conquests, he has no arrow. The lack of an arrow shows that he will conquer by diplomacy rather than war. The words in his month will be smoother than butter but he will have war in his heart (Psalm 55:21). He will rise to power as seemingly the solver of all the world’s problems. But the “order” that he will bring to the earth will be by deception and provide a false sense of security.  
When the antichrist comes to power, he will establish a New World Order also known as One World System and One World Government. The process of laying the foundation for his system has been underway for many years. The United Nations was created by world leaders as what they believed to be the ultimate solution for world peace. It was established in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations with the intent of stopping war between nations. We can look back over the decades since its beginnings and quickly see that it brought no end to wars. The UN has been paving the way toward a one-world government that rules by socialism. The leaders of our world envision a socialist one-world government with man in control of the world’s affairs, not God. Socialism has never improved the quality of life in any country and typically leaves the countries in worse condition after being implemented and failed. As of today, January 2010, the process has sped up exponentially toward a New World Order. Henry Kissinger has declared that Barack Obama is primed to create the new world order, his quote from January 2009 is as follows, His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It's a great opportunity, it isn't just a crisis." The president has also stated he is in favor of a one-world government. This is just one example of the many world leaders who have been calling for a new world order. Once this system is in place, it will be the same system through which the antichrist will declare that no one may buy or sell without the mark of the beast during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:17).
The future political diplomat known as the antichrist in prophecy will likely offer world peace during a time of unrest. There is ongoing unrest in Israel today as the Palestinians constantly launch attacks on God’s chosen nation. Ezekiel 38-39 tells us that Russia will someday join in with plotting to overtake Israel. We already see that Russia is strengthening an existing alliance with Iran, a nation whose president says Israel must be wiped off the map. Russia will launch an attack against Israel but God will supernaturally destroy them. This may be the time when the antichrist will offer peace to the world, especially the middle east, to prevent future wars. Most people on earth will view this as a good thing but it will all be a great deception. We do not know when this plot of Russia against Israel will occur but I think it is likely to happen at the beginning or just prior to the Tribulation since the scripture states that Israel will burn the Russian weapons for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9-10). It could be that the seven year burning of the weapons will be going on during the seven year Tribulation. The antichrist will make a seven year covenant with Israel that will be the sign that the Tribulation has started (Daniel 9:27). Once the church is raptured to heaven and the first seal is broken by the Lamb, the antichrist will rise to power on earth and establish this covenant with Israel. His treaty will likely be an offer to protect them from future attacks. But halfway through, he will break the covenant and turn on Israel claiming that all must worship him as God.
It was never God’s plan for His followers to look for a leader in man (1 Samuel 8:4-7). He has always wanted us to look to Him as our governing authority. But satan has convinced many that man can solve problems of the world without God. God expressed that the Israelites desire for a king was rejection of Him. He told Samuel to heed their voice since they wanted a man as king rather than Him but warned them "to be careful what you ask for" (1 Samuel 8:9). We can apply the same wisdom to our current environment as many have voted for leaders that they believe have the answers to our economic troubles. What they view as a blessing in government takeovers and bailouts is actually a satanic deception that is putting the pieces of the puzzle in place for the antichrist to walk into his one-world socialist government. With the current worldwide recession, leaders are crying out that we need a single currency to prevent this from happening again. Many do not realize that they are doing exactly what satan wants. We all should seek God for discernment concerning these things to recognize evil from good. Concerning the events leading up to the end of the age, Daniel wrote, “…none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”Daniel 12:10. When the first seal is broken and the white horse rides, the most deceptive ruler of all-time will rise to power. Most will celebrate his rise to power thinking that he has the answers to bring order to the world but he will trick many into losing salvation through his "mark of the beast" system. As Christians, we thank God that He will give us the wisdom to escape the deceptions of satan if we truly seek Him for understanding. We find hope and joy in the day that our Savior Jesus Christ will return for His church. Until then, Blessings to Israel and to the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

Learning From History?

Don West is a new columnist and speaker for Prophecy Matters.  His passion for Israel and prophecy is instantly contagious.  He is a professor at North Arkansas College in Harrison Arkansas.  Dr. West holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 May 2011 02:47 Written by Don West Monday, 16 May 2011 02:44
As already mentioned in the previous two articles, God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom we collectively know as the Patriarchs; changed Jacob’s name to Israel so that Jacob would bear his Creator’s name, that is God (EL); and then with Jacob/Israel’s twelve sons would begin the process of growing Himself a nation. Through twenty-one centuries( 2000 BC-100 AD) God would develop and use this nation of Israel, through its prophets and apostles, to prepare a record for the world (the Bible) to reveal Himself as the One, Sole, and Only God and the many aspects of His nature: Perfection, Supremacy, Incomparability, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Patience, Longsuffering, Forbearing, Kindness, Tenderness, Compassion, Loving, Merciful, and Gracious, to name just a few; as well as His Triuneness, as Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit.
The entire Old Testament is a history of God’s relationship with His people, particularly His immense love for, bountiful provision toward, and protection of Israel. But, there is also a grim and sobering aspect to this relationship between Israel and its God. For Israel was prone to disobey and reject God’s clearly expressed and intended will for His people, and so in this written historical record of Israel and God, we can also see some additional aspects of God’s nature that are given far less consideration by humankind than they should be: Anger, Fury, and Wrath.
Privileged to be a history instructor, I give students several reasons why it is beneficial to study and know history:
1. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
2. A fool is one who has to learn from his own mistakes, but a wise man is one who can learn from the mistakes (history) of others (and correspondingly avoid the frequently bitter consequences that have come to those others).
3. Learn from other people’s mistakes; you cannot possibly live long enough to commit them all yourself. (I do believe that I am getting close myself, however.)
And here is the really tragic, sole, and singular lesson that comes from the study of history. It applies, unfortunately and grievously, to us individually as well as nationally and internationally: THE ONE THING THAT MAN HAS LEARNED FROM HISTORY… IS THAT MAN DOES NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY!!!
So I submit that a study of Israel is extremely helpful in learning the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak, that has occurred in the life of Israel, not only biblically, but also post-biblically, and currently. An experience that would well serve us all if we would but just learn from Israel’s bitter history. But as we undertake this study of Israel, it must be remembered that this is not just the historical account of a nation, it is also the account of the supernatural involvement of God in that nation’s existence and life. A national existence and life which God has both generally and, at times, very specifically set forth in these ancient, but totally and completely relevant today, writings of the Bible.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God states the following: “ …For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV (italics mine). All of God’s declarations, for general human consumption at least, are to be found in His Written Word; and many of those declarations, not surprisingly, concern Israel, and particularly so since more than half of the Bible is all about that people, land, and nation. Declarations concerning not only the time of Israel’s biblical existence, but declarations made by God that pertained to Israel’s distant future as well. Unfortunately, since most of us are more inattentive to His Written Word than we should be, we, therefore, fail to grasp or know His declarations. About Israel, or anything else.
Dr. David Reagan’s book, The Master Plan, Harvest House Publishers, which initiated my interest in Israel, made some observations that enabled me to begin to read the Bible with an attentiveness to and an alertness for specific points of what God has declared about this nation, and all of which have occurred or are occurring:
  1. The CHOSENNESS of Israel. Look for the many, and I mean many, words, phrases, and scriptures which reflect God’s affinity for and intimate relationship with this nation. For a quick start in this area, start with chapters 40-66 of Isaiah.
  2. The DISPERSION of Israel. Chosen, yes; but because of sin and disobedience against God, the nation would be driven out of their God given land in 586 BC by the Babylonians for seventy years, and in 70 AD by the Romans for almost 2000 years. Today, the Jewish people refer to all Jews living other than in Israel as being in the Diaspora (dispersion).
  3. The PERSECUTION of Israel. During the last 2500 years of Israel’s history, the Jewish people have endured unmitigated hatred, persecution, and violence in repeated efforts to destroy them and, more recently, their nation. Sadly, it continues to this present day. Of the 193 national states that comprise the U. N. today, only one state hears repeated calls for it to be “wiped off the map”: Israel. Courtesy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and his adherents worldwide.
  4. The DESOLATION of the land of Israel. As a concurrent event with Israel’s dispersion and persecution, the nation’s land would be diminished, desolated, deserted, and desertized.  
  5. The PRESERVATION of Israel. Throughout their long exile and concomitant sufferings and tragedies, God’s Written Word indicates that He will preserve His people, and that He will eventually bring about …
  6. The RESTORATION of Israel. And I would submit to you, that certainly one of the most important events in the twentieth century occurred on May 14, 1948; when, less than three years after the last Jewish victim died in Hitler’s maniacal, unadulteratedly evil effort to destroy this people, God’s nation of Israel was not only reconstituted as a state, but was done so in the very land that God gave their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. Just, by the way, as He proclaimed He would through His prophets over two thousand years ago.
 “ I (God) declare the end from the beginning…”
(adapted from The Boone County Spotlight; used with permission)
Special Relationship
As previously submitted, Israel is important because it has a special relationship with God; a relationship created by God, and Him alone, pursuant to His sovereign will. And as part of that sovereign will, God would use this special and chosen nation to provide the world with His Written Word, the Bible (remember: of the sixty-six books of the Bible, a minimum of sixty-four of them are Jewish authored); but even more importantly and critically, God would use Israel to provide the world with the ultimate of all gifts, the Living Word: the Savior, Jesus, who is the Christ. As we explore and study this relationship between God and His people, Israel, we should start with a basic, but largely unknown, piece of information that may surprise you.
I had for years a vague awareness that God had numerous names, but being generally disinterested, I, naturally, remained generally ignorant of those names until I was stunned to learn approximately two years ago that Israel bears the name of God in its own name. One of the names of God in the early history of the Hebrew people was “EL” meaning The Strong One; but “EL” was also used in compound forms to further identify the various aspects and characteristics of Israel’s God. And thus, we also have:
1.     EL ELOHE YISRAEL              God, the God of Israel (Gen. 33:18-20)
2.     EL ELYON                                God, The God Most High
3.     ELOHIM                                   God, The All-Powerful One (plural of EL)
4.     EL OLAM                                 The Eternal God, The Everlasting God
5.     EL ROI                                      The God Who Sees me
6.     EL SHADDAI                           The All-Sufficient One, God Almighty
7.     IMMANUEL                             God With Us
8.     BETHEL      *                            House of God
*Names of God, Rose Publishing, 2003, 2005 RW Research, Inc. 4733 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503 
 Interestingly, but now maybe not so surprisingly, numerous of God’s prophets also bore God’s name in their own: (emphasis mine)
1.     ELisha                                          God Is Salvation
2.     DaniEL                                         God Is My Judge
3.     EzekiEL                                        God Strengthens
4.     JoEL                                              The Lord Is God
5.     ELijah                                           God Is YAH, the Lord
6.     OthniEL                                         Lion of God
7.     SamuEL                                         Heard of God
With this significant item of information in mind, let us turn to the history of Israel to determine how and why it bears the name of God. Most of you are well aware that after God chooses Abraham, that Abraham will have a son named Isaac; later Isaac will have a son named Jacob. Eventually, Jacob will have a metaphysical encounter with God, and during that encounter God will advise Jacob that He is changing his name to Israel. That event, approximately 3900 years ago, is set out in Genesis 32:24-32, wherein God says, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”  
Thus, in addition to all of the above cited names bearing the name of God, we have the God initiated word ISRA-EL meaning, he who struggles, or strives, or wrestles with God. Unfortunately, Israel continues to live up to its name to this day, but God in His renaming of Jacob to Israel indicates, I believe, that ultimately Israel will, as stated, prevail and be His supreme standard for all the nations that God intended Israel to be from its beginning.
While the account of Jacob’s name change at Bethel in Genesis 32 leaves some question as to just who is doing the name change (God or a Man or an Angel), Genesis 35:9-11, states clearly that the one altering Jacob’s name is, indeed, God: “And God said to him, `your name is Jacob: your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name`. So He (God) called his name Israel.”
But there are several other scriptures that also identify the one effecting the name change   as being God that seem to clarify the issue thoroughly and finally. Keep in mind, as you read these, that while the writer of the scripture may be speaking primarily about something else, he nonetheless makes the claim that it was God who changed Jacob’s name to Israel:
1.     “ And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, ` Israel shall be your name.`” 1 Kings 18:31
2.     “ To this day they (Israel) continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel.” 2 Kings 17:34
3.     “ The Lord also brings a charge against Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways, according to his deeds He (God) will recompense him. He (Jacob) took his brother (Esau) by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he (Jacob/Israel) struggled with God. Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed… He (Jacob) found Him (God) in Bethel and there He (God) spoke to us (Israel). That is, the Lord God of Hosts…” Hosea 12:2-5
4.     “I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” Isaiah 43:15 
*All scripture is from the New King James Version
One final thought in closing. Just as a father, not infrequently, gives a son his name in pride and love at birth, so within these scriptures there is the appearance, at least, that God has chosen to do the same with IsraEl (emphasis mine).
…Thus says the Lord: ‘Israel is My son, My first born. ‘ ” Genesis 4:22. And:
“For I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim (another name for Israel, as I understand it) is My firstborn.” Jeremiah 31:9.          
(adapted from The Boone County Spotlight; used with permission)

    My Passion

I’d like to talk to you about a subject that has become the passion of my life over the last seventeen years. The subject’s origins began a little over 4000 years ago, and yet it is considered to be part of one of the most important geopolitical issues confronting the world today. That issue, and the subject of my interest, is the nation of Israel.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said this: “The single most important global issue facing the world today is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” If one thinks that only leadership in the Western world judges this to be so, I would like to also quote the MOST WANTED man in the world and a real crowd pleaser in the Islamic world, Osama bin Laden, an individual all of us are already too familiar with. As the founder and leader of Al-Qaeda, he asserted shortly after September 11, 2001: “I swear to god (allah), there will be no peace in America until there is peace in Palestine.”
Now when jihadists like Osama bin Laden of Al-Qaeda (Afghanistan), Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah (Lebanon), Khaled Mashaal of Hamas (Gaza Strip and Syria), Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (West Bank), and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran) speak of Palestine, the anticipated future state of the “Palestinian” people, these individuals and their followers (who comprise, unfortunately, much of the Islamic world of approximately 1.5 billion people) mean to include geographically all of the present modern-day state of Israel. And Israel, well, to these people and groups, Israel is like a fishbone lodged in the throat; blocking the air passage; causing convulsions of choking; and unless expelled, extracted, or expurgated, causing death. And indeed, tens of thousands of Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians, and other assorted jihadists have died attempting to do just that in the roughly calculated eight wars with Israel over the last sixty-three years; and thousands of Israelis have died keeping the Arabs from their repeatedly stated and unapologetic goal of the elimination, eradication, and annihilation of the State of Israel.
Trips to Israel in 1994 and 2003, which for me engendered a previously unprecedented reading of the Bible, culminated in my growing recognition and understanding that the people, land, and capital of Israel were intended to be, and have been, used to reveal the MOST PROFOUND TRUTH that exists in the universe today: THE TRIUNE GOD OF ISRAEL, who is, by the way, the GOD of all other peoples and things as well.
In subsequent articles I will submit for your analysis portions of these Biblical writings that make these claims, and attempt to relate aspects and events of human history that I believe validate, confirm, and ratify the veracity and accuracy of the scriptures which range in date from the earliest writings of 3,400 years ago (Genesis) to the most recent which are a mere 1,900 years old (New Testament). Ancient writings with much, I submit, current application. But a question must then be asked: Am I engaged in contextual distortion? Or is all this mere coincidence? Further still, is there indeed a correlation between these ancient biblical declarations and current global events? You, reader, get to decide.
In concluding this initial undertaking, let’s note just some of what the Bible’s scribes say is the relationship between GOD and this nation called Israel; and frankly, it looks to me like something special is going on here. God is declared to be:
            1.   THE GOD OF ISRAEL                                                                            Ezekiel 8:4
            2.   THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL                                                              Joshua 24:2
            3.   THE LORD GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND ISRAEL       2Chronicles 30:6
            4.   THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL                                                            Isaiah 1:4
            5.   THE MIGHTY ONE OF ISRAEL                                                            Isaiah 1:24
            6.   THE STRENGTH OF ISRAEL                                                            1Samuel 15:29
            7.   THE CREATOR OF ISRAEL                                                            Isaiah 43:15
            8.   THE HOPE OF ISRAEL                                                                       Jeremiah 14:8
            9.   THE REDEEMER OF ISRAEL                                                             Isaiah 49:7
         10.   THE KING OF ISRAEL                                                                        Isaiah 44:6
*All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version and most of these phrases are used more than once, and some repeatedly.
Additionally, it has just been reported in a New York Times article dated April 3, 2011, that the United Nations appears to be on the verge (September, 2011) of recognizing the Palestinians as a nation and demanding that Israel, among other things, return East Jerusalem, the location of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy sites, to the Palestinians. Since the reunification of Jerusalem by Israel during the Six Day War in June, 1967, Israel refers to this city as “the eternal and undivided capital of the nation of Israel, never to be divided again.” God calls Jerusalem “Mine” (Ezekiel 16:1-8); and Israel “Mine” (Isaiah 43:1), as well.
I hope to have you with me in later editions as we begin an examination and study of this very small, but extremely important country: Israel.
(adapted from The Boone County Spotlight; used with permission)