US Blocks United Nations Resolution on Geoengineering

The United States joined Saudi Arabia to derail a UN resolution that sought to improve the world’s understanding of potential…

MARCH 22 2019

The United States joined Saudi Arabia to derail a UN resolution that sought to improve the world’s understanding of potential efforts to lace the sky with sunlight-reflecting aerosols or use carbon-catching fans. The measure called for a report on carbon capture and solar radiation management.

The two countries were joined by Brazil in blocking the resolution at the UN Environment Assembly conference in Nairobi, Kenya, earlier this week. The measure asked the world’s decision making body on the environment to commission a report outlining research and planning related to carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. Those controversial efforts are still in the planning stage and are not operational.

Switzerland and nine other nations originally asked the UN Environment Program for guidance on possible future governance options and analysis of the implications of geoengineering, but they agreed to substantially reduce the scope of their resolution in hopes that the United States, Saudi Arabia and Brazil would allow it to move forward.

The final version, which failed to gain consensus Wednesday, would have asked UNEP only to provide a compilation by next year of current scientific research on geoengineering and U.N. bodies that have adopted resolutions regarding it.

The proponents wished to see UNEA become the institutional home for geoengineering within the UN structure. But sources said the United States in particular insisted that questions about geoengineering be left to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body with a narrow focus on global warming.

Geoengineering will be a key part of the IPCC’s upcoming Sixth Assessment Report to be published in 2021 and 2022, and sources say the U.S. negotiators refused to agree to any other study or assessment that would be published before it.

The United States’ focus on the IPCC raised eyebrows. Both the United States and Saudi Arabia angered parties at the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in December by questioning IPCC’s work.

The two countries joined Russia to block a popular proposal to “welcome” last year’s landmark IPCC report that said the world must act aggressively to counteract climate change within 12 years. The special report said that failing to do so would result in catastrophic effects.

Besides Switzerland, the motion was backed by Burkina Faso, Micronesia, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Mali, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Niger and Senegal. Other parties, including some European nations and Bolivia, argued for even stronger language for using caution in approaching geoengineering. None of them opposed the final resolution.

The final version of the measure included a lengthy preamble that expressed concern about the “potential transboundary risks and adverse impacts of carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management on the environment and sustainable development.”

It also emphasized the importance of “applying the precautionary principle” when fiddling with the world’s thermostat. (Click to Source)

 

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Acts 4:12 – March 21, 2019

Acts 4:1-37

Peter and John Arrested

As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming [a]in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the [b]message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began toinquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, [c]filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “[d]Rulers and elders of the people, if we are [e]on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, [f]as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that [g]by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—[h]by [i]this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 [j]He is the stone which was rejected by you, the buildersbut which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Threat and Release

13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them [k]as having been with Jesus.14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But when they had ordered them to leave the [l]Council, they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy [m]miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all [n]in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; 22 for the man was more than forty years old on whom this [o]miracle of healing had been performed.

23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O [p]Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,

Why did the [q]Gentiles rage,
And the peoples devise futile things?
26 The kings of the earth [r]took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His [s]Christ.’

27 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy [t]servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the [u]Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29 And [v]now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and [w]signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy [x]servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Sharing among Believers

32 And the [y]congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them [z]claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the [aa]proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of [ab]Encouragement),37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

(Acts 4:1-37) New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 4:2 Or in the case of
  2. Acts 4:4 Lit word
  3. Acts 4:8 Or having just been filled
  4. Acts 4:8 Lit Rulers of the people and elders
  5. Acts 4:9 Lit answering
  6. Acts 4:9 Or by whom
  7. Acts 4:10 Or in
  8. Acts 4:10 Or in
  9. Acts 4:10 Or Him
  10. Acts 4:11 Lit This One
  11. Acts 4:13 Lit that they had been
  12. Acts 4:15 Or Sanhedrin
  13. Acts 4:16 Or sign
  14. Acts 4:18 Or on the basis of
  15. Acts 4:22 Or sign
  16. Acts 4:24 Or Master
  17. Acts 4:25 Or nations
  18. Acts 4:26 Or approached
  19. Acts 4:26 Or Anointed One; i.e. Messiah
  20. Acts 4:27 Or Son
  21. Acts 4:27 Or nations
  22. Acts 4:29 Or as for the present situation
  23. Acts 4:30 Or attesting miracles
  24. Acts 4:30 Or Son
  25. Acts 4:32 Or multitude
  26. Acts 4:32 Lit was saying
  27. Acts 4:34 Lit the prices of the things being sold
  28. Acts 4:36 Or Exhortation or Consolation

 

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – John 3:17 – March 19. 2019

John 3:1-36

The New Birth

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;15 so that whoever [d]believes will in Him have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the [f]only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

John’s Last Testimony

22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized— 24 for John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” 27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves [g]are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the [h]Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 “He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; [i]for He gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not [j]obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

(John 3:1-36New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

 

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:2 Or attesting miracles
  2. John 3:3 Or from above
  3. John 3:7 Or from above
  4. John 3:15 Or believes in Him will have eternal life
  5. John 3:16 Or unique, only one of His kind
  6. John 3:18 Or unique, only one of His kind
  7. John 3:28 Lit testify for me
  8. John 3:28 I.e. Messiah
  9. John 3:34 Lit because He does not give the Spirit by measure
  10. John 3:36 Or believe

 
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Catastrophism God’s Judgments Written in the Stars and Heavens: Cosmological Raiment

POSTED : CELESTE B., DATE : 

Each cataclysm is like a giant hand sweeping across the countryside,
leaving its fingerprints for us to find as we sift through the evidence in
our search for the solution to this consuming mystery.

These fingerprints sometimes are well hidden amongst the heavy
footprints of uniformitarian evidence. The two disciplines —
uniformitarian geology and cataclysmology — find no real contest
between them; they complement each other, and actually a marriage of
the two schools is in order….

Overwhelming annihilating force of the waters moving at utterly unbelievable speeds can, in the blink of an eye, obliterate entire civilizations and every vestige of anything they ever accomplished.

Even in our times there have been occasions when a simple dam’s breaking and releasing its waters over a small town below literally wiped out every splinter of evidence of the town and people having been there.

Freezing a 5-ton animal in less than 2 hours by some cataclysmic event…

One of the fingerprints which the giant cataclysmic hand leaves,
telling us of this supernatural violence on the earth, is the plethora of
mammalian teeth found in the sharp demarcation boundary between earth strata such as we see in the Grand Canyon…. 

Postlude, Adam and Eve Story, Chan Thomas, CIA

This article will utilize the whole counsel of God including apocryphal and pseudo-apocryphal, as well as briefly touching upon texts and writings that may make you uncomfortable as He increases your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge about the days in which we live.  Foundations were laid in the Old Testament and we will draw heavily from those foundations and will end with the fulfillment in Jesus Christ.  As we begin this journey I need to note that some material will appear in Hebraic concept and framework where it is first introduced and it expands from creation until the End.

God is Stirring the Nest and Hovering over His Young

He found him in a desert land, in a barren, howling wilderness; He surrounded him, He instructed him, He guarded him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, He spread His wings to catch them; He carried them on His pinions.  Deuteronomy 32: 11

It begins.  I sought unto the Word of the Lord for refreshment after an intense week.  A curiosity inspired by the Holy Spirit on white linen garment, has unfolded unto a cosmic catastrophism panorama spanning creation unto the end.  About now, you should be feeling a stirring within your spirit as the Lord Himself, Maker of Heaven and Earth begins to prepare you, as a bride assembling her wedding garments, for all eternity with your Beloved.  Some know their Beloved, while those arranged by the Divine Matchmaker, do not know much about their marriage partner-to-be. As the Bride, you desire to know everything about your Bridegroom including the length, width, and depth of His love for you.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.…Ephesians 3:18

Brace yourself as we are going to watch the plasma of creation disappear and another creation to emerge.  As the Bride prepares her garment, “All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll,” Psalms 102:26, for the scroll likened unto a bridal and cosmic garment.

Faith Lesson:  Is the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing into my life and am I responding to His direction?

God Wants You to Enlarge the Tent Stakes of Your Understanding

Enlarge the site of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not hold back. Lengthen your ropes and drive your stakes deep.    Isaiah 54:2

We enjoy being comfortable.  I get it, because I too, enjoy a smooth flow in my life.  We want our serene and convenient perception of God and His works, creation, the earth, our church, our interactions with other people, our ministry, our preferred style of prayer, and our preference for service to Jesus.  This is normal and is called the normalcy bias.  That said, God has shaken the foundations of the earth and heavens and has opened a window of opportunity for you to expand your the tent stakes of your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of Him much as Bezalel was filled with these ennobled characteristics when he constructed the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

You are the focal point of all of creation!  Jesus desires you to become an ark for His presence during some very dark times. You will need to become of builder of this ark consulting His Word, digging firm a firm foundation, and making a sheltering roof.

To do this, you need to become a holy vessel and bow to His to His service because Jesus is concerned with your heart and essence not merely physical protection.

Jesus wants every part of your life to reflect Him and for you to allow Him into your heart as a resting place in which to dwell.

Only God knows the acts, the times, and the places that we will each travel and He wants you to be prepared and follow Him.

You must embrace the Butterfly Effect, that your thoughts and actions affect not only yourself but the entire cosmos and universe.  Yes it is true, every good or evil thought or deed affects the cosmos.

Jesus wants you too voluntarily and with generosity, serve Him.  He will not force or coerce you.

It is interesting that for some reason, known only unto God, He wanted us to re-examine the Book of Exodus with eyes that could discern the current days and times.  The Blood of Exodus begins with God naming His souls and the harsh embittered life of oppression in which they lived.  Through supernatural signs and wonders God brought out His people as He will do once again for you and your family.  God takes His people on a journey and my friend you have already begun your journey.  He then commands the Tabernacle of the Wilderness to be built.  It is fascinating that Exodus ends with the Clouds of Glory by day and Pillar of Fire of night.  As we plumb the depths of garment of ticking clock of catastrophism you will learn how these represent our new reality.

Faith Lesson:  This week I will enlarge the tent-stakes of my wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of Jesus by _____________.  I will also do ____________ to prepare my spiritual life for the days ahead. Lastly, I will be mindful about the effect that I have to others and rippling out unto the cosmos and universe.  

The Garment

Mitre of the High Priest saying, ‘Holy unto God’

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  I Peter 2:9

Throughout the Holy Scriptures garments and skin are referenced in fine detail.  Why does God go to such lengths to describe some garments so elaborately?  As a kingdom of priest’s you must know the garments worn by the High Priest’s attending to the service of God are both literally and symbolical of creation and the universe and all that is contained within.

Cf. Spec Leg i. 84; Vita Mos ii. 143 includes the following words: “the vesture, woven with its manifold workmanship to represent the universe that is the long robe and the ephod in the shape of a breastplate.” In particular, it is worth noticing that Josephus also postulates a cosmological interpretation of the high priest’s garments.

In his Book of Antiquities, Josephus says, “that is the:

  • vestment (being made of linen) symbolizes the sky;
  • its pomegranates are like lightning;
  • the noise of the bells resembles thunder;
  • the ephod presents the universe of four elements;
  • the gold interwoven stands for the splendor by which all things are enlightened;
  • the breastplate in the middle of the ephod indicates the earth,
  • which is located in the centre of the universe;
  • the girdle points to the ocean;
  • each of the sardonyxes (onyx with metaphysical properties) on the high priest’s shoulders connote the sun and the moon;
  • the twelve stones symbolize the months or the like number of the signs of that circle, namely the Zodiac;
  • the mitre which is blue in color stands for heaven.

W. Whiston (tr.), The Works of Josephus (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987)

The materials and colors should sound familiar to you as they represent the path of Jesus!

  • Righteousness (blue-tekhelet),
  • Agraman (purple-royalty),
  • Crimson (shedding his blood on the stake)
  • Fine twisted (white) linen (his purity and restoration at the resurrection).
  • Gold

These colors were also used at God’s command for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

This is what Philo, a Jewish commentator living in Egypt during the time of Jesus’ ministry, says on the concept:

The high priest, then, being equipped in this way, is properly prepared for the performance of all sacred ceremonies, that, whenever he enters the temple to offer up the prayers and sacrifices in use among his nation, all the world may likewise enter in with him, by means of the imitations of it which he bears about him, the garment reaching to his feet, being the imitation of the air, the pomegranate of the water, the flowery hem of the earth, and the scarlet dye of his robe being the emblem of fire; also, the mantle over his shoulders being a representation of heaven itself; the two hemispheres being further indicated by the round emeralds on the shoulder-blades, on each of which were engraved six characters equivalent to six signs of the zodiac; the twelve stones arranged on the breast in four rows of three stones each, namely the logeum, being also an emblem of that reason which holds together and regulates the universe. (On Moses, 2:133)

The priest’s attiring himself with the priestly garment symbolizes that he is identified both with God and with the people. The sacred character of the priestly garment implies that the priest’s is clothed with it signifies that he is unified with its sacredness, which is typified by its glory and beauty as we see in Exodus 28:2. In particular, the priest is symbolically identified with God’s divinity.  When he dresses himself with the priestly garment, he becomes a man who is set apart from the ordinary people.

It should also not escape your notice that these are an integral part of your armor of might.  We do not often think of our armor as a priestly garment:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girdle) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod (barefoot) with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith (is the Robe), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet (mitre) of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Word of God), which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18, KJV

Faith Lesson:  From this day forward, I will look upon the armor that God provides as a priestly garment that represents the vast array of His creation.  When I put it on, I am secure in knowing I serve Jesus with all of my heart, mind and strength and that He is my Protector and Deliverer. Jesus has provided me this armor that I might be insulated from harm.

You are an Integral Part of the Garment of God

Does God, your Abba Father, wear a garment?

Quite frequently in the Old Testament passages refer to God’s clothing.  It is as if God’s Spirit were dressing Himself as a human being!  Consider the following verses:

“the Spirit of the Lord put on Gideon,” Judges 6:34

“the Spirit put on Amasai, a captain of the thirty,” 1 Chronicles 12:18

“the Spirit of God put on Azarias the son of Jodae the priest,”  2 Chronicles 24:20. 

The Septuagint supports the translation of the verses using the same verb, which means “to put on” from Judges 6:34.  The literal translation from the Hebrew texts renders the word “clothed itself with.”

God’s Spirit puts on a specific human being as his clothing in order to empower that person for divine warfare. What is meant by this strange metaphor of the Spirit of God putting on a human being? Perhaps it is meant that when you operate under the control of the Spirit of God, exercising His power through that man. When such a union between God and man takes place, the man is dominated by God’s Spirit, so that the man’s being is under the Spirit of God’s control. You are being armed by God with His power to become a war hero.  To God you are His asset.  He who initiates the warfare is not the man being empowered, but God, who is doing the empowering. In the warfare, you become God’s secret weapon. God identifies himself with you.  One could say supernaturally endowed. This supernatural infusing of a human being resembles the priest’s wearing a garment of divinity when he put on priestly garments. Our armor emphasizes and identifies with God’s power while as His priest’s we are identified with His holiness.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  Romans 13:12-14, KJV

Not only is God girding you for war through inspiration and revelation, He is also gearing up as we see:

He saw that there was no man—He was amazed that there was no one to intercede; so His own arm brought salvation, and His own righteousness sustained Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in a cloak of zeal.  Isaiah 59:17

In Judges, I Chronicles, and 2 Chronicles, it is amazing how intimately clothed God identifies Himself with each of us. This metaphor is employed in order to describe what God can do when he is willing to fight against the foes of his people. Ponder this for a brief moment:  that God becomes one with you.  He empowers you physically so that He may exert His supernatural power through you.  At that moment, you are made to be at one with God, as a garment virtually becomes one with its wearer. But this does not mean that you can be totally equated with God, because the raiment can never be equated with its wearer. This is similar to the fact, that although God’s people are supernaturally endowed by being identified with God’s holiness, they cannot be thoroughly equated with God’s divinity itself as we can see:

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.  Zechariah 3:3-5

Faith Lesson:  I am so humbled to be aware that God choose me as His garment in this world and I will think and act accordingly. 

Cosmological Garment

Image:  Hubble

As I have mentioned, the Bible frequently uses the analogy between the cosmos and a garment.  The Psalmist says:

In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing [raiment] You will change them, and they will be passed on.  Psalm 102:26

This passage maintains an eschatological view of the cosmos. Its point is that in the future the cosmos will vanish; in order to describe this idea, the psalmist employs the theme of wearing out a garment and replacing it. As a garment wears out, so the cosmos will also wear out; as a worn-out garment is replaced by another, so the cosmos will also be replaced by a new one:

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  Isaiah 66:22

The author of the Book of Isaiah is pre-occupied with the replacement of heaven and earth and so he does not present who the wearer of the cosmological garment is or how that garment functions. The only concern is what happens to heaven and earth in the future.

The universe will come to an end and will be replaced by a new one, just as a worn-out garment is replaced by a new one. A similar analogy is used, which reads:

the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment. Isaiah 51:6.

This time the focus is viewing the universe, not necessarily heaven. Just as we saw in Psalm 102 the universe is already at wearing out much like a garment or s a corpse, decomposing.  When we look up unto the myriads of stars, it is difficult to envisage that the cosmos is already wearing out.  God, in His goodness and kindness will replace the worn garment with a new cosmos.

Our passages do not present who the wearer of the cosmological garment is or how that garment functions. Its only concern is with the eschatological change which will happen to the universe. The biblical authors makes use of the concept “wearing out like a garment.” That is, as a worn-out garment is replaced by a new garment, so the present cosmos when it is dissolved will be exchanged with a new one as we saw above.

The author of Hebrews quotes both Psalms 102:26 and Isaiah 34:4 to express a strongly eschatological view of the cosmos:

they [the earth and the heavens] will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed.  Hebrews 1: 11-12

Here we see that the scroll [of the Old Testament] is replaced by a mantle [in the New Testament].  The author highlighting that the present cosmos will be changed into a new one as seen in:

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  Revelation 6:14

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  Revelation 20:11

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  Revelation 21:21

As a garment wears out and is exchanged with a new one, so the cosmos will grow old and will be replaced by an indestructible one in keeping with God’s eternal being. As a mantle is rolled up, so the present universe will be rolled up, and a new one will come into existence.  Remember that this echoes the vestments worn by High Priest as described by Philo and Josephus.

Philo believes that the Jewish high priest’s garment symbolizes the universe, because of its imitation of all the pictures of the universe. When he adorns himself with the garment, the high priest becomes a microcosm and is identified with the universe.  This is why God was so detailed in His descriptions.  This is also why, as His priest’s we need to be ever so careful that we reflect His Name and glory.

In summary, the cosmological garment is just as replaceable as a set of clothing with a new creation.  Despite subtle differences in the passages that we have viewed, what is clear is that all the starry host will disintegrate, and the sky, which contains them, will be rolled up like a scroll. 

Here the concept of “replacing,” which is seen in Psalm 102:26 and implied in Isaiah 51:6, does not occur. What is important to remember is that change is in the air.

Faith Lesson:  I can see that I am wearing out.  Now I understand that the whole cosmos is wearing out also.  How am I preparing for this eventuality?  What steps can I take for eternity?

 

Many Colored Robes

Of the many types of garments that we see in Holy Scripture two grab our attention and those are the simple white garments and the colored (variegated) robes.

What are the garments of the Priests and High Priest?

Tunic-Checkered patterned linen garment made with six strands.  It was sewn in tubules.  Remember this for it will become important later on.  It would go the length of the priest from his shoulders unto the ground, but not dragging.

Turban-White linen dome-like hat that had turquoise blue straps holding the mitre.

Sash-Purple and scarlet wool fabric of four threads with six strands.

Breeches-White linen, boxer-style.

Breastplate [of Judgment]-This garment covered the heart.  It is composed of four threads, each thread contained 7 strands.  It contained the Ephod and ChoshenUrim v Thumim which was the High Priests communication with God.  The seven strands look very much like the dendrites within our body.  Dendrites are projections of a neuron (nerve cell) that receive signals (information) from other neurons. The transfer of information from one neuron to another is achieved through chemical signals and electric impulses, that is, electrochemical signals. The information transfer is usually received at the dendrites through chemical signals, then it travels to the cell body (soma), continues along the neuronal axon as electric impulses, and it is finally transferred onto the next neuron at the synapse, which is the place where the two neurons exchange information through chemical signals. At the synapse meet the end of one neuron and the beginning—the dendrites—of the other.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Apron-Over shoulders by suspends to the ground.

Robe-Outer Garment made of a turquoise wool.  On the hem were the pomegranates and golden bells.  It had a neck opening like a suit of armor. 

Headplate-a pure gold plate embossed with, ‘Holy unto God’

Before we depart the fibers used for the High Priest’s garments we should note that these same colors and fibers were used in the construction of the fabrics necessary for the construction of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

The High Priest’s investiture with the colored robe signifies that he is united with the universe, which is identified with the Mind in the universe which is God the Father. When he adorns himself with the robe, he becomes a microcosm, which connotes that he has been identified with God.

The many-colored robe with the long skirt indicates aspects of the spirit which is pure with respect to the world of our senses and human life in outward things.  Yet the variegated garment may be called, the garment of opinions and impressions of the  I which should be laid aside, as the high priest enters into the most holy place; he should leave it behind for those that love outward things and value semblance above reality.

In one sense these two garments represent the two different priestly garments with  “the long robe and the ephod in the shape of a breastplate, which is  also called the “many-colored one [robe] with the long skirt”; the latter, the white robe which is made of fine linen.

Philo believes that when the high priest performs his office dressed in these sacred garments, he becomes superior to all men, not only to all private individuals, but also to all kings (cf. Vita Mas ii. 131). Philo seems to implicitly portray the high priest as a royal figure.

The most remarkable point in his interpretation of the high priest’s vesture is that he discovers a cosmological significance in it. This expands onto what we have already learned thus far:

  • The priest has entitled the embroidered or variegated breastplateExodus 29:5a representation and copy of the shining constellations (Sam i. 214).
  • To put on the aforesaid tunic, the representation of the universal heaven, in order that the world may join with the man in offering sacrifice, and that the man may likewise co-operate with the universe (Sam i. 215).

The former passage emphasizes that the high priest’s apparel holds a heavenly splendor, while the latter stresses the unity between man and the universe and their mutual co-operation.

Weaving and Geo-Engineering

You might be interested to know that the same process used to make the fabrics for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the High Priest’s garments is the same ancient weaving process by which those Geo Engineering the earth are weaving an electrically charged web over our heads in the firmament placed by God.

Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors

When you ponder a coat of many colors your mind instantly goes to Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors. Jacob love his youngest son very much and so most of us are content to leave it at that.  But, is there more to the story?

Jacob was actually teaching Joseph hidden mysteries within the Bible.  I [the Torah] was unto Him a nursling, I was a delight.  Proverbs 8:30  One such secret is that old age, when Jacob taught Joseph has a numerical value is symbolic to a crown and Proverbs 17:6 tells us:  The crown of elders is grandchildren. 

The Coat of Many Colors was made of fine wool.  The robe or garment was highly ornamented which was very unusual and impractical for shepherds tantamount to conferring a birthright to his son for service unto God, setting him apart, by priestly robes and a sacred cotton tunic.  There are many opinions as to how elaborate this garment was:

  • Royal garment
  • Colorful or many colors
  • Embroidered
  • Long garment, coming to the palm of his hands and ankles
  • Acronym of the troubles by which Joseph would be subjected: Potiphar, Merchants [who bought Joseph], Ishmaelites [to whom Joseph was sold], and the Midanites.
  • Tubular construction (remember this for this construction is critical understand to our times and will be covered in a later article).

This drawing shows Joseph on his bed, dreaming the dreams he will tell his brothers:

For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.  Genesis 37:7 [one layer of understanding is that this refers the fruitfulness of God’s provision on the terrestrial earth and kingship]

And again he spoke to them, saying: “I had a dream more, and look, the sun and the moon (representing his family) and the eleven stars (his brothers) bowed down to my star.” [one layer of understanding is that this refers to the cosmological clock]

His brothers answered him and said “Shall you indeed reign over us?” and they hated him for his dreams and for his words, which were the cause for their future ugly behavior. His parents give him glances full of doubt.

The following is a bit abstract so this is a time for you implement your tent enlarging abilities:

Dressed in the priestly garment denotes that the whole of the universe enters in with him, by means of this cosmological symbolism. His being attired with it indicates his being clothed with the cosmos. In other words, it signifies that the priest is actually identified with the universe. This idea is clearly seen in Philo’s argument that when the high priest adorns himself with the priestly garment he becomes a microcosm. Indeed, he [the Father’s Son in Vita Mos ii. 134] gives to the servant of God [the high priest] a pre-lesson: even though he [the high priest] cannot be worthy of the cosmos [Maker], he should strive persistently try to be worthy of the cosmos [Maker], when he clothes himself with the imitation [of the cosmos] in a way in which he is obliged to straightly carry about the pattern [of it] in his mind, so as to be transformed from a man into the nature of the cosmos- himself a  little cosmos.

Faith Lesson:  I remember Joseph’s coat of many colors and now it makes more sense to me because the colored robe is symbolic of the cosmos, which is in reality a microcosm of God’s creation. As I out on my armor of God I will think big as to what humble things the Jesus is asking of me, and how my actions interact with the Big Picture.  

White Linen

One way to understand the High Priest is that when he dons his priestly garment it seems to infer that he has somehow been changed into a supernatural being or at the minimum has supernatural abilities for a limited time. This understanding can be supported by Philo’s identification of the universe with God, although God remains, at the same time, separate from the universe.

Philo also believes that the linen robe also has a symbolic meaning. He affirms that it is an emblem of strong fiberincorruptibility and the most brilliant lightfor fine linen is hard to tear, and is made from no mortal creature, and moreover when carefully cleaned has a very brilliant and luminous color.

He applies this figurative meaning of the linen robe, in particular, to the worshiper, saying:

among those who worship Him that is with guileless purity, there is not one that does not, in the first place, exercise strength of will and judgment by a contempt for human interests which ensnare and hurt and enfeeble us; and, in the second place, laugh to scorn all the unsubstantial aims of mortal men, and set his heart on into God. 

Yes, my friends, if we only had the faith of a mustard seeds we could indeed move mountains. 

In another very interesting twist, Philo, was actively writing during Jesus’ ministry, seems to have anticipated themes in the yet to be written Renewed Covenant (New Testament) writings about Messiah:

For it was indispensable that the man who was consecrated to the Father of the world, should have as a paraclete [Greek word for “advocate”, sometimes used to point to the Holy Spirit], his Son, the being most perfect in all virtue, to procure forgiveness of sins, and a supply of unlimited blessings; perhaps, also, he is thus giving a previous warning to the servant of God, even if he is unable to make himself worthy of the Creator, of the world, at least to labor incessantly to make himself worthy of the world itself; the image of which he is clothed in, in a manner that binds him from the time that he puts it on, to bear about the pattern of it in his mind, so that he shall be in a manner changed from the nature of a man into the nature of the world, and, if one may say so (and one may by all means and at all times speak the plain truth in sincerity), become a little world himself. (On Moses, 2:134-135)

In the Aramaic this takes on a collective meaning, He who ends the curse. As a result, if this somehow got loaned out to the Greek, Philo may be expressing the original usage where paraclete refers to the Son of Yah/Messiah and not to the Holy Spirit who comes after the Son goes away. Philo here is clearly linking the one who ends the curse with the son of the Creator.  Scroll to Scroll, Andrew Gabriel Roth

When we consider that we are but dust plus Divine breath, Genesis 2:7 it should solidify our resolve not to forsake our humanity.  God implants His Image into us and that is the only Image that we need in our life.  For the soul, the human body is residence and garment at the same time. The priest’s clothing himself with the white linen robe signifies that he equips himself with strengthincorruptibility, and radiance, which can also be applied to the worshiper’s strength of holy will-powerconcentration on immortality, and living of a life illuminated by truth.

How breathtaking to ponder that my immortality in Jesus Christ is living in the cloudless splendor of truth, no longer entertaining any of the creations of false opinion so dear to darkness.

Further, Philo sees that the two varieties of priestly garments symbolize two aspects of the soul. That is to say, while the linen robe signifies one aspect of the spirit which is undefiled towards God with respect to inward things, we then enter [the Holy of Holies] naked, with no colored borders or sound of bells, to pour as a libation the His blood upon our soul and to offer as incense the whole-mind to God our Savior and Benefactor.  Here, nakedness undoubtedly indicates purity of the spirit and not physical nudity, since the high priest never officiated in the nude.

In brief, Philo underscores that when the high priest adorns himself with priestly garments he becomes a  different figure from others, that is, a supernatural-like being, associated with the Pauline emphasis on the believer’s change in his status or nature and his mode of existence through union with Christ (Gal 3:27; Rom 13:14; Col 3:9-10; Eph 4:22-24; 1 Cor 15:49, 50-54; 2 Cor 5:1-4). 2.4.4

Faith Lesson:  I am taking steps this very moment to put on my white robe the emblem of strong fiber, incorruptibility and most brilliant light in Jesus Christ who is my Advocate.  I desire my spiritual walk and relationship with Him to be brilliant and of luminous color.

Twelve Garments of Lucifer

Lucius is a ‘personage’ that emerges immediately after his initiation into the Mystery Religions that are based upon secret forbidden knowledge from the nephilim.  He is clothed in twelve cosmological garments that we will discuss later.  The High Priest of God wore eight garments while this cosmological ‘personage’ wore twelve.  Evil always must project more ‘powerful’ and more ‘complex’.

Their are different interpretations concerning who is the Father, Son, and the world each reflecting a particular worldview and very distinct and different realities.

As we come to the close of the Book of Exodus discussing the Clouds of Glory and the Pillar of Fire the Onkelos Targummakes in interesting point that is pertinent for our day: it says it was the appearance of fire rather than actual fire which some people see as problematic.  Instead of translating the Bible literally and fire would be on it at night, he refers to it as an appearance of fire. Now either there was fire, or there was only the appearance of fire. This is not an example of different ways of understanding a law or a narrative. Onkelos introduces a translation which changes a biblical portrait of reality. Was there a pillar of fire or only the appearance of a pillar of fire? Once such changes are made, and the Bible is not translated literally, what prevents us from suggesting other such changes? Perhaps there was only the appearance of the Sea of Reeds splitting. Perhaps there was only the appearance of the Nile turning to blood. Does it really make a difference if we are literal in perceptions in reality.   Onkelos on the Torah: Understanding the Bible Text (Exodus) p. 278 and commentary in Scroll to Scroll, Andrew Gabriel Roth.

I am not a linguistic scholar, but I believe it may contain both realities.  The first being a literal cloud and fire.  The second, insights into the prophetic or heavenly realm.

Faith Lesson:  I will attempt to integrate various levels of biblical understanding as I study Scripture.  I will look to see the simple language (plain) text, historical, allegorical or metaphorical symbolism, and hidden nuggets that are applicable to my life.

One in the Father

Near is He who declares Me right. Who would contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. See, the Master helps Me. Who would declare Me wrong? See, all of them wear out like a garment, a moth eats them. Who among you is fearing God, obeying the voice of His Servant, that has walked in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of God and lean upon his God!

See, all you who light a fire, girding on burning arrows: walk in the light of your fire and in the burning arrows you have lit. From My hand you shall have this: you shall lie down in grief! Isaiah 50:8-11

That all of them may be One; as You my Father are in me and I in You, that they also may be One in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent me. And the glory that You have given to me I have given to them that they may be One as we are One. I in them and You in me, that they may be perfected into One and that the world may know that You have sent me, and that You have loved them as also You have loved me. Father, those whom You have given to me, I desire that where I am they might also be with me that they might see my glory that You have given to me because You have loved me from before the foundations of the world. John 17:21-24, AENT

I hope that you are finding this pattern of catastrophism as interesting as I am.  We still have much to learn and much of it is action packed for the adventure lovers out there.  I will confess, that when the Lord first took me to the edge to peek, I was startled and edged back, not really desiring to dive in.  But I trust Him when He desires me to get out of my comfort zone. (Click to Source)

 

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Montana just endured one of the nation’s most exceptional cold spells on record

 

There’s a kind of cold that’s legitimately dangerous. It can causes frostbite in minutes to unexposed skin. In parts of the Lower 48 states, such extreme cold is not uncommon, for a few days to at most a week.

But over the entire month of February and even into March, such exceptional, life-threatening cold never departed parts of Montana. Temperatures averaging 20 to 30 degrees below normal gripped huge areas in the state, as well as parts of the Dakotas.

These places are normally cold but this chill was unlike anything seen in the contiguous United States in decades, for both its intensity and its duration.

The February temperature departures from normal were stunning. Several major climate locations averaged 27 to 28 degrees below normal, which were the most extreme in the Lower 48 for a full month since January 1969, according to Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider.

Great Falls, Montana, was at the heart of it. The mercury didn’t rise above zero on 11 days and dropped to zero or below on 24 nights. Only the first day of the month topped freezing. Its average February temperature finished 27.5 degrees below normal.

The punishing and unrelenting cold continued into March. On March 3, the low temperature tanked to a bone-chilling minus-32 in Great Falls. Combined with a high of minus-8, the day finished a whopping 50 degrees below normal. The city concluded its longest stretch on record below freezing on March 7.

“For February 3rd through March 4th, Great Falls, MT averaged 32.3F below normal,” Sam Lillo, a PhD student in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, recently tweeted.

While the cold in February was remarkable for its persistence, the brutal Arctic blast to begin March delivered the most intensity. Almost two dozen official stations in Montana broke monthly records during the early-month Arctic invasion, with widespread readings in the minus-30s to minus-40s.

An all-time record state low for March of minus-46 was also likely established. Icing on a cake long frozen.

A comparison of this historic cold snap to unusual 30-day cold streaks in other parts of the country shows that in most locations, there is no historical record of cold so extreme lasting so long. Only portions of the northern and central Plains into parts of the Midwest have seen anything like it in modern history.

So what was the driver behind this abnormal cold? Turns out we can largely blame a meandering high pressure that delivered Alaska record warmth during February.

“It was a warm January and February with high pressure off the West Coast,” Erik Gustafson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Great Falls, said in an interview. Then that high pressure shifted toward Alaska, which “allowed extremely cold air to come down the Rockies, in round after round.”

The repeated Arctic outbreaks delivered Montana “northeast winds behind fronts, and this reinforcing wind holds the cold in,” Gustafson said. Thanks to these regular intrusions, cold air was “stuck in valleys and against the mountains with no place to go.”

Although the heart of the extraordinary cold was centered in parts of Montana and adjacent Canada, impressive cold was also observed to the east in the Dakotas.

A number of places saw one of their top five coldest Februaries there, including Minot, Bowman and Williston. Fargo has now had 62 days in a row with temperatures at or below freezing through Sunday, which is eighth longest on record for that city.

While temperatures are still cold in the Northern Plains, the pattern has shifted a bit. A less extreme version of colder-than-normal weather may persist into the next week or so. Beyond that, there are signs of closer to normal or even a few days above normal later this month. (Click to Source)

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A Crisis of Despair: Christian Mental Health Professional Reveals the Reason Behind Recent Surge in Suicides and Drug-Related Deaths

Writer – March 6, 2019

 

America is in the midst of a suicide epidemic, reflecting deeper problems that go beyond mental illness.

A new report released this week revealed that the number of U.S. deaths related to alcohol, drug use, and suicide are at an all-time high. The data analysis, conducted by public health nonprofits Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust, used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dating back to 1999. Their findings show that 2017, the most recent year that data were available, reflected the highest level of these preventable deaths since federal data collection began in 1999

At the root of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse is the affliction of despair. A very basic conclusion we can draw, then, is that America is experiencing an uptick in despair, of which there are many causes. To help make further sense of this troubling surge, Faithwire reached out to licensed professional counselor and Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, Carly Graham.

As a mental health professional who works with clients dealing with suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol addiction, and general feelings of hopelessness, Graham described a troubling stigma that exacerbates these issues.

“The stigma surrounding mental health challenges is often associated with one’s mental and emotional ‘strength’ or a perceived lack of it,” Graham explained. “This assumption does an unfortunate disservice to those who could benefit from treatment; as a result, many resort to using alcohol, drugs, and other destructive behaviors because they may feel able to accept those unhealthy coping mechanisms easier than accepting treatment.”

And while increased mental health awareness has helped to reduce that stigma, other cultural factors contribute to the loneliness that leads many to seek harmful forms of escape.

The need for community

“One of the prevalent problems I’ve seen with clients over and over is social isolation,” Graham said. “Even though we have a society that is active on social media and we have a 24-hour news cycle, I’ve found that individuals feel more disconnected than they used to because they don’t have a supportive community in-person.”

“Many individuals isolate while they deal with mental and physical health symptoms, as well as addiction. In the isolation, many individuals are often driven to despair,” she added. “Many friends, family, and other loved ones often times are not sure how to help an individual who is suffering, and that can result in frustration on both sides.”

Graham noted that while “many other factors can cause social isolation,” she has “witnessed numerous times how clients’ symptoms and general outlook on life have improved when they were a part of a supportive community and truly felt that others cared about them and expressed that to them.”

A culture of death

Kimberly McDonald lost her father to suicide in 2010. As a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in a hospital, for county government, and in a private practice, she’s witnessed how our modern culture often leads people to despair.

“We are a society that criticizes and lacks compassion, integrity, and empathy,” the Wisconsin native said, as reported by USA Today. “I work daily with individuals who each have their own demons.”

McDonald’s father took his own life after he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

“He knew the trajectory of where the disease would take him,” she said.

We live in a cultural climate that is increasingly secular, with legislators commonly pushing policies that ignore or attack the dignity of human life. Liberal assisted suicide laws and a growing push for abortion up until birth serve as troubling examples of this deadly shift.

Could there be a possible link between this shift and the rise of suicide, drug and alcohol-related deaths? It certainly makes sense.

When our culture denies that life has any transcendent meaning, or that God has sovereignty over life, we can’t be shocked when people take that message to heart.

Hope is the opposite of despair. If anything, the latest data reflect a nation in desperate need, not for escape, but hope.

Reversing the deadly cycle

Christians find a message of eternal hope in the person of Jesus Christ, and the Bible is filled with verses that describe the hope we have in God.

Graham described how her Christian faith has been an asset in her efforts to help those seeking peace, hope, and relief amid feelings of despair.

“My Christian faith in the foundation of my counseling theory and approach,” she told Faithwire. “Even though I work in a non-Christian treatment facility, I strongly believe that I am in a position to show acceptance, patience, and care to my clients in a way that hopefully helps them feel safe enough to work on their core emotional challenges.”

The licensed professional counselor noted, however, certain problems within Christian communities that can do great harm to the vulnerable.

“One of the most destructive things I’ve heard in church culture is [people] assuming that experiencing a mental illness means the individual does not trust God enough or have a strong enough faith,” she said.

“I believe this misconception increases the stigma even more,” she added, “and that is why seeking help in church can feel risky. This is tragic but many counselors such as myself are working to increase dialogue about mental health and normalize that many people deal with this.”

Graham shared some helpful ways that average individuals can work to combat this crisis of despair.

“One way is to share openly about these struggles and how common they are,” she said. “Another way is to educate yourself about mental health and mental illness.”

Graham recommends the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America as great resources for those looking to learn more about mental illness. (Click to Source)

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to getRecovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Linkhere.

 

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Updated Information on the Crucifixion of Jesus

by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1992

Since the publication of my book “Secrets of Golgotha” in the Spring of 1988, there has been a steady flow of new information which shows that the crucifixion of Jesus took place on the Mount of Olives. Some of the evidence has come from other scholars who have seen the fact that Jesus was executed somewhere near the summit of Olivet. A great deal has also been arrived at by further research of my own. What is emerging is real evidence that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb located in Jerusalem are nowhere near the proper spot where the actual crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus took place. This fact has revolutionary consequences associated with it. This is because the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Armenian Orthodox churches for the past 1660 years have generally accepted the area associated with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the crucifixion site. Even classical historians have thought the site has most of the historical credentials to justify its acceptance by the scholarly world. But this new evidence shows that the Constantinian Church is thoroughly wrong. The Bible and history plainly establish that the Mount of Olives is the real place of the crucifixion. This new Historical Report has further evidence to prove this conclusion.

ust over 118 years ago in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly (1873, 115; also 1870, 379-381) Dr. Hutchinson suggested that the crucifixion of Jesus must have taken place east of the Temple Mount — which placed it on the Mount of Olives. Until the publication of my book “Secrets of Golgotha,” that is the last scholarly indication I have found which suggests that the crucifixion happened on Olivet. Since A.D. 1873, the only candidates for the site have been the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which was built west of the second wall of Jerusalem or at the Garden Tomb region north and east of the Damascus Gate. But my book shows from the New Testament and early Jewish records that the southern summit of the Mount of Olives near the altar “without the sanctuary” where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes (Ezekiel 43:21) has far greater credentials for being the site.

The first point to notice is that the burning of the Red Heifer and Jesus’ crucifixion were symbolically connected in a precise way by Christians who lived during the period of Herod’s Temple. The author of the Book of Hebrews (about AD. 61) stated that Jesus was a ‘sin offering” for the world and that his sin-atoning death epitomized the symbolic role of all the sin offerings sacrificed at the Temple (Hebrews 10:8-14). The major sin offerings were burnt to ashes at an altar region east of the Temple near the top of the Mount of Olives. Besides that, all of the ashes of the other sacrifices offered at the Altar of Burnt Offering in the Temple itself were deposited at the same altar east of the Temple on Olivet (Leviticus 4:12:6:11). The author of Hebrews also connected the ashes of the Red Heifer (which were mixed with pure spring water) with the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus which occurred at the precise time of his crucifixion (9:13,14). And particularly note this point. In the Letter of Barnabas(written by a person from Jerusalem about A.D.90), the author stated that the Red Heifer in Christian circles was reckoned as Jesus. “The calf is Jesus: the sinful men offering it are those who led him to the slaughter (8:2).” Remarkably, very few Christian historians have asked: “Where was this Red Heifer altar?”

As explained in my book “Secrets of Golgotha,” the early Jewish records found in the Mishnah plainly state that the Red Heifer altar was located directly east of the Temple that existed in Jesus’ time and that it was just shy of the summit of the Mount of Olives (Middoth 1:3; 2:4; Yoma 7:2; along with the Talmud in Yoma 68a and Zebahim 105b). And here we find the author of the Letter of Barnabas directly stating that “the calf (heifer] is Jesus” and that “the sinful men offering it are those who led him [Jesusl to the slaughter” (8:2). It is well known in Jewish circles that the priests did indeed lead the heifer from the Temple on Mount Moriah eastward across a double tiered arched bridge (called the Bridge of the Red Heifer) to an altar just outside the camp near the summit of Olivet. This is where they sacrificed and burnt to ashes the Red Heifer. This first century identification of Jesus with the Red Heifer is clear proof that early Jewish Christians connected the sacrifice of the heifer on the summit of Olivet with the death of Jesus which took place in the same vicinity. But no sacrifices of the Temple were ever connected with the western area of the “Holy Sepulchre.”

The following Is a review by Prof. W. H. C. Frend (one of the top ecclesiastical historians In the world) in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Cambridge University, England, Vol.40, No.3, July 1989, p.449.

Secrets of Golgotha The forgotten history of Christ’s crucifixiom By Ernest L. Martin, Pp.280, incl.10 ills. Alhambra. Ca: ASK Publications, 1988, 0 945657 77 3. “Where was Golgotha? Critical opinion has decided to hesitate between two loci in Jerusalem, one the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the other a small hill north-east of Damascus Gate. The author points out the unsatisfactory nature of the evidence favouring the Holy Sepulchre site. It was arrived at by Constantine through dreams and visions and happened to coincide with the area of the Temple of Venus erected by the Emperor Hadrian after AD 135, a cult which he abominated. Even Eusebius thought it was a choice ‘contrary to expectation’ (Life of Constantine iii.28), but Helena’s successful archaeology on the site stilled criticism, and the great memorial Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built 329-35, was the result.

The author examines in detail the New Testament narrative. If some may think that the rending or the temple veil and other accompaniments of the crucifixion (Matt. xxvii. 50-1) are taken too literally, other evidence supports an alternative site. If the huge veil described as 55 cubits high and 16 cubits wide was rent, this could be seen only from the east side or Jerusalem. Then, Johns vivid description of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion mentions the latter as being ‘near the Place (topos) of the City’ (John xix. 19-20) and topos was in this context synonymous with the temple. The writer of Hebrews indicates that the punishment was inflicted ’outside the camp’ (Hebr. xiii. 11) as required in Num. xix. 1-22, relating to sin offerings. A malefactor condemned to death was his own sin offering. Altogether, evidence points cumulatively to a hillock near the southern summit of the Mount of Olives as the place of execution, a place held in veneration by Christians until Constantine’s massive building programme in the city. For once, Jewish and Roman requirements had coincided, for Roman justice demanded the execution of criminals near the scene of their crime, and Jesus was believed to have based himself on the Mount of Olives during his ministry in Jerusalem.

It is all neatly tied up, with other interesting speculations, such as the possible priestly status of Judas Iscariot, and the reconstruction reads more convincingly than Constantine’s visions. However, though not ‘straining at a gnat’, one may feel that this concentrated and ably conducted single-issue inquiry could have been best pursued in an article. In a full-length book repetition of argument becomes tedious. A useful piece of scholarly research need not be prolix to be effective.”

W. H. C. Frend

While we moderns have wondered if we should use geographical features associated with the sin offerings as having literal geographical relationships to actual events in the life of Jesus, such usage were commonly applied by biblical writers. Matthew symbolically associated a prophecy about Israel coming out of Egypt with Jesus and his stay in Egypt. While “Israel” of the prophecy could only symbolically refer to Jesus, Jesus still had to have been literally in Egypt for the symbol to be applied in any sensible way. Also, the symbolic teaching of Rachel weeping in Ramah could only be applied to those in Bethlehem because that is where Rachel’s cenotaph was located. Also, Isaiah’s reference to the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali could only apply to Jesus because these lands were in Galilee where Jesus taught. Thus, the geography associated with the symbols must be literal even if the symbols are not.

As an example, note a further geographical reference in the Book of Hebrews associating the sin offerings of the Temple with the crucifixion of Jesus. The author stated that Jesus carried his reproach (the cross-piece for his crucifixion) to an altar located “outside the gate,” even “outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:10-14). There was the literal altar on Olivet that matches the author’s illustration, Indeed, in this case the author used the Tabernacle of Moses as his standard of reference (the Jewish authorities did the same thing in the Mishnah about a century later). It is important to note that the Tabernacle only had easterngates. By using the Tabernacle as a standard, this points to the “gate” through which Jesus went to his crucifixion as being the east gate in the outer wall surrounding the Temple. Interestingly, this eastern gate was the same gate through which the major sin offerings and the Red Heifer were taken to Olivet. The roadway through that eastern gate was designed specifically by the Jewish authorities to lead directly to the altar “outside the camp” where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes. Early Jewish Christians were keenly aware of these ritualistic connections of the sin offerings with the death of Jesus. Geographically, these historical and biblical texts about his crucifixion direct us to Olivet.

Furthermore, this Red Heifer altar was located just “outside the camp” which was at least 2000 cubits east of the Hall of the Sanhedrin then situated at the Chamber of Hewn Stones in the Temple, located on the left side of the Altar of Burnt Offering (Middoth 5:4;Sanhedrin 11:2; Yoma 25a). Indeed, just before Jesus was crucified, he was actually condemned to be executed while he stood before the Sanhedrin in the Chamber of Hewn Stones on the Temple Mount (see Shabbath l5a and Rosh ha-Shanah 31a,b). Since it was then the Passover season, the chief priest (the president of the Sanhedrin who was Caiaphas) and his deputy (Annas, the Sagan) were required to be resident in their quarters within the precincts of the Temple. They were then living in their official “houses” which were located in the Temple compound itself (Middoth 5:4; Encyclopaedia Judaica iii.991). This is when the top priestly authorities left their own private houses (no doubt located on the aristocratic southwest hill of Jerusalem) and they took up residence within the Temple itself.

There were special times in the Jewish ecclesiastical year when residence within the Temple was essential for the High Priest and his deputy. For the seven days prior to offering the Red Heifer, the High Priest had to stay in his Temple “house” called the “House of Stone” (Parah 3:1). For the seven days prior to the Day of Atonement the High Priest had to reside within his “house” on the Temple Mount (Yoma 1:1). Though Josephus did not mention the Temple residency of the priests, he did state that such attendance at the Temple was a requirement for weekly Sabbaths, new moons and annual festivals (War V.230). Since Jesus was judged by the Jewish authorities at the Passover season, Caiaphas and Annas were not at their private homes during Jesus’ interrogation. Jesus was judged by the chief priests and condemned by the Sanhedrin while all parties were within the Temple enclosure. From the Christian point of view, this meant that Jesus was judged to die in his own Father’s House. He was sentenced to die “in the presence of God” who symbolically dwelt in the Holy of Holies.

After his judgment by the Sanhedrin on the Temple Mount, Jesus was then taken a short distance to the northwest part of the Temple courtyard where there was a stairway that led to Fort Antonia where Pilate was amongst his troops. Being at Antonia during Passover provided Pilate with a personal command over his resident army in order to properly control the festival crowds in Jerusalem, and especially those within the Temple precincts. After interrogating Jesus, Pilate washed his hands of the matter. Jesus was then led out of Fort Antonia and through the east gate of the Temple (which was also the east gate of Jerusalem) and taken over the two tiered arched bridge of the Kidron Valley to the summit of Olivet near where the Red Heifer was sacrificed — a prominent area in Jerusalem.

This eastern area where Jesus was executed was famous for another reason. Jesus was actually crucified in the official area of Jerusalem that was designed for the execution of criminals and in the region that the Jewish authorities believed was the symbolic place where the whole world would one day be judged by God. This was the area directly east of the Temple but located “outside the camp” of Israel (Numbers 15:35). The limits of the camp were determined in the time of Jesus to be a radius of 2000 cubits (near 3000 feet) from the Court of the Sanhedrin in the Temple (Rosh ha-Shanah 2:5, see also Sanhedrin 1:5 and Shebuoth 2:2 for the authority of the Jewish Supreme Court to set the limits of the camp). This factor alone disqualifies the present sites of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb from being the place of Jesus’ crucifixion (even though outside the walls) because both sites were within the official region of the “camp.”

The authorized place of execution for criminals in the time of Jesus had to be at least the Temple Mount, but it had to be in a place where the condemned could see the entrances to the Temple located in a westward direction. The biblical examples for judicial sentencing of people for their criminal acts in the time of Moses show they took place on the east side of the Sanctuary. Women accused of adultery were brought for judgment “before the Lord”, that is, to the east entrance of the Sanctuary (Numbers 5:16-31). The two sons of Aaron were judged “before the Lord” on the east side of the Sanctuary (Leviticus 10:1-7). Korah and his Levites were also punished east of the Tabernacle (Numbers 16:41-50).

It was important for official judgments to be rendered and executed east of the Temple. This allowed the judgments to be made “in the presence of God,” who figuratively faced east from his Sanctuary. Because of this, both the Sanhedrin and the lesser courts at Jerusalem in the time of Jesus were located in the Temple to the east of the Holy Place (Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, 299). It was reckoned that while God was symbolically sitting in the Holy of Holies, he could watch the proceedings going on in the law courts. God supposedly faced east while sitting on his Temple throne. Thus God in a figurative way had a panoramic view of all the ritualistic and judicial duties of his people which were being conducted east of the Sanctuary. This allowed all ceremonies (both religious and secular) to be done “in the presence of God.” It is remarkable that many textbooks written by Christian theologians fail to mention the importance of this eastern area in this regard nor do they show the location of the altar “without the Sanctuary” (Ezekiel 43:2 1) where the Red Heifer was sacrificed and where the Day of Atonement sin offerings were burnt.

This eastern location was also significant in judicial matters involving capital crimes. Moses demanded that the place of executions had to be “outside the camp” (Numbers 15:35,36). All ritual sacrifices were offered east of the Sanctuary and in full view of God who figuratively dwelt in the Holy of Holies, and the prime sin offerings were burnt “outside the camp” at the summit of Olivet. And in Jewish practice, heinous criminals were required to be their own “sin offerings” in paying for their sins (without having the benefit of an animal sacrifice as a substitute) (Cohen, ibid., 317).

Since the major sin offerings were sacrificed near the summit of the Mount of Olives, this is why criminals were “sacrificed” as being their own sin offerings in the same vicinity. This is precisely the area where the later Jerusalem church believed Stephen was officially executed by the Sanhedrin (Wilkinson, Egeria’s Travels, 185n.1). This was known by the Jews as “the Place of Stoning” (Sanhedrin 6:1,2,3,4). It was just “outside the camp” but in full view of the eastern entrances of the Temple. The Temple curtain in front of the Holy Place could easily be seen from this prospect and the New Testament shows that when the Temple curtain tore in two at the moment of Jesus’ death that the centurion and the others around the crucifixion site viewed that phenomenon taking place (see especially Luke 23:44-47 and Matthew 27:54). From outside the wails of Jerusalem the curtain could only be seen from an elevated site east of the Temple. The area of the “Holy Sepulchre” is disqualified because from there only the back parts of the Temple could be seen. Besides, Josephus shows that the site of the “Holy Sepulchre” was the spot of the Tomb of John Hyrcanus (a respected Jewish king of the Hasmoneans) and such a shrine would never have been selected by the Jewish authorities as a place to execute criminals. But the summit of Olivet is different. Everything fits perfectly.

The Bordeaux Pilgrim in AD. 333 said that at the southern summit of Olivet there was a small knoll or hillock (called in Latin a monticulus). In the time of David this region was known as “the Rosh” (that is, “the head”) (II Samuel 15:30) and remarkably the Hebrew word “Golgotha” also means “head” or “skull.” Such a usage shows that “Golgotha” (or “the Rosh”) was a well known place at the summit of Olivet.

Golgotha was even reckoned among the Jews as being on a mountain. Professor James Tabor in his review of my research in “Secrets of Golgotha” (in the Society of Biblical Literature’s Critical Review of Books in Religion, vol.IV, 1991, pp.213-215) gives new information to sustain my thesis for Olivet: “An interesting support of Martin’s thesis, which he does note, is that the Hebrew text of Matthew known as Even Bohan refers to the place of crucifixion as Mount (har) of the Skull (see G. Howard, The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew Text [Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1988]).” For Golgotha to have been reckoned as a mountain (har) in the Jerusalem area gives the Mount of Olives considerable credentials as being the place of Jesus’ crucifixion. Dr. Tabor, of the University of North Carolina, concludes his favorable review of my research by stating: “All in all Martin’s work is valuable, fascinating, and certainly pioneering. His hypothesis deserves attention from historians, New Testament scholars, and archaeologists.”

There are numerous historical reasons for selecting Olivet as the place of Jesus’ crucifixion. In the recently translated Temple Scroll, Yadin pointed out that all people bearing religious defilements which prevented them from entering the holy city or the Temple were directed to stay east of the ideal Sanctuary region mentioned in the scroll (Yadin 177). Evil and defiled people (sinners) were kept east of Jerusalem in order to prevent any “winds of evil” from flowing over the holy city from the west. This is one of the reasons the sin offering of the Red Heifer and those of the Day of Atonement (which were to atone for sins) were burnt to ashes in this eastern area “outside the camp” (Leviticus 4:21; 16:27). Yadin suggested that a part of this eastern region which had been put aside for defiled persons was even referred to in the New Testament (e.g. Mark 14:3).

Since all sin offerings were sacrificed (or “executed”) east of the Holy Place of the Temple, and the most important ones were sacrificed further east at the Red Heifer altar on Olivet, this easterly region of the Temple became known as the place where God dealt with sin — where all the sins of the world will be judged. This is one reason why the Kidron Valley separating the Temple from the Mount of Olives became known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the valley where “God judges”). Even to this day Jews, Muslims and Christians consider the summit and western slope of Olivet as the ordained place where God will judge all people m the world for their sins. Charles Warren in Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible listed over fourteen Christina authorities (from the deaux Pilgrim onward) who attested to this belief (II.562). This is why it was important, from the Christian point of view, that Jesus died in this eastern region which was reckoned the judgment place for all mankind. For Jesus to be judged as dying for the sins of all mankind, Christians thought he had to be judged in the place where all mankind were designed to be judged for their sins.

Even Muslims (who inherited many traditional beliefs from the Jews and Christians) firmly believe that the summit and the western slope of the Mount of Olives is the judgment area for mankind. The Encyclopaedia Judaica has an interesting excerpt about this. “All the dead will congregate on the Mount of Olives and the angel Gabriel will move paradise to the right of Allah’s Throne and hell to its left. All mankind will cross a long bridge suspended from the Mount of Olives to the Temple Mount, which will be narrower than a hair, sharper than a sword, and darker than night. Along this bridge there will be seven arches and at each arch man will be asked to account for his actions” (IX col.1576). This is the Muslim account.

It is easy to see that this traditional Muslim belief is based on the geography of the Temple and the Red Heifer arched bridge over the Kidron Valley that existed in Jesus’ time. Indeed, the Hebrew word for the altar where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes is miphkad (see Ezekiel 43:21).This word means “muster” or the place where people “congregate” or “gather together.” And in traditional teaching, it was at or near this site on Olivet where all mankind would “congregate” to be judged. This teaching can be seen in the New Testament itself. When the Son of Man returns with all his angels, he shall sit on his glorious throne and he will then “gather together” before him for judgment all the nations of the world. Those selected to be on his right hand will go into the Kingdom of God while those on his left will go into the fire of perdition (Matthew 25:31-46). The geographical features of this teaching of Jesus (from the Jewish point of view in the first century) shows Jesus sitting on his glorious throne (which was in the Sanctuary of the Temple) and all the nations were then depicted as gathering to western slope of the Mount of Olives to face him for judgment. This allowed them to be judged “in the presence of Jesus.” The Book of Revelation also spoke of the wicked being tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb (Revelation 14:10). To be judged “in the presence of God” while he sits on his throne locates these individuals at the summit or on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. Again, this is why, even to Christians, the region of the Kidron Valley became known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat — the place for God’s judgment.

Conversely, the present Church of the Holy Sepulchre as well as the Garden Tomb are located west and north of the Temple. These sites were in no way areas of judgment, as was Olivet and its western slopes. These sites are further disqualified, though they were outside the western and northern walls of Jerusalem, because they were still located within the 2000 cubits’ zone of the “camp of Israel” as measured from the Sanhedrin located in the Temple.

In conclusion, Christians in Jerusalem as late as the early fourth century knew that Jesus was crucified and buried on the Mount of Olives. In fact, Eusebius (the first Christian historian) stated that the only area to which pre-Constantinian Christians paid any attention in the environs of Jerusalem was the Mount of Olives, and specifically to a cave near its summit (Proof of the Gospel, VI.18). The Acts of John also mentioned the importance of this cave a hundred years before Eusebius (Charlesworth 1.30 1). In another work (The Acts of Pilate), we find that it was described as both a cave and as a tomb in the same context (bk. XII,XIII). Even the tomb of Lazarus had been a cave before it was a tomb (John 11:38).

When one views the evidence carefully, it can be seen that pre-Constantinian Christians reckoned this cave on Olivet to be the ruins of the tomb of Jesus. Prior to Constantine, there is no evidence (either orthodox or heretical) that the later site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the western part of Jerusalem was in any way significant to Christians nor was the southwest hill important that came to be called “Sion” after the time of Constantine. Indeed, when Eusebius first heard in A.D. 326 that Constantine and his mother were selecting a Venus Shrine as the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, he stated that such was “contrary to all expectation” (Life of Constantine 111.28). At the dedication of the “Holy Sepulchre” in A.D.335, Eusebius requested Constantine to inform the assembled bishops his reasons for building that church, The reasons were “SECRET to us [Eusebius and the bishops], but known TO YOU ALONE. . .which caused YOU to RAISE UP this sacred edifice” (Oration of Eusebius, XVIII, emphasis mine). There were no historical documents or traditions which were retained by Christians at Jerusalem to support its legitimacy. It was selected because of the dreams, visions and supposed miraculous signs associated with Constantine and his advisors. The early church historian Sozomen felt that historical records were not necessary when visions and dreams presented the “real facts” to the Christian world (History 11.1).

Eusebius showed in his works written before A.D.326 that Jesus was actually crucified on what he called the symbolic “Mount Sion” for Christians. Three times in his Proof of the Gospel (I.4; VI.13; IX.14) he identified the Christian “Mount Sion” as being where Jesus spent most of his time when he was in the area of Jerusalem and that spot was on the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1; Luke 21:37; 22:39; John 18:2). Eusebius also said the Shekinah left Mount Moriah and went eastward to abide on this Christian “Mount Sion” that was located “adjacent to” or “opposite” Jerusalem and the Temple Mount — an apt geographical description of the Mount of Olives (Proof of the Gospel, I.4; VI.18). To Eusebius, Olivet was where the New Covenant began when the Temple veil tore in two (VIII.2). Eusebius even stated that the Christian church was founded on Olivet (VI.18) and Jerome reiterated the same belief (Letter CVIII.12). And in his commentary on Isaiah (written before A.D.326), Eusebius made the plain statement that this new “Mount Sion” (Olivet) was actually the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus (Isaiah 2:1-4; see Walker, Holy City, Holy Places?, pp.302,305), This makes the top of Olivet to be Calvary. For more details see my book “Secrets of Golgotha.” (Click to Source)

Ernest L. Martin

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

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Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

5 Amazing Things Dogs Can Sense Before They Happen

 

Majority of churches in decline or flatlining; nearly half see dip in giving, study says

By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter

THURSDAY, MARCH 07, 2019

A majority of churches have fewer than 100 people attending services each Sunday and have declined or nearly flatlined in membership growth, according to a new study from Exponential by LifeWay Research.

The study, which was conducted to help churches better understand growth in the pews, showed that most Protestant churches are not doing well attracting new Christian converts, reporting an average of less than one each month.

“The primary purpose of this study was to obtain a set of objective measures on churches’ reproduction and multiplication behaviors today as well as to understand their core context of growth,” Todd Wilson, chief executive officer of Exponential, said in a release from LifeWay research. “By combining these measures, we can help churches think about multiplication.”

The study found that 6 in 10 Protestant churches had plateaued or declined in attendance in the past 12 months and more than half saw fewer than 10 people become new Christians.

“Growth is not absent from American churches but rapid growth through conversions is uncommon,” Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said in the release.

About 8 percent of the 1,000 Protestant pastors polled in the study had no new converts in the last 12 months.

Commenting on the study in a blog post this week, Thom Rainer, CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, said the study provides a very realistic picture of what is happening in American churches today.

“The accuracy of this research cannot be overstated. LifeWay Research phoned 1,000 Protestant pastors. Quotas were used to maintain the correct population of each church size. Responses were weighed by region to reflect more accurately the total U.S. population. The sample provides a 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed +/- 3.2%. This information from the statistical nerds assures us the study is very accurate,” he wrote.

A breakdown of the statistics showed that 42 percent of evangelical churches experienced growth over the period studied compared to 34 percent of mainline churches.

Only 23 percent of smaller churches with fewer than 50 persons attending worship services on average said they were growing while 59 percent of churches that average 250 or more worshipers weekly said the same.

“That is the lowest of any of the categories of churches and is an indicator that these churches are at the greatest risk of dying,” Rainier said of the churches with 50 persons attending worship services.

While no major differences were noted between evangelical and mainline churches in terms of new converts, denominational differences emerged showing Pentecostal churches reporting more growth in new converts than any other denomination.

Some 57 percent of Pentecostal pastors reported 10 or more new commitments to Christ in their church last year per 100 attendees.

Lutherans, 39 percent; Holiness churches, 38 percent; and Baptists, 35 percent all followed respectively.

“Much work has been done to go deeper on measuring church health,” McConnell said. “But it is still helpful to look at the observable factors of ‘noses, nickels and new commitments.’ Strategies, programs and rules-of-thumb work differently depending on the trajectory of a church.” (Click to Source)

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

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Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

 

Nigerian Muslim Militants Kill 120 Christians in Three Weeks

 

The recent death toll of Christians in Nigeria has reached 120 with this week’s slaughter of more than 50 by Fulani Muslim militants in the Kaduna state of Nigeria, the Christian Post reported.

The Fulani jihadists, who have become a greater threat to Nigerian Christians than the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, stormed the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma, and Ungwan Gora in the Kajuru Local Government Area last Monday, destroying 143 homes, killing 52 people, and wounding dozens more.

The assailants reportedly split into three groups, the first of which fired upon the people, the second set fire to buildings, and the third chased down people fleeing from the scene. Victims of the assault included women and children.

Monday’s incident followed an attack the day before in the Ungwan Barde village in Kajuru, where 17 Christians were killed and dozens of homes were burned.

In the first week of March, Muslim extremists massacred more than 30 Christians in Karamar village, setting fire to several houses and a church. The terrorists reportedly shot at families trying to escape the fire, killing 32.

The spate of recent attacks against communities has taken place within the predominantly Christian Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna.

The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Kajuru Local Government Area to try to contain the violence.

In late February, militants attacked the Maro village, killing 38 Christians and torching homes as well as a Christian church.

The Christian Post reported that Fulani militants killed thousands of Christians in 2018 alone in what many are calling a Christian genocide in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

Last December, a leading Anglican bishop in Nigeria, Dr. Benjamin Argak Kwashi, said that the Muslim Fulani militants represent the number one terrorist threat facing Christians in Nigeria.

“The government is able to provide protection [to the Christians], but what’s obvious to everybody is that the government is unwilling,” Kwashi told Breitbart News.

“The Fulani herdsmen are a bigger threat,” Kwashi added. “Boko Haram operates in the northeast and scantily moves into other areas, but the Fulani herdsmen are widespread. They’re everywhere now. So the Fulani are a bigger threat.” (Click to Source)

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