Posted in archeology, christianity, cross, discovery

Was part of the cross of Jesus found?

It seems like there have been a slew of archaeological finds related to the bible or Jesus lately. Here is another.

Piece Of Jesus’ Cross Found? Archaeologists Discover ‘Holy Thing’ In Balatlar Church In Turkey
Archaeologists working in Turkey believe they have found a piece of the cross that Jesus was crucified on. While excavating the ancient Balatlar Church, a seventh-century building in Sinop, Turkey, on the shores of the Black Sea, they uncovered a stone chest that contained objects that may be directly connected with Jesus Christ. Excavation head Professor Gülgün Köroğlu definitively stated:

We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross, and we think it was [part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified]. This stone chest is very important to us. It has a history and is the most important artifact we have unearthed so far.

The stone chest has been taken to a laboratory for further testing. However, the appearance of the chest suggests that it was a repository for the relics of a holy person, according to the team, who showed reporters at the site a stone with crosses carved into it. Many churches claim to possess relics of the so-called “true cross,” though the authenticity of the items is not fully accepted by scholars and scientists. Protestant theologian John Calvin noted that, “if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load,” referring specifically to the cross.

“Ship-load.” Yup. That’s about the size of it. When I traveled through Italy, there was a relic in every church. “Here is a piece of John the Baptist’s finger!” Or “Here is a part of Jesus’ garment!” Or “Look at this shard of the goblet at the last supper!” Or “here is a bone from Saint Peter!” I admit the body parts floating in reliquaries was ghoulish in the extreme.

Turkey is a Muslim state. We often forget that it is the cradle of Christianity. The seven churches were there. Some believe that western Turkey was the location of the Garden of Eden

It is believed that agriculture began in Turkey. Earliest man grew things there. Perhaps Cain? (Genesis 4:2-3).

Two days ago, the site at Laodikeia was added to the UNESCO historical sites

This link has a list of other recent discoveries

This is from last week-
Israeli Archaeologists Claim to Have Found a Palace of King David

We revere the Man-God who was hung on the cross, and we remember the cross, but we do not revere the cross itself. It is a wooden piece, passing away and decomposing, but Jesus will never pass away nor will His word pass away. (Matthew 24:37). Can you imagine the frenzy to “test” this piece of wood for DNA? To “test” it to prove or disprove Christianity?

Our faith rests not on relics but on the living Jesus and His sterling word. The cross won’t be in heaven, but Jesus will be. And that is all that matters. We long to be where He is, resurrected and ruling in perfection and justice.

Posted in discovery, gog magog, israel, oil, prophecy

Prophetic implications of Israel’s latest gas/oil find

ANOTHER major oil find in Israel was announced Sunday. I wrote about it briefly here. Now in this blog entry, I am giving more information.

There is an old joke that Moses took the wrong turn from Egypt, leading Israel to sand and leaving oil for the Arabs. Haven’t you ever wondered why the same geology that yields so much oil in Saudi Arabia and Iran and Iraq yields none in Israel? I have. However, the recent discoveries of oil and gas listed below have made that bad joke outdated. Israel produces 4,000 barrels per day, but has a 250,000 barrel per day demand. Therefore they must import, relying on ever-increasingly hostile neighbors and ever more vulnerable pipelines. It appears that reliance will no longer be necessary. I am sure Israel’s enemies will not be happy to contemplate her ever-growing fuel independence.

For decades, scholars and bible students have wondered what “spoil” could the Gog-Magog alliance possibly want. Israel feeds Europe with her fruit, growing oranges and figs and other fruits that are widely exported. I cannot imagine a war fought over figs, however. The verse in Ezekiel 38 says “A great spoil.” Hmmm.

“Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day,  thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, ‘I will go up against  the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon  the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?'” (Ez 38:10-13) [emphasis mine.]

What could the great spoil be? Until now, Israel has not shown much yield in anything except what she herself can coax from the ground with hard-won irrigation and sweaty toil. And Russia is the oil monster, with an output that until recently was prodigious. “Was” being the key word.

Jan 2009:
Israel Discovers Gas!
Israel’s Delek fuel company has discovered a huge deposit of natural gas west of Haifa that could change the face of Israel’s economy.

Dec 2009:
Israeli company finds oil beneath Rosh Ha’ayin 
Givot Olam Oil Exploration Limited Partnership said that more than 60 percent gas was measured in the drill, indicating the first such find in Israel.

Dec 2010:
Gas Field Confirmed Off Coast of Israel
Exploratory drilling off Israel’s northern coast this week has confirmed the existence of a major natural gas field — one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds of the past decade — leading the country’s infrastructure minister to call it “the most important energy news since the founding of the state.”

Aug 2010:
Leviathan Oil Field Could Sustain Israel For Decades 
All big oil and gas fields have geopolitical significance, but we haven’t seen a big oil find in recent years that could matter more than the Leviathan field in the Mediterranean Sea off of Israel. 4.3 bn barrels.

March 2011
Oil shale reserves can turn Israel into major world producer
THE JOKE has been told by generations of Jews, most famously Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel: ‘Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?’ … According to Dr Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the US: “We estimate that there is the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil here. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia.”

Nov 2011
Russia output dropping
“Lukoil, which accounts for 15 percent of Russia’s 30-stock Micex index, extended its weekly decline to 6.6 percent after reporting third-quarter results that included a 2 percent drop in gas output and a 21 percent slide in net income. Oil production declined as flows from some wells in Western Siberia abated and falling demand from customers cut gas production, the Moscow-based company said in a Nov. 25 regulatory filing.”

Feb 2012
Another Gas Discovery for Delek, Noble Energy!
Noble Energy and the Delek Group announced on Sunday another significant discovery of a natural gas field off the coast of Haifa.The field, located in the Mediterranean waters 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) northwest of Israel’s northern port city, reportedly totals about 1.2 to 1.3 trillion cubic feet.

May 2012:
Forbes: Is Russian oil output plummeting?
“According to a recent Bloomberg story Saudi Arabia displaced Russia as the world’s largest oil producer, producing just about three thousand barrels a day more in March of 2012”

June 2012:
Israel discovers more offshore oil and gas
An Israeli company announced the discovery of another sizable offshore oil and gas field on Sunday.Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP estimated the newest field at about 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”The quantity of gas discovered in the licenses — and the high probabilities — make it the third largest off-shore discovery to date,” chairman Ronny Halman told Globes.

You see how this is going. You see that the “old joke” about Moses leading the Jews to the one place in the Middle East that doesn’t have oil is actually by this point kind of a blaspheme. God said He would provide for His people and He IS providing for His people. Furthermore, it demonstrates once again how perfect the LORD’S word is, how precise.

I watch with eager wonder and with bated breath as to what will be the tipping point for the Gog Magog prophecy to come true. When will Russia, Iran, Turkey et al get tired of holding back and pounce? At this oil discovery? The next? It can’t be long now…we see prophesies of Egypt in Isaiah 19 coming to pass and the prophesies of Isaiah 17 regarding Syria ready to come to pass. It is like a drawstring purse, the strings pulling the open neck ever closer, a closing which will end up being a noose around the necks of Israel’s enemies. How much more to go until the prophetic foundations are laid? God in His timing knows, but to me, this puny human, it seems ready today.

Posted in creation, discovery, icy finger of death

Icy finger of death caught on camera

HT to Charlie for sending this to me.

I am in awe of the natural world that God created. It is endlessly interesting and vibrant. What a Creator we have who should make these things by the sound of His voice! And He made the animals in one day! In thinking of how all the eco-systems interact and flow together to support one unified world, on which we float, I’m often rendered speechless. Wow.

Remember to thank the Creator for making such a habitable and pleasant place for us to live. Thank Him for His intellect and creativity that is on display for us to praise. He is surely a Most High God of infinite and boundless delight.

Below is a clip from the upcoming episide of Discovery’s Frozen Planet. I’ve seen some of the previous episodes and they are great. Here is a Fox News article about what you will see on the video:

“Filmed for the first time, the icy “finger of death” is an unprecedented look at nature’s beauty — seen at it’s devastating worst. Called a brinicle (or brine icicle), cameramen Hugh Miller and Doug Anderson used a time-lapse camera to capture this awe-inspiring event beneath the Antarctic ice shelf for the upcoming Discovery Channel special series, Frozen Planet. “We were just blown away by how beautiful they were,” producer Kathryn Jeffs told FoxNews.com. Jeffs was in Antarctica with Miller and Anderson to capture the unique event. “We were exceptionally excited and we knew we had something that had never been filmed before, never been seen before. No one has really seen the formation of a brinicle.”

“It was pretty emotional when we saw that we got it. This magnificent yet terrifying phenomenon is caused by brine, or naturally occurring salt water, which tends to be denser than the surrounding seawater and has a lower freezing point. When super cold brine trickles down, the warmer seawater surrounds the cyclone with a brittle layer of ice. But capturing the event on tape was no easy feat, as the crew battled brutal conditions, technical challenges, and even seal attacks. “Because there have been so few studies on the brinicles, it’s really, really difficult to tell when and exactly how they are going to form,” Jeffs explained to FoxNews.com. “They do have a tendency to form when the ice is being disrupted, or in extremely cold conditions — which disrupt the inner channels and sets in motion the flow of brine.”

“Following this hunch, Jeffs and her crew ventured out to the foothills of Mount Erebus, a remote volcano in Antarctica, where the team dealt with subzero temperatures and incredibly harsh conditions.”

“The area also happened to be a seal habitat, notoriously territorial creatures. “We finished the first dive only to find the next morning that a seal had knocked over the camera,” Jeffs said. In the end, the team found success, to stunning effect, capturing not only the brinicle formation but also, what Jeffs refers to as the “river of death” flowing in front of it. “It was pretty emotional when we saw that we got it,” Jeffs told FoxNews.com, adding that some of the crew were close to tears. “We’re really proud of the achievement.”

Frozen Planet premiers on the Discovery Channel on March 18


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