"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Has the Ark of the Covenant Truly Been Found?

In a copyrighted story from the Italian news agency Adnkronos the patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia, Abuna Paulos (pictured here) says he will announce to the world today, Friday, June 26, the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world’s most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact. The patriarch says the ark has been hidden away in a church in his country for several thousand years.

Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, “Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries.”

The announcement is expected to be made at 2 p.m. Italian time from the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome. Pauolos will reportedly be accompanied by Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Sellassie and Duke Amedeo D’Acosta.

“The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia for many centuries,” said Pauolos. “As a patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes and only few highly qualified persons could do the same, until now.”

According to Pauolos, the actual Ark has been kept in one church, but to defend the treasure, a copy was placed in every single church in Ethiopia.

He said a museum is being built in Axum, Ethiopia, where the Ark will be displayed. A foundation of D’Acosta will fund the project.

The Ark of the Covenant is the sacred container of the Ten Commandments as well as Aaron’s rod and a sample of manna, the mysterious food that kept the Israelites alive while wandering in the wilderness during their journey to the promised land.
Muslim scholars say it will be found near the end of times by the Mahdi – a messianic figure in Islam.

I happen to be a partial-preterist, ala R.C. Sproul, but many on my pastoral staff who are dispensationalist, including Pastor Ted Kuschel, Th.M, Dallas Theological Seminary, will most assuredly point out to me the prophetic significance of this event when I arrive in Enid the first of next week.

I remain a skeptic on matters like this.

In His Grace,

Wade

69 comments:

Tom Kelley said...

Ridiculous. Everyone knows that the ark has been stored in a crate in a giant U.S. government warehouse ever since Indiana Jones recovered it from the Nazis in 1936.

Gary said...

According to Wade's post and published stories, it should've been revealed about 7 hours ago (now 12:30 here in middle 'murica).

My guess is that a lightning bolt when through everyone present and all cameras and recording devices, then a huge vortex sucked all the bodies, equipment, and debris into the sky.

Or, maybe they got all the reporters there and told them "Nevermind. Our bad. It was a trinket from some traveling salesman."

Gary
Norman, Middle 'murica

Lydia said...

Tom, Ha ha. And the stones to rebuild the Temple are stored in K-mart warehouses.

I cannot take this man seriously because I cannot get past the hat.

St. Steven of St. Paul, MN said...

I work with a number of Christians from Ethiopia. They tell me that the Ark of Covenant is located in a number of different churches in Ethiopia. My own research a few years ago has convinced me that the location of the Ark remains a mystery.

Caleb said...

The fact that you consider yourself partial-pret makes you that much cooler to me.

jacob said...

Who cares about a fake 'Ark of the Covenant.' Stephan Huller has an academic article coming up which proves that this:

http://therealmessiahbook.blogspot.com/

is the original Episcopal throne of Alexandria, mentioned in the Acts of Peter the Patriarch, Origen, Clement and other sources and dated to the first century.

I read the book. I loved it but I want to know what everyone else thinks? I think its very important but I am not an expert.

His blog with additional information is www.stephanhuller.blogspot.com. Maybe you can tell me if this for real.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

VTMBottomLine [Paul Burleson] > Following An Example.
Four years later we have received word that Wade is laying aside writing anything of a political nature. Don't hear that as laying aside anything controversial because his theology will be that thank you. But he will be refusing to write anything that addresses the political state or condition of the SBC for the next year. I have not spoken to him since his announcement and am writing my thoughts without him knowing anything about what those thoughts might be. But I do have some thoughts.

In my humble but accurate opinion, [:)] Wade has been operating under a real calling of God for these past four years. He has suffered rebuke, revilement, questioned motives, and has been called too many things/names to begin listing them here. But the truth is, he could care less because of a belief that he HAS had a calling of God for what he has done. It has always ONLY been a principled thing for him like him or not.

Preachin' Jesus, Luvin' People said...

Jacob, very interesting stuff. I sure would like him to get together with Dr Tomlinson (PhD) at Midwestern Seminary. If my memory is correct, Dr Tomlinson's Doctorate is in Biblical inscriptions or hieroglyphics.

(by the way, About the post by wade...I am skeptical, but, think about it, what will it do to our world if it can be proven???) hhhhmmmmmm

grace
wtreat

linda said...

Well, my computer didn't come on with big bold headlines re the Ark so suppose it is still hidden?

Pastor Wade, I had to look up "partial preterist" to know what in the world you said.

And went "WELL DUH!"

The article referred me to "supercessionism." I got the feeling that is a non politically correct idea.

What I want to know is when did Baptists stop believing the church is the new Israel? Or have they?

Can you recommend some reading (layperson level) on partial preterism and/or supercessionism?

Also on Baptist history, since seems so much today is about the opposite of what I learned in Baptist churches from 1950-1978. (Not referring to the CR or CT, take your pick, but we moved geographically in 1979.)

Thanks!

Thy Peace said...

Wiki > Partial preterism.
Partial preterism is a form of Christian eschatology that places the events of most of the Book of Revelation as occurring during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (and/or the Fall of Rome several centuries later) yet still affirms an orthodox future bodily return of Christ to earth at an unknown day and hour. Partial preterism sees Matthew 24, Matthew 25:31-46, the Book of Daniel and most of the Book of Revelation (besides its last 2 or 3 chapters) as speaking about events no later than the first century AD, and about a coming of Christ in judgement, not the (second, final and bodily) coming of Christ and Last judgement.

Wiki > Dispensationalism.
Dispensationalism is a Protestant evangelical theology and an interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. Rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby, the term derives from the concept of a "dispensation" or administration referring to a series of chronologically successive dispensations that emphasize certain Biblical covenants, and that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Church. Most dispensationalists believe that God is going to fulfill His promises to national Israel in the process of Israel being revitalized, that Christ will rule the world from Jerusalem upon His return, and they deny the teachings of Replacement Theology (supersessionism). The teachings of Dispensationalism contain a distinctive eschatological "end times" component, as all dispensationalists hold to premillennialism and most hold to the pretribulation rapture. In other areas of theology, dispensationalists hold to a wide range of beliefs within the evangelical and fundamentalist spectrum.

Wiki > Supersessionism.
Supersessionism (British English: supercessionism) and replacement theology are particular interpretations of New Testament claims, viewing God's relationship with Christians as being either the "replacement" or "completion" of the promise made to the Jews (or Israelites) and Jewish Proselytes. Biblical expressions of God's relationships with people are known as covenants,[1] so the contentious element of supersessionism is the idea that the New Covenant with the Christians and the Christian Church somehow "replaces" or "completes" the Mosaic Covenant (or Torah) with the Israelites and B'nei Noah.

greg.w.h said...

I had to go remind myself what a partial preterist is. At the heart of all variants of preterism is the thought that WE maintain the dignity of Jesus Christ as caught in this quote from Sproul:

"I agree with all preterists that what is at stake here is the authority of Jesus, and we must be consumed with maintaining his authority." R.C. Sproul, Sr., The Last Days According to Jesus.

Rex used that thought process in one of the arguments he made about fulfillment of prophecy and I itched for about a week after I read it. I think a better perspective is that we submit to Jesus's authority regarding prophecy by allowing God to reveal when the prophecy is fulfilled. No form of preterism does that. And, unfortunately, neither does dispensationalism. All those charts that roamed around Texas when I was growing up shared the same obsession and the same arrogance: that WE could untangle apocalyptic passages and put them in order. We can't.

The same problem shows up in our insistence of OUR view of Scripture when interpreting it. It is both obsessive and arrogant to insist that only our view is correct and everyone else's is inferior. Note very carefully that I am NOT claiming that all interpretations are equal. That is rhubarb (I was going to say rubric, but that gives it way too much credit) is the basis of our current multiculturalism that treats all religions as substantially equal as well. The only way in which they could be substantially equal is if the atheists are right and there is no God, in which case all religion, including Christianity, is substantially false. Logic prevents them from all being true--or at least true to the same extent--at the same time.

That same logic buttresses the view that one set of biblical interpretation MUST be essentially more correct than the rest. But I don't think that appeal to reason--an essentially mathematical theorem regarding the nature of correctness and various collections of truth statements--goes very far in helping us identify WHICH set of many different sets of biblical interpretations is most accurate.

This intuition comes to me both naturally and via a very interesting proof we did in a seminar class I took at A&M in mathematics. In that seminar class, we were able to prove that exactly one vote sways every single election by being the determining vote. But the professor also pointed out that although we KNEW one vote would sway the election, we could not determine in advance who would cast it, or we could go to that person in advance and save the expense of the whole voting process. The process itself reveals the answer.

Similarly, I firmly believe that every single prophecy will be fulfilled that is written in the Bible. I also believe that there are many comments and statements that do not seem particularly prophetic that are. And many more types and other symbols that also will be revealed and explained. But I question the ability of human beings to accurately compare prophecy to historical outcome except very specifically under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And unless that person has the same kind of miraculous confirmation that God frequently gave the prophets and apostles, it is very difficult for me to accept their interpretation as much more than personal opinion, no matter HOW well support it is with various scholarly analyses.

Given that, I'll make a similar comment about the Ark of the Covenant. We found it. It is Christ Jesus. ;)

Greg Harvey

G. Casey said...

Is a partial preterist the same as a historicist?

Elizabeth Prata said...

"partial preterist" sounds like a medical procedure to me.

Needless to say I am a dispensationalist, and believe the end time events presaging the Lord's imminent coming are happening now and did not occur nor were fulfilled in 70AD.

I was excited about the Ark announcement because it seemed to have come from a credible source, who had apparently met with the Pope during the religious summit last week when the world's religious leaders gathered there. He was specific about the time, date, place, and content, too.

WND published this a few minutes ago:
"Ethiopia's Orthodox patriarch cops out on revealing plan for public viewing"
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102274

Thy Peace said...

Here is the link of above:

WND > Hark! Where's the Bible Ark?.

I am surprised if this ark is real, then where is the Israeli Govt. and it's intelligence community, in their attempt to retrieve it for the nation of Israel.

This ark if it exists, would be very valuable to the Israelis as a symbol and possibly as source of power (unlike Indiana Jones movie).

Just wondering.

John Fariss said...

The stories about the ark being in Ethopia have been around a long time. History Channel, or Discovery Channel, etc. have done several documentaries about the ark and other relics of the first temple being there, dating back several years. I don't know if they are correct or not, but they are interesting, especially the interwoven narratives between the Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, the Ethopian eunuch, and the Ethopian Coptic Church. I am old enough to remember Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethopia, and that one of his titles was "the Lion of Judah." One of our members was stationed in Ethopia back in the 50s, and his first wife (now deceased) was Italian-Ethopian. Their marriage was really a shock to the folks in his home town in Tennessee!

I get confused in all the titles now being used, preterist, semi-preterist, etc. I know what the old Dispensationalists were, and personally am close to being an historical amilleniumist, with some affinities towards "partial preterism" as Thy Peace was kind enought to define. At any rate, whether or not they actually have the ark is, for me, a matter of historical curiosity, but has no bearing on New Testament interpretation, the second coming, etc., for me. I do, however, echo Linda's question, "What I want to know is when did Baptists stop believing the church is the new Israel?" That seems to be pretty much "black letter" interpretation for me. If some of you who believe otherwise could enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

John

Elizabeth Prata said...

"What I want to know is when did Baptists stop believing the church is the new Israel?" That seems to be pretty much "black letter" interpretation for me.

what does that mean exactly? That some Baptists think the church of today IS the new Israel?

Bob Cleveland said...

My personal opinion is that God will not do or allow anything which would lessen the necessity of faith among His people. Discovery of the ark would do just that.

And according to Galatians 3:29, we who belong to Christ are defined as being Abraham's seed, which kind of sweeps us into Israel, rather than the reverse.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Pastor Wade, I am just typing some thoughts I wanted to share with you on how to make your sermons, more internet friendly.

Everyone knows by know I am linking fool :)

I listen to a liberal public radio show called A Prairie Home Companion by Garrison Keillor. They make fun of conservatives. The interesting thing I find on their website is, they break up their mp3 in to different segments of stories, skits and so on.

An example:

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/popup.php?name=phc/2009/06/20/phc_20090620_64&starttime=00:18:35&endtime=00:30:11

The above mp3 could be accessed here.

The above is a skit of Guy Noir, a private detective. Note that the times, Start and End are coded into the links. They are parameters passed to a flash media player, and it retrieves the data from the internet only from those segments.

This is such a powerful tool to segment sermons or messages, and could be linked into the sermon notes. And this would allow people like me to link to portions of the sermons, for the start and end times of each segment are contained in those links.

I honestly think, by doing this, it will facilitate wider dissemination and discussions of sermons or messages.

The counter side to this would be that since the sermons are only of 30 minutes or so, some might choose to not bother with this.

Doug Hibbard said...

It was supposed to be revealed, but apparently I lost it on the way home from the Convention. Apparently it got lifted out of the back of the van while I was stuck in traffic in Nashville for 4 hours.

Sorry. Rebuilding the Temple will have to wait. Although they may unveil it on the Grand Ole Opry tonight. Listen to WSM-650 AM to find out!

Doug

John Fariss said...

Elizabeth,

On one hand we have Romans 9:6, "For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel," which seems to cast some doubt on the identity of "Israel" as the nation. Then we have Galatians 6:16, "Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God." Who is this Israel of God? Is it the people under Abraham's covenant? Or the people of the New Covenant in Christ's blood?

I will grant you that there is some debate on the subject, although it seems "black letter" to me. But if by "the Israel of God" Paul meant the nation of Israel as defined in the Old Testament, then we have to concede that the former covenant is still in effect, and thus there are two ways to God: simply by being born a Jew, and through Jesus. That would seem to conflict with New Testament theology based on such passages as John 14:6. So yes, I am a Baptist who believes that the Church is the spiritual "Israel of God." I never knew this was controversial, and I don't think it was until fairly recently.

John

Christiane said...

So today, because of a news report, you kind of inadvertantly bump up against some of the legends of Christian tradition:

and, yes, in Ethiopia come the legends of descent from Solomon and Sheba,
of a rich heritage of Judaism, inter-woven into Orthodox Christianity in ways that are recognizable to both Jews and Christians,
and the fact that an 'Ark' is kept in all Orthodox Ethiopian Churches: and is 'carried' in ceremonial processions as done in Israel of old.

The legend of the 'true Ark of the Covenant' being kept in a monastery in Ethiopia is a very old legend. Is it true? ?

And, yes, the story of the eunich from Ethiopia who was converted, does appear in Holy Scripture.

Is it so improbable that the true Ark of the Covenant could have been salvaged and hidden for its preservation?
Until a time when the world needed it?
The concept of the Ark was that is was a place for the PRESENCE of God on the Earth. (In Jewish and orthodox Christianity, sometimes called the 'Shekinah', meaning 'The Presence')

If the Ethiopian Orthodox Abuna (Bishop) ever does allow the examination of what he claims IS THE REAL ARK, what will we learn?
And how?

Maybe Bob Cleveland is right: some things are better left undisturbed.

Especially if the faith of some is too fragile to survive an encounter with what might (or might not) be a most holy article of Biblical antiquity.

Like the radiant body of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, which lies sadly on display in a glass case, appearing more beautiful than in life, as though she sleeps:
some things are best left alone, protected, at peace, away from the curious eyes of a mocking world.

There are things which we may not encounter: and still remain unchanged. Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

I am probably naive in asking this. What use is the ark in the NC? Aren't the laws written in our hearts? Does not The Holy Spirit guide each believer in the NC? God chooses to dwell within us, for we are the temple of God. I am sure there is significance of the ark in terms of prophecy, but for practical purposes we already have everything from God.

Thy Peace said...

I wanted to share some interesting posts I found on Pastor Wade's blog today:

The Blessing of Being Understood [August 22, 2006].

VTMBottomLine > Let's Be Christian and Consistent (Satan and the BMI) [August 21, 2006].

The Gospel in Genesis The Ark: The Doctrine of Glorification [October 13, 2006].

Style Over Substance Destroys [October 15, 2006].

The Power of the Pen to Effect Needed Change [February 09, 2008].

The Creation of the Soul: The Image of God In Us [October 26, 2007].

Southern Baptist People Are What Make Our Convention Great [March 19, 2007].

Tom Kelley said...

Bob Cleveland said...
My personal opinion is that God will not do or allow anything which would lessen the necessity of faith among His people. Discovery of the ark would do just that.


How so? I don't understand how a historical artifact could make faith less necessary.
-----
tom

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

This Little Light [Christa Brown]> Book Review by Rev. Thomas Doyle
Reverend Thomas Doyle is the whistle-blower priest and former Vatican canon lawyer who, twenty-five years ago, warned Catholic bishops about the looming clergy sex abuse nightmare. They ignored him, but Doyle’s prophetic words proved to be tragically true.

In 2007, Doyle wrote to Baptist officials with a similar warning. They too ignored him.

Bob Cleveland said...

Tom,

I will not consider any physical .. perhaps call it scientific .. evidence of the truth of the Bible, as to do so would necessitate I also consider physical, or scientific, evidence which speaks against the Bible. And that, I will not do.

Bill said...

Bob: Your comment surprises me somewhat. If the events recorded in the Bible really happened, then it is inevitable that some proofs of those events remain. You seem to be suggesting that God went behind biblical history with a big cosmic broom, erasing any physical signs that it ever really occurred, so that we might accept it all on pure faith. I don't quite get that.

You also said that if we deal with scientific evidence supporting the veracity of biblical history, we must also deal with such evidence which seems to refute it. I say yes, of course! Truth must be able to hold its own in the marketplace of ideas.

Then again, what do I know?

Stan said...

No. Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, said, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries." This is a poor translation of what he REALLY said. He said, "Soon for only $49.95 and a self addressed, stamped envelope you can admire a photo of the container described by my cousin as the Ark of the Covenant".

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am Partial Preterist, although I could just as easily be amil. The kicker that changed my mind? Although raised Dispensationalist, I could never see it totally in scripture, but when I learned of the historical Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, something most Dispensationalists don't know happened as it is not taught, that put the questions I always had and the puzzle came together.

Reading the historian Josephus, so much of the Bible's prophecies come into place for me.

Christiane said...

Hi DEBBIE KAUFMAN,

The historian Josephus is an interesting choice for reference as he is considered to be 'impartial' in his observations of the events of that time, so his accounts are viewed as more credible by scholars.

I am finding out now that there are many Christians who have not heard of the writings of Early Christianity (the Early Church Fathers), the Councils, the Creeds.

These Christians have tried in good faith to understand the Holy Scriptures without any context of the times in which they written.

This accounts for the many 'end-times', rather strange interpretations of the Book of the Apocalypse.

For me, this has been a revelation. It helps me to understand why there is so much diversity in the way people view the Sacred Scriptures.

Thank you for sharing about your experiences in learning about the historical accounts of the early Church and how it has influenced your understanding of Scripture.

Love, L's

P.S. Just a note about the G8 religious leaders meeting with the Pope: among representatives of all the faiths of the world, Protestants were also among the participants. There was no mention of which denominations were represented among Protestants, however.

The meeting was NOT to do with the revealing of any artifacts to the world, so all I know is that the Patriarch Abuna Paulos was simply one of the participants representing the ORTHODOX Ethiopian Church. Love, L's

RKSOKC66 said...

So what happened?

Did the guy from Ethopia make any statement in Rome or not?

I can't find a single reference in any news source regarding any "Ark of the Covenant" announcement.

I guess this whole thing must be an urban legend.

Roger Simpson

St. Steven of St. Paul, MN said...

An excellent book written by the eminent Christian author, Jaroslav Pelikan should be a must read for all Christians: Whose Bible Is It?: A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages.
The Bible is not the Koran or the Book of Mormon conveyed by an angel Gabriel or on golden plates. It is a very human book written by "men" divinely inspired...that when read/studied/interpreted under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit is a perfect treasure of divine instruction.

Christiane said...

FROM ETHIO-FORUM:

"Written on Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 4:36 am by ethioforum:

Yesterday, millions were waiting to watch eagerly the Ark of the Covenant revealed. A day passed but it was not made public. “No, the ark is not going to be revealed. Nobody could touch it. If you do so, God will smite you.” Abune Paulos said.

Paulos puts the blame on the adnkronos, who originally posted the news, and rectification later on. “…I am here to say what I saw, what I know and I can testify. I did not say that the Ark will be shown to the world.” Paulos is quoted to say on adnkronos site.

Pauolos also talked of building a museum in Axum, a structure that will receive and retain the treasures built for centuries and centuries to Axum, the news posted on adnkronos site revealed.

The museum, funded by the foundation of the prince and that should be built within two years, could also be placed the Ark of the Covenant, but this needs to be decided by the Holy Synod, the supreme body of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia, according to Aba Paulos."

Thy Peace said...

What use is building monuments and structures to preserve an artifact, but all the while neglecting living temples of God.

God chooses to dwell within us. And yet we neglect these vessels, but spend countless sums on buildings to preserve artifacts and building that glorify man more than God.

Just a thought.

Christiane said...

Perhaps building homes for the homeless honors Him more. :)
Love, L's

RKSOKC66 said...

All of this stuff is just crazy.

Reminds me of the various expeditions to Mt. Ararat about 20 years ago that claimed: "we saw the ark over there in our high powered binoculars" and/or "we got close to where it is believed to be but couldn't go any more because we were impeded by lightening etc. from going any further".

I guess the next thing that will happen is that someone will say they have a fossilized rock with Jesus footprint on it from when he walked on the bank of the Jordan River.

>> ----

Actually I have that rock in my garage right now. I got it from my great uncle Les who was in British Military between WWI and WWII when they occupied Jordan. He got it from a Greek Orthodox Monk in Damascus.

:)

<< ----

See how crazy this stuff is? I don't know why otherwise rational people would fall for this stuff.

Roger Simpson

Stephen said...

I heard that America is the New Israel. At least that is how I have interpreted the rhetoric coming from the civil religion / dominionist adherents. Many of those guys and gals are Calvinists, too.....but I would not want to paint everyone with that brush.

Lets just not get distracted from our calling to be disciples of Jesus.

Christiane said...

THE HOLY BURIAL PLACES: The Roman Catacombs of the Early Christians

COMMENT: We can 'touch' the walls of the sacred burial sites of the first Christians, read their incriptions and prayers, and see with our own eyes, their confident pictures of a gentle Savior who brings Peace.

For those of us who need a 'reality check' to strengthen their faith, a journey can be made to the catacombs, to seek the ancient past of Christianity as a way to 'touch the holy'.
Do these catacombs exist 'for real'? Without a doubt. Love, L's

The most frequent representation in the catacombs is 'The Good Shepherd' painted on ceilings, engraved on the tomb-stones, moulded into relief on the sarcophagi:
the lamb on His Shoulders, tightly held by the Shepherd's Hands, is the Christian.
All around is an atmosphere of confidence, which urged the apostle Paul to say: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble do it, or distress or persecution or hunger?" (Rom 8,35).

One of the most ancient paintings in the Catacombs of
St. Callixtus, represents Baptism.

Many Christians "seized by Christ" (Phil 3,13), after distressing inward trials, really feel that the moment of Baptism had marked the starting point of a new life. That is the reason for that name which we read on a tombstone in the Eastern Trichora of Saint Callixtus, a name which will become very common in Christianity "Renatus" or "Renata", meaning "Reborn".

We are at the source of Christianity. The ancient Christian was well aware that "salvation is not to be found elsewhere. Christ's name alone of all the names under heaven has been appointed to men as the one by which we must needs be saved" (Acts 4,12).

On descending a staircase,on the left wall, an epigraph tells us of Agrippina, cuius dies inluxit: " the day of her death was a day of her entry into light".

A little below there is the Greek inscription of Adas, that "ekoimète" (fell asleep), like the Capharnaum child,
who, says the Gospel -
"is not dead, she is asleep "(
Mk 5,40)
and is waiting for the calling of the One, who is the Resurrection and the Life.

Further on, the Good Shepherd lovingly bears a lamb on his shoulders: death for a Christian is no longer terrifying, as he is carried by Jesus towards green pastures.

On a wall of a cubicle five Saints "Oranti" raise their hands in the act of adoration in a beautiful garden full of flowers: it is Paradise, the celestial garden.

These cemeteries are full of peace.

The reason is to be found in the faith of the ancient Christians, which often speaks with a powerful voice in the silence of the catacombs:
"Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive?"
(Lk 24,5)
"I am the resurrection and life" (Jn 11,25)
"Don't be afraid, only believe" (Mk, 5-15).

When we leave the catacombs of St. Callixtus, we come across a last big tombstone at the foot of the stairs.
It belongs to Baccis. Big red letters, roughly carved on the gray stone tell an humble story. There we can see, with the eyes of faith, appear two faces:
the delicate one of the dead child and the rugged features of her father, with a tender smile full of tears.
Here are the words:

"Baccis, sweet soul.
In the peace of the Lord.
She lived 15 years, 75 days.
(She died) on the eve before the Kalends (the 1st) of December.
The father to his sweet daughter."

A divine wave of purity and tenderness had got into the humble families with the Christian faith."

New BBC Open Forum said...

Do NOT look when they open it!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

adventures in mercy [molleth] > Here. Let Me Tell You How to Live Your Life.
A dear friend said to me that, “Divorce is when you find out who your real friends are.” Performance-based relationships don’t do so well when you’re not performing, which is true all across the spectrum, whether the failed performance is in an abusive marriage or the many other areas where your community, family or culture puts performance over relationship.

TheWayofCain said...

I was a dispie until I got a hold of a series by Wade based on Gary Demar's "Last Days Madness". Perhaps Emmanuel still has them available.

Who is Israel:

http://www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=43:the-israel-of-god&Itemid=61&layout=default

Study Preterism in all her forms:

http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/index.html

ezekiel said...

Who is Israel?

I have been doing a lot of work on that just this past week. Starting from the Ephesians and working back...

We have now been made part of Israel.

Ephesians Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
Eph 2:14 For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
Eph 2:15 By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.
Eph 2:16 And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end.
Eph 2:17 And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and [peace] to those who were near. [Isa. 57:19.]
Eph 2:18 For it is through Him that we both [whether far off or near] now have an introduction (access) by one [Holy] Spirit to the Father [so that we are able to approach Him].
Eph 2:19 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God's own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God's [own] household.

Romans 2:28-29 tells us that a Jew is one with a circumsised heart.

Rom 2:28 For he is not a [real] Jew who is only one outwardly and publicly, nor is [true] circumcision something external and physical.
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and [true] circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from God.

Then looking at EZ 37:15-28 we see his prophesy telling us where the union takes place we are told about in Ephesians 2.

Going back further, we see the birthright was Josephs's, the firstborn of Israel and Rachel.

1Ch 5:1 NOW [we come to] the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel. For [Reuben] was the eldest, but because he polluted his father's couch [with Bilhah his father's concubine] his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph [favorite] son of Israel; so the genealogy is not to be reckoned according to the birthright. [Gen. 35:22; 48:15-22; 49:3, 4.]


The reason this is important is revealed in Israel's blessing of Joseph in Gen 49:22-26. This ties to the blessing we see in Ephesians 1:3. At least that is what the TSK references show.

Going back further, Israel blessed Ephraim and Manassah (Gen 48:13-16)The sons he (Israel) adopted.

Gen 48:5 And now your two sons, [Ephraim and Manasseh], who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine. [I am adopting them, and now] as Reuben and Simeon, [they] shall be mine.
Gen 48:6 But other sons who may be born after them shall be your own; and they shall be called after the names of these [two] brothers and reckoned as belonging to them [when they come] into their inheritance.

This was a shadow if things to come, revealed in Eph 1:5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]--

It isn't an accident that Joseph, Jesus' earthly father had a father named Jacob. It isn't an accident that a man named Joseph buried Jesus either.

Can anyone help me with Mary's ancestry? Does she track back to Jacob/Israel/Joseph?

ezekiel said...

On another note, as long as we are talking dispensationism, how does one claim to believe in different dispensations of His grace and yet claim salvation based on the same dispensation Of His grace that was dispensed to Abraham? Noah? Lot? David? Ruth? Ester?

What is different about your salvation and that of the cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 11-12?

Debbie Kaufman said...

L's: The most interesting thing is that Josephus wasn't a Christian, although he admired them.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Stephen: I read a lot of things from Calvinists cause I am one, and I have never heard that America is Israel. Reading your comment is the first time. If you could provide authors or links, it would serve me better to believe that is what is being said.

To my knowledge most Calvinists believe Israel in the NT refers at times to the nation Israel and at times to the Church aka all Christians past, present and future.

Bob Cleveland said...

YO .. y'all. Check Galatians 3:29.

Paula said...

Some say Israel was absorbed into the church.

Others say the church was absorbed into Israel.

Both claim airtight Biblical support.

Hmmm.....

Whatever happened to the Jew/Gentile thing which permeates all of scripture? Gentile is not synonymous with Christian.

Think about it.

ezekiel said...

Paula,

Eph 2:11 Therefore, remember that at one time you were Gentiles (heathens) in the flesh, called Uncircumcision by those who called themselves Circumcision, [itself a mere mark] in the flesh made by human hands.
Eph 2:12 [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God's agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
Eph 2:14 For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
Eph 2:15 By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.
Eph 2:16 And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end.

As Bob points out, Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham's Seed], then you are Abraham's offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

The key is "belong to Christ".

Here is the test.

2Co 13:5 Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?

Examine: Psa_17:3, Psa_26:2, Psa_119:59, Psa_139:23-24; Lam_3:40; Eze_18:28; Hag_1:5, Hag_1:7; 1Co_11:28, 1Co_11:31; Gal_6:4; Heb_4:1, Heb_12:15; 1Jo_3:20-21; Rev_2:5, Rev_3:2-3

in the faith: Col_1:23, Col_2:7; 1Ti_2:15; Tit_1:13, Tit_2:2; 1Pe_5:9

Know: 1Co_3:16, 1Co_6:2, 1Co_6:15, 1Co_6:19, 1Co_9:24; Jam_4:4

Jesus Christ: 2Co_6:16; Joh_6:56, Joh_14:23, Joh_15:4, Joh_17:23, Joh_17:26; Rom_8:10; Gal_2:20, Gal_4:19; Eph_2:20-22, Eph_3:17; Col_1:27, Col_2:19; 1Pe_2:4-5

reprobates: 2Co_13:6-7; Jer_6:30; Rom_1:28; 2Ti_3:8; Tit_1:16; 1Co_9:27; Heb_6:8

Failing the test means one is still a gentile, utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God's agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.

Christiane said...

Hi BOB CLEVELAND,

When you point out Galatians 3:29, you are showing a scriptural tie to the oral traditions of Catholic, Orthodox, and, not surprisingly, also the Islamic traditional beliefs that Mary was descended from Father Abraham.

There are so many references that lead to various conclusions. It is part of the tradition of my Church that Mary had no brothers and was the only child of St. Anne and St. Joachim.

In her world, she would have needed to marry within her own extended family tribe to secure her inheritance.
Hence, the idea that she was related to the family tribe of Joseph who descends from David.
This is only one possible link.

Other references tie her also to descent from the priestly House of Levi, in which case, the Savior would be descended from both the Priestly Line, and the Royal Line:
King AND High Priest.

I like the Old Testament references that fore-shadow the Mysteries of Christ's Incarnation: like 'out of the root of Jesse . . . ' and 'her foot shall crush thy head' . . .

If those who seek information about the geneology of Mary care to do it: learning about the rules of inheritance of the Jewish people of that time,
examining the 'apocryphal' writings not found in Protestant Scripture Canons (such as the Book of Tobit),
the letters of the Early Church Fathers,
and the traditional solid oral beliefs of the Western AND EASTERN branches of Christianity: all offer possible clues to be pursued.

In my faith, it is the Anunciation of the Angel Gabriel that secures our respect for Mary's position as 'blessed among women' in the sight of the Father. That can be found in Holy Scripture.

Have a Blessed Sabbath Day.
Love, L's

Paula said...

ezekiel,

In the Eph. passage, especially vs. 16, I see Jews and Gentiles, two separate groups, being brought into a new third group: Christians. It was this same Paul who said, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (1 Cor. 5:17)

"Failing the test" does not mean "one is still a Gentile", because some of the lost are Jews. "Gentile" is not an alternative term for "unsaved" but simply for non-Jewish. There are lost Jews, lost Gentiles, saved Jews, and saved Gentiles. The saved of both groups now comprise a new third group, the Body of Christ.

Jesus brought the Gentiles "near", meaning they had the same opportunity for salvation as the Jews, who though Jews still had to exercise the same faith in the risen Jesus in order to be saved.

In John 15 Jesus illustrates this with His "vine and branches" discourse. Note the emphasis there on remaining in Jesus, not in Moses. The Jews had the promise of the Messiah but still had to accept Him in faith in order to "remain" in Him.

Paul picks up on this in Rom. 11, beginning with the clear statement, "Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself...", citing his physical line of inheritance. He continues in vs. 11 by pointing out that "salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious", another instance of Gentiles being identified by Paul as simply "non-Jews". In his famous discourse on wild and natural branches, with no one disagreeing that the Gentiles are the wild ones, note that BOTH types are grafted into the Vine, not one type of branch into the other type of branch.

Paula said...

Small correction: "Note that BOTH types are attached to the vine", not that both are grafted.

ezekiel said...

Paula,

I will answer each of your paragraphs by number for the sake of brevity. I, like you once thought that Christians were a 3rd group, new creation and I blame dispensationalism for that. You may want to read what Arthur Pink has to say on that. I ran across him the other day and I relate to him in this article very well.

www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Dispensationalism/disp_01.htm"

Anyway,

1)Take a look at Eph 2:12 [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God's agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.

and

Eph 2:19 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God's own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God's [own] household.

Israel has had the covenants and promises going back to at least Abraham but prolly further. Now we have been made part of them. So we can't look at the Body as a new creation. The man is but not the Body. The Church.

Noah, Abraham, David, Ruth, Ester, Moses and Jacob were all saved by faith. Same as you. None were saved by the law. Saved by the same Redeemer. Jesus.

Gen 48:16 The redeeming Angel [that is, the Angel the Redeemer--not a created being but the Lord Himself] Who has redeemed me continually from every evil, bless the lads! And let my name be perpetuated in them [may they be worthy of having their names coupled with mine], and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them become a multitude in the midst of the earth.

2)We will have to disagree here based on what Paul is saying. Look at it this way. Abraham was a gentile (not part of the promises until circumcised in heart. The fleshly circumcision was just an outward sign. So was Noah and every other individual in Hebrews 11 before their heart was circumcised and became a Jew.

Rom 2:28 For he is not a [real] Jew who is only one outwardly and publicly, nor is [true] circumcision something external and physical.
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and [true] circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from God.

3,4,5

The nation of Israel though has been broken off for unbelief with a promise that they will eventually be grafted back in. I think it all boils down to the way you look at it, the Vine being new and the way I look at it. The Vine being here since the beginning.

I look at it as a continuation of what He started back in the beginning. Each new creation was made by Him and made part of the Vine in the same way. By faith and that not of ourselves.

ezekiel said...
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ezekiel said...
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Paula said...

ezekiel,

I still look at Eph. and see Gentiles, not "all lost people". Paul is addressing saved Gentiles, and their former situation as excluded from the Promise. As for the promises for Israel, there is no record in scripture of any preceding that made to Abraham.

I agree that all are saved by faith, no matter what the time in history. But I also see in scripture that God required also obedience to the laws of Moses for only His chosen people. Paul referred to this when he wrote about Gentiles having been cut off from the promises, the laws, the patriarchs, etc.; Gentiles had no part of any of that. As Paul stated, the law was a "custodian" to bring people to Christ, one which came 430 years after the Promise yet did not displace it. But remember that the Promise was first made to Abraham, never to anyone before him.

I still haven't seen any scriptural statements to support your claim that "we have been made part of them". As Paul clearly showed, he spent considerable effort to keep even Jewish believers from going back under the law, and also to make sure Gentiles were not put under "a burden neither we nor our fathers could bear". And I'm not sure how you interpret that quote about Paul calling us a "new creation", but I see it as explicit support for the Body being a new entity. I think you read too much into scripture in order to make Jews out of people who lived before God made the promise to Abraham.

And I disagree that "the nation" of Israel was broken off. Paul's illustration is about individual branches standing or falling by faith. And while no one would disagree that Jesus, who called Himself "the vine", was always in existence, the church did not always exist. Jesus told Peter he "WILL build" His church, not that it already was there and would now be enlarged.

Also, since scripture continually contrasts faith and works, I strongly disagree with the Calvinist claim that our faith is a work. Just FYI. As I'm sure you know, the debate over these things has been waged by bigger guns than either of us for a very long time. If the interpretations were as clear as claimed there would be no controversy. But I can supply links on Dispensationalism and the non-Calvinist views on Israel and the church if you're interested.

ezekiel said...

Arthur Pink on Dispensationalism

ezekiel said...

No problem Paula. Thanks for your gracious discussion. I doubt either of us will change our mind but it is good to discuss. Thanks for your time!

I finally got the link working. It is a long read but I think by reading it you can understand my postion a little better. He can articulate it better than I can.

Paula said...

And thank you too, ezekiel, for the same. I truly believe that the reason God allows this ageless debate is to see how we treat each other.

Christiane said...

I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches

From An Early Christian Teaching from St. Cyril of Alexandria
Early Church Father
and Doctor of the Church

This excerpt from Saint Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on the gospel of John discusses the portion of the Lord's last supper discourse where he says "I am the vine, you are the branches"
(John 15:5).

It emphasizes how the Holy Spirit is the bond that unites us with the Lord Jesus Christ and one another:

"The Lord calls himself the vine and those united to him branches (John 15:5) in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with him, and how important it is for us to remain in his love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Savior, those who are joined to him, as branches are to a vine, share in his own nature.


On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had good will, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ, and received from him the dignity of adoptive sonship that made us his own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.


The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation, because it is upon him that we as living and spiritual stones are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches, and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in him and our love for him.

Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in him and he is living in us is that he has given us a share in his Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things.

He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God, and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity."

Stephen said...

Debbie: I certainly did not mean that all Calvinists hold this view. It is not really a part of Calvinism, as you know. It is just an observation, and make an incorrect one, that some Calvinists hold this view. My main reference is American Vision (Gary DeMar's group). They advance a national repentance, that is America turning back to God. Well, as an historian, I assert there is no time in our history that we can go back to. Anyway, the implication is that America needs to get back to God, like Israel of the OT was called back to repentance. I apologize if I included you or associated you with something that is not true.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Off-topic and dumb but sincere question:

Is this the same "Big Daddy Weave" as this (also here)?

Thy Peace said...

Here is big daddy weave blogger profile.

I am a doctoral student studying Religion, Politics, and Society in Waco, Texas.
...
Son, Grandson, and Nephew of SBTS educated Baptist ministers. Alumnus of the University of Georgia. A Graduate Student at Baylor University. Interned with Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis. Worked for the BJC. Liberated from Georgia Baptist Fundamentalists. Theologically Moderate and Politically Progressive. A 24 year old South Georgia boy living in the Heart of Texas. I am THE big daddy weave. Email: Aaron_Weaver@baylor.edu


Somehow, I do not think he plays music. But I could be wrong.

Thy Peace said...

The picture from here does not match the music group members pictures.

John Fariss said...

Tom,

(Back on topic)

I think that is "Warehouse 13," which SciFi Channel is about to do a big expose on, under the guise of a series!

John

Christiane said...

KEEPERS OF THE LOST ARK ???

excerpted from Paul Raffaele's article in Smithsonian Magazine,
December, 2007


"Before leaving Addis Ababa for Aksum, I went to the offices of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which has some 40 million adherents worldwide,
to ask about Ethiopia's claim to have the ark of the covenant.

Paulos holds a PhD in theology from Princeton University, and before he was installed as patriarch, in 1992, he was a parish priest in Manhattan. Gripping a golden staff, wearing a golden icon depicting the Madonna cradling an infant Jesus, and seated on what looked like a golden throne, he oozed power and patronage.

"We've had 1,000 years of Judaism, followed by 2,000 years of Christianity, and that's why our religion is rooted in the Old Testament," he told me.

"We follow the same dietary laws as Judaism, as set out in Leviticus," meaning that his followers keep kosher, even though they are Christians.

"Parents circumcise their baby boys as a religious duty, we often give Old Testament names to our boys and many villagers in the countryside still hold Saturday sacred as the Sabbath."

Is this tradition linked to the church's claim to hold the ark, which Ethiopians call Tabota Seyen, or the Ark of Zion?

"It's no claim, it's the truth," Paulos answered.
"Queen Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem three thousand years ago, and the son she bore him, Menelik, at age 20 visited Jerusalem, from where he brought the ark of the covenant back to Aksum. It's been in Ethiopia ever since."

I asked if the ark in Ethiopia resembles the one described in the Bible: almost four feet long, just over two feet high and wide, surmounted by two winged cherubs facing each other across its heavy lid, forming the "mercy seat," or footstool for the throne of God.

Paulos shrugged. "Can you believe that even though I'm head of the Ethiopian church, I'm still forbidden from seeing it?" he said. "The guardian of the ark is the only person on earth who has that peerless honor."

He also mentioned that the ark had not been held continuously at Aksum since Menelik's time, adding that some monks hid it for 400 years to keep it out of invaders' hands. Their monastery still stood, he said, on an island in Lake Tana. It was about 200 miles northwest, on the way to Aksum.

Ethiopia is landlocked, but Lake Tana is an inland sea: it covers 1,400 square miles and is the source of the Blue Nile, which weaves its muddy way 3,245 miles through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean. At the outlet where the water begins its journey, fishermen drop lines from primitive papyrus boats like those the Egyptians used in the pharaohs' days. I glimpsed them through an eerie dawn mist as I boarded a powerboat headed for Tana Kirkos, the Island of the Ark. . . . "

Christiane said...

If you would like to read the whole story I quoted from, it is located at this site. It is wonderfully mysterious reading.
Enjoy. Love, L's


www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1931280/posts

JR said...

Debbie Kaufman said:

"the historical Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, something most Dispensationalists don't know happened as it is not taught..."

Seriously? Do you really believe that Dispensationalists are unaware of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD? I mean you really think people are that ignorant?

pascale said...

Jacob

I would like to get a copy of this interesting book on the throne but the link you sent us just talks about the discovery it doesn't actually sell the book!!!! (some business guy this Huller). Just where do you purchase this book?

Kevin said...

They found the Ark of the Covenant where Moses placed the 10 Commandments, in a cave under Golgotha.

http://arkofthecovenant2.blogspot.com/