Mar 23, 2013

The Six Trials of Jesus Christ

Jesus was dragged back and forth between ruling authorities six different times on the day of His crucifixion.  We see the symbolism of six in that six is the number of man.  Mankind was made to work six days (Walmart would say seven) and rest on the seventh.  Jesus was forced to endure six unjust trials, but endured these to secure the salvation for all who would believe.  (Romans 1:16, Hebrews 5:9)   Jesus actually faced another Judge, His Father, for a seventh trial.  (Matt. 27:46)  At this point, He was accepted as the fulfillment of the law, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.  It was finished.  (Luke 23:46, John 19:30)  The Lord is utterly amazing in all His ways!


By James A. Turner


1. John 18:12-13, “ So the band and the chief captain, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him, and led him to Annas first: for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.”

2. Annas had been removed by Roman authority, but evidently the rulers of the Jews still counted him as high priest.

3. Annas questioned Jesus, and one of his officers struck Jesus with his hand (Jn. 18:19-23).


1. Jn. 19:24 says, Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.”

2. Roman authorities counted him as the high priest.

3. John entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stayed without, and warmed by the enemies fire (Jn. 18:15-18; Mt. 26:57-58, 26:69-75). Do you think this had a part in causing Peter to deny Jesus three times?

4. Matthew 26:59-60 reads, “Now the chief priest and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death; and they found it not, though many false witnesses came.”

5. Mark. Says, “For many bare false witness against him, and their witness agreed not together. And there stood up certain, and bear false witness against him saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. And not even so did their witness agree together Mk. 15:56-59).”

6. Then the high priest said, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ the Son of God. Jesus said. Unto him, “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mt. 26:65-68).”

7. The Court condemned him to death. They said he was guilty of blasphemy because he said he was the Son of God.   


1. Mt. 27:1-2 reads, “Now when morning was come, all the chief priest and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.”

2. Mark’s account also shows that the court condemned Jesus during the night (Mk. 14:43, 14:55-65) and met again the next morning (Mk. 15:1).

3. Why did the Sanhedrin meet again the next morning? Walter M. Chandler in his first volume entitled, The Trial Of Jesus, states that according to the rules of the Sanhedrin, the court was not to hear a capital punishment case at night. Do you think they were trying to give what they had done the appearance of legality?


1. Matthew, Mark, and John say that they carried Jesus to Pilate the next morning (Mt. 27:1-2; Mk. 15:1; Jn 18:28).

2. Jn. 18:28 reads, “They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, (or palace) and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.”

3. Jn. 18:28 shows that Jesus kept the Passover with his disciples prior to the regular time for the Passover.

a. Why? Jesus died at the time they were to start killing the passover lambs!

b. A foot note in the ASV on Ex. 12:6 “at even” says, “Heb. Between the two evenings”.

c. The Passover feast was instituted before the event that it was to commemorate (Ex. 12:1-14).

d. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper before the event that it was to commemorate (Mt. 26:26-29).

e. The passover lambs were a type of Christ “ the lamb of God” ( Isa. 53:5-8; Jn. 1:29; I Cor. 5:7-8; I Pet. 1:18-20; Rev. 5:1-7, 7:9-10, 7:13-14, 7: 17, 13:8,15:3-4, 19:9, 21:14, 22:1, 22:3-4).

f. The lambs were to be without blemish that prefigured Christ being without sin (Ex. 12: 5; I Pet. 1:18-20).

g. When the Israelites applied the blood of the lambs it delivered them from the Egyptian bondage (Ex. 12:7, 12:13, 12 41-42), and when the blood of Christ is applied it delivers from the bondage of sin (Rom. 5:7; Eph. 1:7; Col.1:14).

h. Not a bone in a Passover lamb was to be broken (Ex. 12:46), and this prefigured that not a bone in the body of Christ was broken (Jn. 19:31-37).

4. Pilate questioned Jesus and found no crime in him (Jn. 18:33-40; Lu. 23:4-5; Mt.

27: 17-19), but when he learned that he was of Herod’s jurisdiction he sent him to

Herod (Lu. 23:7).


1. Herod was glad that Pilate sent Jesus to him (Lu. 23:8).

2. Herod questioned Jesus “in many words, and the chief priest and scribes stood, vehemently accusing him (Lu. 23:9-10).”

3. Herod found no fault in Jesus, but he and his soldiers mocked him and “arraying

Him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate (Lu. 23: 11-12).”


1. When Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate he called the chief priest and the rulers of

the people, and said unto them, “Ye brought unto me this man, as one that

perverteth the people: and behold, I, having examined him before you found no

fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: no, nor yet

Herod: for he sent him back to us; and behold, nothing worthy of death by him.

I will therefore chastise him, and release him (Lu. 23:14-16).”

2. These murders cried out, “ Away with the man and release unto us Barabbas”, Barabbas had caused an insurrection and was guilty of murder (Lu. 23:18-19).

3. Pilate then had Jesus scourged, and the soldiers mocked him (Jn. 19:1-3).

4. Pilate affirmed to them again, “I find no crime in him and he said unto them, “Behold, the man (Jn. 19:4-5).”

5. What did Pilate mean by “Behold, the man! Did he not mean, don’t you think he has suffered enough?

6. When Pilate saw that a “tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see you to it (Mt. 27:24-25).”

7. All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children (Mt. 27:25),” but when that time came they were ready to kill the apostles on accusation that they were intending “to bring this man’s blood upon us (Acts 5:27-28, 5:33).”

8. Was Pilate innocent? Surely not! He was a moral coward! He knew that Jesus had “done nothing worthy of death (Lu 23:15)”, and that “for envy they had delivered him up (Mt. 27:18)”, and he also had been warned by his wife (Mt. 27:19); and he should have released Jesus.

9. Sometimes a victim’s stomach organs protruded by scourging, and some died when they were scourged.

10. Jesus must have been in such a terrible condition that they compelled Simon of Cyrene to bear his cross to Calvary (Mk. 15:21).

Mar 22, 2013


This author makes some good scriptural points regarding prophecy, and the Antichrist being associated with a short-lived time of peace.  I personally do not believe the Pope fits the bill for the Antichrist, although he would fit the bill for the false prophet. 

Mar 21, 2013

The Gaithers - O The Blood of Jesus/Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

I grew up in Southern Baptist churches, and for all of their imperfections, the hymns have remained with me, in my darkest and brightest hours.  They hymns, classics all, are engraved in my mind, holy reminders of worship, praise and glorifying Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  And this sounds so much like the end of the old services...however you choose to worship the Lord.  Whatever songs, whoever sings them, worship Him tonight.  Glorify Him for Who He Is, and all that He has done for you.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Jesus Christ - A Man of Sorrows


It has become evident through this prophecy that Someone is coming. That dim and shadowy Figure which appears occasionally in the opening chapters is emerging ever more clearly as we move through this book. Here in the 53rd chapter the Messiah steps out into full and glorious view.
It is hard to understand how anyone can read this great chapter and not see Jesus in it. We have already commented on the fact that, through the centuries, Jewish people have held that it does not refer to Jesus of Nazareth, but rather that the nation of Israel is the "Servant of Jehovah." The primary reason for their feeling is that they expected a different kind of Messiah. The Jews had done like many of us do with Scripture -- they had selected verses that appealed to them and formulated from them a vision of a Deliverer who would come with military might and power. He would overcome the Roman tyrants, they thought, set Israel free, and fulfill the promises of God to make it the chief of the nations of earth. Because our Lord did not fulfill those promises, they have maintained that this prophecy does not apply to him. Yet here in this great chapter it is clear that God's suffering Servant is brought before us.

The passage actually begins in the closing verses of Chapter 52, which belong with Chapter 53. Taken together with it, these verses constitute five stanzas that depict various foreviews of the work of the Messiah, each one bringing out a different aspect of his work and life. Beginning in Verse 13, Chapter 52, we have God himself announcing the presence of the Servant.
Behold, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
As many were astonished at him --
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the sons of men --
so shall he startle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they shall see,
and that which they have not heard they shall understand. (Isaiah 52:13-15 RSV)
This section, which describes the remarkable impact that the Messiah would make upon mankind, opens with a declaration that he would be successful in all that he did: "Behold, my servant shall prosper." That success would be accomplished in three specific stages, described here: "He shall be exalted; he shall be lifted up; he shall be very high." Commentators see in this the events that happened to Jesus after the crucifixion:

First, in the words, "He shall be exalted," there is a reference to the resurrection. Jesus was brought back from the dead, stepping into a condition of life that no man had ever entered before. Lazarus had been resurrected, in a sense, but he merely returned to this earthly life. Jesus, however, became the "firstborn from the dead," (Colossians 1:18). He was thus exalted to a higher dimension of existence.
Then, "he shall be lifted up." After his resurrection, Jesus took his disciples to the Mount of Olives and while he was speaking to them he ascended into the heavens until a cloud received him out of sight. So he was physically and literally "lifted up."

Thirdly, the passage says, "He shall be very high." The Hebrew puts it rather graphically: "He shall be high, very." We cannot but recall the words of the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Philippians. Speaking of Jesus, he says, "Wherefore God has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father," (Philippians 2:9-11). Thus by his resurrection, his ascension, and his kingly exaltation the Messiah has made tremendous impact upon humanity.

Further, it is said of him here that "many were astonished at him." This happened in two different ways. First, as Verse 14 implies, many were "astonished" at his death: "His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men." This is descriptive of the face of Jesus after he had endured the terrible Roman scourging, the beatings, the blows to his face with the rod, which the soldiers mockingly called a king's scepter, and the crushing of the crown of thorns upon his head. By the time he was impaled on the cross, his face was a bloody mess. This is what the prophet sees: our Lord's appearance was so marred that those who passed by were "astonished" at his visage.

But Verse 15 describes another form of astonishment: "so shall he startle many nations." This refers to the tremendous accomplishments he achieved, not only during his ministry, but through the intervening centuries since. Many have commented on the remarkable achievements of Jesus. Kenneth Scott Latourette, a well known historian, has said,
As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by his effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.
G.K. Chesterton, that remarkable English Christian novelist and literary critic, has written,
There was a man who dwelt in the East centuries ago, and now I cannot look at a sheep or a sparrow, a lily or a cornfield, a raven or a sunset, a vineyard or a mountain without thinking of him. If this be not to be divine, what is it?
Truly, our Lord has made an astonishing impact upon our world. He is the Man who cannot be forgotten.

The first three verses of Chapter 53 describe the Messiah's strange rejection. These words express the feelings of the repentant nation when at last they recognize him at his return. The prophet cries out as the voice of the nation,
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:1-3 RSV)
These remarkable words are felt by any person who comes to Christ and remembers how lightly he regarded him when he first learned of him. Here the nation asks, "Who has believed our report, that which we have heard. The arm of the Lord was revealed to us, but we did not understand who he was." Looking back, they can see how he fulfilled these words.

He grew up before Jehovah as a "young plant." That speaks of the hidden years at Nazareth when, in the obscurity of the carpenter's shop no one knew who he was except his Heavenly Father. He was the "root out of dry ground." We have already seen Isaiah's prediction that a root would rise up from the stem of David, from whom Joseph and Mary were both descended. But the House of David had fallen on evil days. The royal line had become impoverished and no one recognized its claims to leadership within Israel. When our Lord came he was indeed a root out of very dry ground.

The passage continues, "He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." Again, these are words that refer to our Lord's appearance as he hung upon the cross. He was a pitiful figure to behold, hanging naked, blood covering his face, worn and shattered by suffering. Indeed he had "no beauty that we should desire him."

He was truly "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." There is no record in Scripture that Jesus ever laughed. I think he did laugh, for you cannot read some of his parables, or some of the things he said to his disciples, without sensing a smile on his face or hearing a chuckle in his voice. But there is no account that he ever laughed. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."

We must remember that all through his boyhood, and even into his manhood, he was pursued by nasty cracks about his birth, inferring that he was an illegitimate son, born to a faithless maiden who had broken her vow of betrothal. His brothers misunderstood him and did not believe in him. They were embarrassed at some of the things he said and did. It was not until after the resurrection that they believed in him. He was called a drunkard and a glutton, and was said to be possessed by a devil. He was called a Samaritan, a disparaging term. He had no home to go to. He said himself, "Foxes have holes, birds have their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head," (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:50). Sometimes his disciples left him alone to go about their business, but he had to go out to the Garden of Gethsemane and sleep alone beneath the o lives trees. He became at one point "Public Enemy No. 1." In the weeks before his crucifixion the Pharisees offered a reward to anyone who would turn him in. Surely he was rejected of men! In the words of the Apostle John, "He came unto his own, and his own people received him not," (John 1:11 RSV).

The next stanza portrays our Lord's substitutionary sacrifice:
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6 RSV)
This, of course, is the very heart of the gospel, the good news. Jesus took our place. As Peter puts it, "He bore our sins in his own body upon the tree," 1 Peter 2:24). He took our sins and paid the price for them. He had no sins of his own and Scripture is very careful to record the sinlessness of Jesus himself. He was not suffering for his own transgressions, but for the sins of others. One writer has put it rather well,
It was for me that Jesus died,
For me and a world of men
Just as sinful and just as slow to give back his love again.
And he did not wait until I came to him.
He loved me at my worst.
He needn't ever have died for me
If I could have loved him first.
That is the problem, isn't it? Why do not we love him first? Why is it that we can only learn to love our Lord when we have beheld his suffering; his excruciating agony on our behalf? Why is it we find such difficulty in obeying the first commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul, and all thy strength," (Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV). It is because of our transgressions, as this passage declares. They have cut us off from the divine gift of love that ought to be in every human heart.

Sin is a disease that has afflicted our entire race. We cannot understand the depth of human depravity until we see the awful agony through which our Lord passed; behold the hours of darkness and hear the terrible orphaned cry, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34 KJV). All this spells out for us what we really are like. Most think of ourselves as decent people, good people. We have not done, perhaps, some of the terrible things that others have done.

But w hen we see in the cross of Jesus the depth of evil in our hearts we understand that sin is a disease that has infiltrated our whole lives. Man, who was created in the image of God and once wore the glory of his manhood, has become bruised and marred, sick and broken, his conscience ruined, his understanding faulty, his will enfeebled. The principle of integrity and the resolve to do right has been completely undermined in all of us. We know this to be true. No wonder, then, this verse comes as the best of news: He was wounded for our transgressions. The bruising that he felt was the chastisement that we deserved, but it was laid upon him.

There is no way to read this and fail to see that our Lord is the great divine Substitute for the evil of the human heart. We can lay hold of this personally by the honest admission stated in Verse 6: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way." How true that is of each of us! Who can claim anything else? I grew up in Monta-a-a-a-na, and I know something about sheep. Sheep are very foolish and willful creatures. They can find a hole in the fence and get out, but they cannot find it to get back in. Someone must go and get them every time. How true are the words, "We have turned every one to his own way."

Frank Sinatra made a song popular a few years ago, "I Did It My Way." When you hear that it sounds like something admirable, something everybody ought to emulate. How proud we feel that we did it "our way." But when you turn to the record of the Scripture, you find that that is the problem, not the solution. Everyone is doing things "their way," so we have a race that is in constant conflict, forever striving with one another, unable to work anything out, because we all did it "our way."

The way to lay hold of the redemption of Jesus is to admit that "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way"; and then to believe the next line, "But the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." One Christian put his testimony in a rather quaint way. He said, "I stooped down low and went in at the first 'all,' and I stood up straight and came out at the last."

Notice that this verse begins and ends with the word "all": "All we like sheep have gone astray." This man said, "I stooped down low and went in at that 'all.'" In other words, "I acknowledged that I, too, was part of that crowd that had gone astray." Ah, "But I stood up straight and came out at the last 'all.'" He understood that "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." He bore our punishment and took our place.

The next stanza foretells the silent sufferings of Jesus.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the and of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7-9 RSV)
Once again, Scripture preserves carefully the sinlessness of Jesus himself. He was without sin, but he bore the sins of others. That is why he did it in silence. He had no interest in defending himself, so he never spoke in his own defense. It is a striking thing that in the gospel accounts of the trials of Jesus he never spoke up on his own behalf or tried to escape the penalty. This amazed both Pilate and Caiaphas. When our Lord stood before the High Priest, he was silent until the High Priest put him on oath to tell them who he was. When he stood before Pilate, he was silent until to remain silent was to deny his very Kingship. Then he spoke briefly, acknowledging who he was. When he was with the soldiers, they smote him and spat him and put the crown of thorns on his head, yet he said not a word. Peter says, "When he was reviled he reviled not again," 1 Peter 2:23). Truly, "As a lamb before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." When he went before contemptuous, sneering Herod, he stood absolutely silent. He would not say one word to him. He was returned at last to Pilate because Herod could find nothing wrong with him.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away. (Isaiah 53:6a RSV)
It is very apparent to anyone reading the gospel accounts that the trials that Jesus went through were a farce. The Jewish trial before the High Priest was illegal. It was held at night, which was contrary to the law. Pilate several times admitted that he could find no wrong in him, and yet he pronounced upon him the sentence of death. How true are these words, "by oppression and judgment he was taken away."

He was "stricken for the transgression of my people." Remember that as the crowd was crying out, "Crucify him, crucify him," they added these significant words, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children." Thereby they acknowledged that he was indeed "stricken for the transgressions of my people."

But when at last the deed was done and he cried with a loud voice, "It is finished" (John 19:30), his friends came to take him down from the cross. No enemy hands touched his body after his death, only those who loved him. As they removed his bloody body, the dear lips were silent, the wondrous voice was stilled, the light had gone from his eyes, and the great heart beat no more. But instead of throwing him on a rubbish heap, as the authorities intended, they "made his grave with the rich," just as Isaiah had predicted written 720 years before the event. Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, offered to put the body of Jesus in his new tomb that had never been used. Someone has put that rather remarkably, "He who came from a virgin womb, must be laid in a virgin tomb."

Then in the last stanza his ultimate triumph is pictured. Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great; and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Hebrew in Verse 10 is rather remarkable. Our version says, "It was the will of the Lord to bruise him," but the Hebrew literally says, "It pleased Jehovah to bruise him. He has put him to grief." The question comes, "How could it please God to put his Son to death, in the agony and torture of a crucifixion?" How could God find any pleasure in that?

When the question is asked, "Who is responsible for the death of Jesus?" the world rather blatantly answers, "It was the Jews who put him to death." That is true. The Jewish rulers did deliver him up to be crucified. But it is also true that the Gentiles crucified Jesus. Pilate, as the representative of the supreme government of earth at that time, put him to death, so that both Jew and Gentile are responsible. But that still does not exhaust the matter. We must go beyond that to this mysterious statement, "It pleased Jehovah to bruise him. He has put him to grief." When we face the question of why and how could God the Father ever take any delight in the death of his beloved Son, the only clue we have is that remarkable promise in Verse 32 of Romans 8, "He who spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" As hard as it is to believe, we must understand that God loved the lost race of mankind more than he loved his Son, and was willing to deliver him up to death that our race may find a way out of the disease and death of sin. That is all we can say on that. Perhaps one of the hymns puts it best,
On Christ almighty vengeance fell,
That would have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place.
Verses 10 and 11 describe a resurrection, and the satisfaction that Messiah feels when he sees what his sufferings have accomplished. We are told, "He shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days." That cannot be said of any human being who dies. How can a dead man see his offspring? How can a dead man prolong his days? But clearly, after death, after he has "made his grave with the wicked," here is One who shall "see his offspring and prolong his days." Resurrection is clearly in view.

"He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." What a remarkable statement! Nothing else could satisfy Jesus than to see the redeemed brought to his Father. Nothing else could do it. This was the relentless desire that drove him through pain, tears and death-hell itself-to achieve what he always wanted: a world freed from pain, torment, death and injustice; a world of men delivered from crying, sorrow, sadness and heartache; a world in which men and women would live in peace and in power, fulfilling the tremendous possibilities that God incorporated in man when he made him in the beginning. This is what he is after, and nothing can satisfy him but that. As the writer of Hebrewssays, "For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame thereof," (Hebrews 12:2). This will at last bring satisfaction to his heart.

Verse 12 summarizes all this: "He will make many righteous and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong." This is a reference to Paul's word in Romans 8, that we are "heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17), and that we will share with him the inheritance that he has achieved. It is for those who "out of weakness have been made strong" (Hebrews 11:34) by faith in his death and life. So the chapter ends, "Because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

When I first came here as a pastor, many years ago, we had an unusual opportunity to have in our home a Japanese man who had become a Christian evangelist. His name was Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, the commander of the squadron that bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He told us in his broken English of that event and how he felt at the time he gave the command to drop the bombs. After the war he became a hero in Japan, yet he felt his life was empty. Then he heard the amazing story of one of the American fliers, Jacob DeShazer, one of Doolittle's bombers, who had been captured and put in prison in Japan. At first he was a very intractable prisoner, but someone gave him a New Testament and, reading it, his whole life was changed.

Fuchida heard about that change in the life of DeShazer, and Fuchida himself began to read the New Testament. When he came to the story of the crucifixion, he told us that he was so moved by the prayer that broke from the lips of Jesus as he hung upon the cross with his torturers and tormentors gathered about him, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), that his own heart broke. He could not understand how anyone could pray for his enemies and ask for them to be forgiven. In that moment he opened his heart to Christ, and ultimately became a Christian evangelist. For some years he traveled throughout this country, speaking especially to young people about the grace that could come into a life through One who was "numbered with the transgressors . . . and made intercession for them."

This is a love story. What kind of love is this that awakens within us a response of deep and abiding gratitude, a willingness to admit that we need help? Our only adequate response is found in the words of a hymn,
Oh, love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer fuller be.

Possible Muslim Approval of Third Temple Construction

As we draw closer to the return of the Lord, one day at a time, there will be an ever greater push for the building of a third temple on the temple mount in Jerusalem. Let there be no doubt in the readers mind that this topic is being discussed between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on Mr. Obama's visit. A third temple is coming. After all, the Antichrist needs the proper platform to proclaim himself as Messiah to the world (Matt. 24:15)

 As reported in The Jewish Press on March 14, 2013, there is a new call for something previously unthinkable. Sinem Tezyapar, a Muslim TV producer in Turkey, has called for the rebuilding of the “Prophet Solomon’s” Temple.

She assures her fellow Muslims that they need not be nervous because:
“There is a broad expanse of land around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The land there is quite convenient in that respect, and the Temple can be placed just a little way from Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and a little ahead of Masjid el-Aqsa.”
There are overtones of wanting peace and togetherness with the Jewish people in her statements as well. This is a very interesting development and would be easy to dismiss as just one secular Muslim’s simplistic idea. Unfortunately, the fact that she is a woman in the Muslim world makes the idea even less feasible. However, this is not the first time this idea has come from the lips of a Muslim. According to an article in Word Net Daily, an influential Muslim leader by the name of Adnan Oktar in Turkey is described as making the same proposal, to rebuild the Jewish Temple, calling it the “Palace of Solomon.”
The Jewish people have longed for their Temple to be rebuilt. In an article about the rebuilding of the Temple, Hassidic writer and publisher Mordechai Housman, describes the first and primary obstacle as being political, and second being safety reasons due to Muslims. If a significant Muslim leader would declare that Solomon’s Temple should be rebuilt, then if the Muslim community would follow, it is likely the Jewish people would jump at the opportunity and be able to overcome whatever ceremonial obstacles also lie in the path.
This is very significant prophetically, because the Jewish Temple must be standing at the mid-point of the time period commonly known as the Tribulation. The Apostles John and Paul, the Prophet Daniel, and Jesus Himself make references to this Temple standing.
Daniel 9:27a says:
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” (KJV)
The “he” spoken of here is the coming world leader, known as the Antichrist. The “one week” is the seven years of the Tribulation period.
In Matthew 24:15–16, Jesus references this very passage:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” (KJV)
This “Abomination of Desolation” is set up in the Most Holy Place, which is well known to be the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple. Thus this Temple must be standing in order for the “Abomination of Desolation” to happen.
Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4:
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (KJV)
Here also is a reference to the Antichrist (the man of sin) declaring himself God inside the Temple of God. This also is the Jewish Temple.
In Revelation 11:1–2, John tells us:
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (KJV)
Forty-two months is also equivalent to half of seven years. In other words, the Temple which John refers to is standing, not only in the middle of the Tribulation, but it has been standing for the entire first part of the Tribulation.
There are several big milestones that students of prophecy are waiting for. One of those is the construction of the Third Jewish Temple for it does indeed seem to be a prerequisite to the beginning of the Tribulation period. If not a prerequisite, then it does definitely need to be standing by the midpoint of the Tribulation. With hints that the Muslim world might be agreeable to its construction, it would seem this particular milestone might be nearer than many think.

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The crimson tide of Chile prawns: Mystery as millions of dead shrimps wash ashore and dye beach bright red

By Daniel Miller

An investigation has been launched after millions of dead shrimp were washed ashore close to two coal-fired power stations on the coast of Chile, turning the beach bright red.

Environmental officials say they are investigating after dead the creatures appeared on a beach in the town of Coronel, some 330 miles south of the capital, Santiago.

Local fishermen have blamed the Bocamina 1 and 2 plants owned by regional power generator Endesa, and the Santa Maria plant controlled by Chilean power company Colbun, which they say have heated the waters, endangering their livelihood.

Washed-up shrimps turn the beach red at 'Caleta Rojas' in the twon of Coronel town, some 540 km southwest of Santiago
Mystery: Washed-up shrimps turn the beach red at 'Caleta Rojas' in the twon of Coronel town, some 540 km southwest of Santiago
A local shows a handful of the shrimps washed ashore. Fishermen say a nearby power station has heated the water and may be the cause of the disaster
A local shows a handful of the shrimps washed ashore. Fishermen say a nearby power station has heated the water and may be the cause of the disaster
'I'm 69 years old and started fishing when I was nine but, as a fisherman, I never saw a disaster of this magnitude,' Gregorio Ortega told local Radio Bio Bio.

Hundreds of dead crabs also washed up in the same area over the weekend.

'We're going to be collecting as much evidence as possible to determine if this is an environmental crime,' Ana Maria Aldana, prosecutor for environmental crimes, told state television.

Men examine some of the shrimps washed ashore which many believe was due to water released form the thermoelectric plants located nearby
Examination: Men sift through some of the shrimps washed ashore which many believe was due to water released form the thermoelectric plants located nearby
A local man piles up many of the shrimp that were washed ashore next to a thermoelectric powerstation in Chile
A local man piles up many of the shrimp that were washed ashore next to a thermoelectric powerstation in Chile
An official at Colbun declined to comment. A spokesman for Endesa said the company was aware of the issue and would issue a statement later.

Chile's energy intensive mining industry is clamouring for more power.

Some analysts say the country must triple its capacity in just 15 years, despite having no domestic oil or natural gas.

Chile imports 97 per cent of its fossil fuels and depends largely on hydropower for electricity, creating a crisis when droughts drain reservoirs or far-away disputes affect fuel imports.

Most Chileans oppose plans to develop a project to power central Chile by damming Patagonian rivers, fearing environmental damage. The HidroAysen venture is 51per cent owned by Endesa and 49 per cent owned by Colbun. Some protests against the project have turned violent.

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Mystery Booms Ramp Up from New Jersey to Illinois

Spreading? Mysterious tremors rattle homes in South Jersey

March 21, 2013SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY - Just after 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon residents in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties say they felt multiple earthquake-like tremors that rattled their homes and offices. Absecon resident, Kay Stadlmeir, said, “I don’t think it would be an earthquake, but what could it be? It’s just really odd.” Somers Point resident, Bob Mower, explained, “There was a rattling of my windows and I felt the house shake just a little bit – it was unusual.” Stadlmeir told NBC40, “It has to be something really big to be witnessed in such a widespread area of South Jersey.”
The reports vary from region to region. Atlantic county emergency management officials confirmed with the U.S. Geological Survey that it was not an earthquake. The next thought was that military training or an aircraft flying by might have caused the shakes. Both the 177th Fighter Wing in Egg Harbor Township and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst confirmed none of their aircrafts were in the area at that time. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is still working to confirm whether or not any ground training was happening at the time, although it is unlikely that would cause such a widespread shake. Stadlmeir said, “I really don’t think it’s a sonic boom because, you know as I said before, I’ve experienced them before and this is nothing like that.” Mower told NBC40, “That was real unusual. I almost wondered if I was dreaming on that one.”
After initial reports of the shakes came in, NBC40 put the word out on Facebook to see who else felt it. Immediately we received hundreds of responses from all over South Jersey. Concerned Egg Harbor Township resident, Oliana Collado, said, “I just think it’s weird because some people didn’t feel it and it’s like in random spots, and it’s very spread out. Yeah it was scary, but I’m just glad it wasn’t worse than what it was.” When we reached out to New Jersey State Police Headquarters, we were told that our call marked the first time they had heard about possible tremors and they were unable to tell us anything further. NBC40 will continue to investigate the cause of these mysterious tremors. –NBC40

The mystery of the “loud boom” heard in parts of the region over the weekend may go unsolved as efforts to find the source of the boom proved a bust Monday.

Hundreds of people in at least four counties — Franklin, Hamilton, Saline and Williamson — flocked to social media to report hearing a windows-rattling, earth-shaking boom between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday.

No damages or injuries were reported as a result of the boom.

“I have no way of knowing exactly what occurred but it was not likely an earthquake,” geophysicist Don Blakeman of the National Earthquake Information Center said. “There is nothing on our lists, only the last one on the 11th (near Benton).”

Some earthquakes are heard as well as felt, he said, but if it was so widespread as to be heard in four counties, “We would be able to locate it as an earthquake,” he said. “Typically, when loud booms are heard it turns out to be a sonic boom, although I’m not saying that’s what it was in this instance.”

However, if the boom was sonic in nature, it wasn’t caused by military action. Neither Scott Air Force Base nor the North American Aerospace Defense Command reported activity taking place in the region Saturday.

“We were not in that area with any of our assets,” a NORAD spokesman said.

A Scott Air Force spokeswoman confirmed no Scott or military-related activities or exercises took place in Southern Illinois over the weekend.

The boom was not weather-related, according to meteorologist Robin Smith of the National Weather Service in Paducah said.

Nor was it related to any coal mining activity, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals said.

The swarm of social media postings caused Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Ryan Buckingham to make his own post on the agency’s Facebook page.

“Residents in Franklin County are reporting what was described as a ‘ground-shaking loud boom’ during the day on Saturday 3/16/2013. USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) has not reported any earthquake activity in our area during that time, leaving the cause of these reports as somewhat of a mystery,” Buckingham wrote.

The mystery was not cleared up by Monday, he said.