107 WHERE IS CANA?
John 2:1-11 describes a wedding ceremony in Cana where Jesus did His first miracle. Scriptures tell us He turned six jugs of water into wine. Sadly, the whereabouts of Cana had been lost to mankind for many centuries…until recently. Places had been thought to be Cana, but none fit the description in the Bible or historical records. I love studying Biblical Archaeological finds; they’re faith building. Records indicate the wedding took place in a cave which had become a holy pilgrimage sight for Christians since the first century, that two of the six jars used to make water into wine still existed, and roughly where Cana was located. Belard of Ascoli wrote in 1155 A.D. that “The hamlet of Cana is situated between Nazareth and Tiberias. The place of the wedding is a cave dug out in rock…” English priest William Wey, using ancient maps, produced a map in 1462 showing Cana directly north of Sepphoris. A fifth century pilgrim to Cana wrote that he saw “Cana where the Lord attended the wedding. Of the water-pots, two are still there, and I filled one of them up with wine and lifted it up full on to my shoulders. I offered it at the altar… and then traveled on to Nazareth”. So, how come we lost track of Cana? Some believe that, during the Crusades, Muslims covered the cave to thwart Christian pilgrimage. Six locations were to be examined as a possible sight of old Cana. Five were not the place, but the six produced a stunning find. Using centuries old records, archaeologists began a dig between Nazareth and Tiberias. They found remnants of a first century Jewish settlement and wondered if it could be Cana. However, it was also deemed a bust, until an archaeologists stepped in loose soil that was the product of ancient fill-dirt. It led to a cave entrance, as described by ancient records. I the cave was a dedicatory on the entrance wall to the “Lord Jesus…”. Further in was an old stone altar that, over the centuries, had been worn smooth in the middle by people praying. Ancient records had mentioned the dedicatory and worn altar. Archaeologists were amazed they were still there. Above the altar stood a shelf designed to hold six water jars, two of which were still there!! This verified ancient records that two of the jugs could be still found in the cave. Cana had pretty much converted to Christianity in the first century. Why? The people of Cana had seen the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine, and some were still alive when they decided to dedicate the cave to Jesus and the event. The disciple Nathaniel, for example, was from Cana. Jesus was also in Cana when He healed a sick child from afar. Archaeologists had not only found the lost hamlet of Cana but, most likely, two of the water jugs actually used by Jesus to turn water into wine! What the enemies of Christ intended for our bad turned to our good. The pots were preserved thanks to being buried. There’s a wonderful article on this in the recent Biblical Archeology Magazine under “Searching for Lost Cana”. About ten years ago, archaeologist Eliat Mazar discovered King David’s palace in Jerusalem (Judah). In 2016, archaeologists discovered King David’s second palace in Israel (valley of Elah). This discovery finally put to rest the argument over whether or not David had even lived or had been a king over a dual kingdom. Goliath’s village of Gath (both said to be fictional by liberals) was discovered with pottery inscribed with Goliath’s name (proving Gath and Goliath real). Look up “Goliath’s name on pottery”. Gath had been overrun about 930 B.C., according to archaeologists, the time that David slew Goliath. The discovery of the Nineveh Tablets tells us that there had been a time when the king of Nineveh, during the days of Jonah, had ordered his kingdom to fast, pray and sit in ashes “lest a god they were not familiar with would destroy their city” (written on the tablet). See the book of Jonah in the Bible. ancient records of Babylonian historian Berosus have been found. In them we find mention of a “fishman” who came from the sea to preach repentance to the Assyrians (Nineveh was in Assyria). Images of the “fishman” shows him coming from inside of a large fish. These can be seen on-line. The “fishman’s” name is “Yanueh. Sound familiar? It should. The name Jonah in Hebrew is pronounced Yonah. The story is that he said he was sent from God to call them back to where their culture had originally come from. “The second tomb of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead, was recently discovered in Cyprus in a hidden room under a church. His stone coffin reads, “Lazarus, friend of Jesus, once dead four days”. Records tells us he had lived another thirty years, had become the Bishop of Cyprus, and died around 63 A.D. The coffin is dated to 63 A.D.
106 WHAT IS GOING ON?
In one of my newspaper articles, I mentioned that scientists had discovered intact Wooly Mammoths that had frozen so quickly that they hadn’t even had time to swallow the food in their mouths. The food was tropical. They were not discovered in the southern hemisphere, as one would suspect since their food was tropical, but in one of the coldest places on Earth; Siberia, Russia. How does an animal freeze so suddenly that it doesn’t even have time to swallow the food they had just been eating, and how did tropical food grow in one of the coldest places on Earth? Whatever caused this caused those Wooly Mammoths to freeze perfectly intact. Creationists have long contended that the flood of Noah would have caused such a tremendous climate change like this. Siberia’s in the far northern hemisphere. Thousands of volcanic eruptions spewing clouds of ash into the air would have dramatically lowered earth’s temperature. Evidence for this type activity once happening at the same time has been found; ocean floors are nearly covered with cooled lava. Here’s another similar story: scientists from Ohio University were working in the high ice caps of the Peruvian Andes Mountains at elevations of over 21,000 feet; the far southern hemisphere. No vegetation should be at that level; especially in an ice field. Taking ice core samples, they discovered they had managed to encapsulate a complete insect and a soft bodied plant. They were amazed. The results of tests showed that this plant and insect had frozen so suddenly they never had time to even decompose. Further testing showed the plant to be about 5,200 years old. Soft bodied plants always decompose extremely quickly. Professor Lonnie Thompson (professor of geological sciences at Ohio U.) stated; “This is a soft bodied plant. It had to be captured by a very large snowfall at the time, a snowfall and climate change that began very abruptly; fast enough to capture a plant but not kill it. That is astounding”. They then discovered a second intact plant in another ice core sample. It was a wetland plant! This means the plant should have been at the base of the mountain…not the top. He went on to say “We know the first plant could not have been exposed at any time during that 5,200-year history or it would have decayed”: same for the second. Creationists have long contended that mountains rose from lowlands and wetlands about 5,200 years ago during the flood of Noah. How old are these plants? 5,200 years. The flood would have also caused almost immediate freezing in many places due to vapor and ashes in the sky blocking out the Sun. We now have evidence of that freezing from Siberia in the northern hemisphere and from Peru in the southern. I’m constantly amazed by the things being discovered. God is allowing mankind to find enough evidence to make even the hardest skeptic of the Bible story of Creation take notice. This isn’t just happening in science. Look at archaeological finds. I was reading an article in Biblical Archaeology Review magazine about how archaeologists have rediscovered Cana where Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, according to John 2:1-11. It appears that the whereabouts of Cana was well known up until just after the crusades. There are records dating back to nearly the time of Jesus about how Christians turned Cana into a place of pilgrimage early on because of His turning water into wine there. Makes perfect sense. Ancient records tell us that two of the water jugs were still there above a stone altar. A fifth century record states that two of the water jugs, used in the wedding, were still in the cave five hundred years later. The records state a man saw “Cana where the Lord attended the wedding. Of the water-pots, two are still there, and I filled one of them up with wine and lifted it up full on to my shoulders. I offered it at the altar.” It was used for communion services in remembrance of Jesus. It’s believed that Islamic radicals covered the entrance to the cave after the crusades to keep Christians out. However, an old map and records led archaeologists to a new possibility for Cana. They were displeased when they discovered no cave, though.
As they were about to depart, one of them accidentally stepped into a hole. The ground sank, they dug, discovering an entrance to a cave. Inside was a dedication to the “Lord Jesus…” on the entrance wall. To the left, and further in the cave, was the old altar described by ancient records: worn down by people praying at it. Just above the altar still sits………both water pots! There’s a space for four others that have obviously been removed. This verifies the book of John which tells us six pots were used to turn water into wine. The Islamic radicals, instead of doing Christianity harm, had preserved this amazing find by covering it over sometime after the Crusades. Think on these things.
105 WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
We’ve been taught nothing else but evolutionary theory. I became an atheist in college because I stopped believing in a Creator and the Bible. It took a lot to win me back. Some Christians willingly accept The Theory of Evolution as being the answer as to where life came from. So, what difference does it make what we believe concerning where life came from? I’ve quoted a survey by Focus on the Family that eight out of ten of Christian kids, raised in a church, who attended youth group and studied their Bible, will lose their faith while in college. This same statistic also comes from the Assembly of God and other denominations. The biggest reason given for their loss is that they came to believe in Evolution over God as Creator; erasing trust in the Bible. Recently, one of my newspaper readers insisted that “those who will not accept evolution as the mechanism by which God brings about change in His kingdom have had their minds calcified”. It is no less than a miracle that I write as a regular columnist in the largest weekly paper in my state. I know of no one else doing this. I wonder if this person ever considered that it just might be the opposite; those who believe in Evolution have been calcified by the constant overabundance of evolutionary indoctrination that we undergo from birth. However, evolution theory is in crisis. I’ve written about the Big Bang Theory and how numerous recent scientific discoveries have shown it to be wrong: for example, water was discovered 400 hundred miles below the Earth, enough to cover even the highest mountains. It’s been here all along (see June 4, 2014 article in U.S.A Today). The Big Bang dictated that Earth’s water came here from comets and that Earth was all molten material in the beginning. Then the Rosetta Satellite landed on a comet with scientists hoping to prove that water came here from comets…but the water wasn’t the same as Earth’s. The Cosmic Microwave Background was supposed to prove the Big Bang…but tests showed no shadows; scientists said there would be. This is three different things, found by secular science, to prove that theory wrong. It’s still being taught. How honest is that? (note: since I first wrote this article two years ago, several more discoveries have proven the Big Bang wrong). When it was proven Earth’s water didn’t come from comets, science then said our water must have come here on the backs of asteroids. How convenient. Recent discoveries of soft tissues being found in dinosaurs, by many secular scientists themselves, have pointed to dinosaurs being only thousands, not many millions of years old, which means the geologic strata they were found in must be thousands not millions of years old, too. This means the Earth is thousands, not millions of years old. Harvard and nine other universities were printed up in the Public Library of Science stating that dinosaurs are not millions of years old. It’s still being taught in our schools that dinosaurs ARE millions of years old…not thousands. How honest is that? I’ve written about how Evolution has evolved three times in the last 150 years after science proved one thing or another about it to be wrong. It’s still being taught as being the ‘original’ Evolution. How honest is that? Creationists contended that genetics would be the death of evolutionary theory. I’ve watched one scientific discovery after another proving them right. We’ve been so indoctrinated into the Theory of Evolution that we lose track of the fact that it is only a THEORY! Why is this so hard for some to understand since science, itself, is the thing proving it to be failing? It’s because minds have been ‘calcified’ to believe it as fact. If one were to take time to study Creation proofs for just six months (not a lot considering that many have been indoctrinated in Evolution since birth) they’d soon discover many FACTS pointing to a Creator/Designer of all things. I challenge those who believe in Evolution. Go on-line and read articles written by Creation magazine (Most authors are PhD scientists) over the next six months. I know there are some who’ll consider it to be a “waste of their time and effort” to study anything other than Evolution, but I plead for those folks to investigate the matter a little more thoroughly. I know that there are many who can’t/won’t accept the Bible as being completely true. However, what if it is? What does one say to God when we meet Him?
104 JESUS, SHEPHERDS, LAMBS AND MORE
We are told that when Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds announcing the birth of the Messiah. The shepherds then left their flock to visit the newborn king (Jesus). Later, three kings (magi) came to bring the newborn baby some very expensive gifts. This was partly prophesied in Isaiah 60:6; “The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.” Sheba is Saba, Persia…where the three Magi began their trip. For nearly one hundred fifty years, many liberal educators taught, in colleges and universities, that the book of Isaiah had to have been written long after Jesus was born, since the earliest copy of Isaiah that we had was written five hundred years after the Lord’s birth. Thus, the prophecies about Jesus were all made up. In 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Translators then sat on these for nearly forty-five years. When finally translated, a copy of the entire book of Isaiah was discovered…written five hundred years BEFORE Jesus was born. All the prophecies were the same as what we have today. Those same educators stated that the prophecies of Micah were also written hundreds of years after Jesus was born. Chapter four and five of Micah said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem in the stable portion of the ‘Tower of the Flock’. Also, In the Dead Sea Scrolls was a complete copy of Micah…written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. So much for the liberals.
Bethlehem was the village where priests were trained, and all sacrificial lambs were birthed. As part of that training, the priests-in-training had to take care of the flock of sacrificial lambs…seeing that none were bruised or damaged, since all sacrificial lambs had to be free of defects. These were the shepherds to whom the angels announced the Lord’s birth. It’s important to know that the angels only told the shepherds that the baby could be found wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Not much for the ordinary person as far as directions go, is it? However, the priestly shepherds knew exactly where to find swaddling clothes and that manger…in the stable portion of the ‘Tower of the Flock’. This tower’s upper portion is where shepherds (priests) watched the sacrificial lambs during the day. It is still there. Look on the internet to see it. Newborn sacrificial lambs were wrapped in “swaddling clothes” to keep them from getting bruised or being damaged, since these were lambs that were to be sacrificed at the Passover in Jerusalem. Jesus was born in the same place the lambs were and died in the same place they died; Jerusalem. It’s interesting that during the Passover, Jesus was entering one gate of Jerusalem while the sacrificial lambs entered the other gate. Jesus was also examined by Pontius Pilate while the priests examined the sacrificial lambs for defects at the other side of the city. Coincidence? Not hardly.
No ordinary clothes would do for swaddling, though. The swaddling had to be sacrificially pure. Only the old worn out inner garments of priests’ robes were used as swaddling. Therefore, Jesus was wrapped in priestly robes right from birth. Scriptures tells us that He was to be our high priest. He wore the robes of a priest from birth. Scriptures also tell us that He was to be the “King of Kings”. Therefore, three kings came to visit Him and bow down to Him as that very “King of Kings”. So, were these three kings real? Many liberal scholars said ‘no’. However, Marco Polo wrote in his diaries in the eleventh century that he visited the burial place of the three kings. History tells us that the Apostle Thomas went to India and led one of those kings to the Lord. The others also became Christians and are buried together as brothers in Christ. Look up their tomb on the internet. Also, archaeology has helped us there; If you look up 2nd and 3rd century sarcophagus (coffins) depicting the three Magi, Mary and Joseph, Jesus and the Bethlehem Star on the internet, one can see that this is not some made up story. Also, a coin from the first century was found depicting Gaspar, one of the kings (magi). Christians, early on, were having the whole story chiseled onto their coffins. So much for the liberal scholars. Think of these things when you are challenged by a professor, atheist, agnostic, or other people antagonistic to the Bible. They’ve been wrong over 6,500 times, as shown by archaeological discoveries proving otherwise. The score is antagonists zero, Bible 6,500. I think we’re going to win this game. What do you think?
103 SIT AND WAIT FOR CHRIST’S RETURN?
People are curious about my ministry; which consists of biblical archaeology, creation science and apologetics, especially the archaeological finds proving the Bible to being historically correct. This gives me an opportunity to share what I know with both Christians and seekers. Some of those seekers end up going back to church or recommit their lives to the Lord. They are encouraged by the finds proving the Bible correct. I have yet to have someone walk away when I start sharing about the archaeological or scientific finds. On the contrary, they will sit and listen for extended lengths of time; enthralled by the discoveries. All Christians are called to do this. However, one thing that I hear from some Christians is; ‘What you share is quite well and good. I don’t really need to hear it, though. If it’s in the Bible, I believe it.’ I know they are trying to show how strong their own faith is. I’d lay odds that there are times though, when their faith wavers, that they question the Bible at times, the existence of God, and Jesus as the Savior. The Bible commands us to “study that we may show ourselves approved to God and others. 1st Peter 3:15 says “be ready to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you”. “Every man” can be anybody that comes along, whether scientists, atheists or your next-door neighbor. When someone says they have no need to learn any evidence proving the Bible they are only thinking of themselves, but what of those around them who do not have the faith to believe? This type of thinking is sad because it indicates a lack of desire to learn enough evidence to help lost family members, friends and others. What about that lost next door neighbor or the person they work with? Sadly, it’s common among many in the church to have a lack of knowledge about things that can prove the Bible to be very accurate. Being unknowledgeable for the discoveries in science and archaeology, proving our Bible to be a trustworthy historical document, can leave those they know with no means of believing the Bible to be true. Because some don’t want to offend others, they are reluctant to share their faith at all. I honestly believe this comes from a lack of knowledge. Wouldn’t it be much more offensive to watch someone die and spend eternity separated from the Kingdom of Heaven. Certainly, there are those who don’t want to hear what we believe. To those people I honestly wish them a great life, and simply move on. Don’t offend people if they choose to not listen, and never argue. It serves no purpose. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Notice it doesn’t say the knowledge is unavailable. What that scripture is telling us is that we are destroyed because we don’t avail ourselves of the information that is being discovered, which could greatly increase our faith and the faith of others. The more knowledge we have of discoveries in archaeology, ancient documents, and science, the greater our faith will be. Proverbs 11:9 tells us that “With knowledge the righteous shall be delivered”. This is the answer to Hosea 4:6 which says we are destroyed by a lack of knowledge. There’s a time when the minister in me wants to make a point. My point is that God has told us that in the last days, “the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters fill the seas.” God didn’t tell us that for nothing. He wants us to gain enough knowledge to fulfill the great commission; going into all the world with the Gospel. To some, that may mean simply going next door or to a family member. This means learning answers to the questions others may bring up, especially those questions about things in the Bible being real. We need to fulfill the scripture that says, “study, that you may show yourself approved”. God wants all of us to use what He’s given us; knowledge. He doesn’t want us to use what we learn just for our own salvation. In the famous parable about those to whom the master gave “talents”, it says that some used them wisely and were rewarded. Others hid their talents, fearing that God would judge them if they somehow lost what was given. These were reprimanded and their “talents’ were given to another who is more faithful. This is partly why I write as a newspaper columnist and go on-air in four states; that one’s faith will be increased enough to share what is learned with others.