Habeas Corpus: Produce the Body:
 Shua from Sheol to Shivim

(That is, 'Jesus' from Hell to Seventy)

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Piesecki

 

INTRO

After Yahshua Messiah ascended into the skies (as recorded in Acts 1), suppose he came down in another needy place in the land.  Suppose some folks there recognized him.  Further, suppose he was present in the resurrected body at some of the pivotal points in the history of the nascent Assembly of Yahweh.

Actually, there are quite a number of historical marker where Yahshua was seen and recognized; for instance, the New Testament records his post-resurrection presence in Jerusalem, Galilee, Syria, and Galatia.  Secular history of the time also reports a couple more such advents.  Many ancient religious accounts also record Yahshua returning to varies places to teach or help his people through troublesome times.

In the the following words, certain of these reported visitations are laid over 1st- through 3rd-century written history to give us an account of Yahshua's whereabouts and doings from the time of his crucifixion until his seventieth year. What emerges is the bones of what could become a much more detailed historical fiction, which could be useful in learning about messianic times, the ways and means of the apostles, and the ultimate fulfillment of the Olivette prophecies that are still so mysterious to some today.  

 

PRIMO

Habeas Corpus

   There’s a law term we hear, but few know what it means.  It’s habeas corpus: “you should have the body.”   It’s a document issued by a lawyer challenging the legality of holding a person.   Grounds for a Writ of Habeas Corpus might be established if a person’s imprisoned based on illegally obtained evidence, denial of counsel or jury tampering.  

   In order to serve the writ, the body must be traceable.  One can’t be released unless his whereabouts and history is known.  Today I’d like to serve a Writ of Habeas Corpus for the body of Yahshua Messiah.  I want to know the whereabouts of his corpus from when he left the tomb onward.  We’ll look for evidence of his whereabouts based the Bible and history.  We might even find facts that might bear upon our own corpus in times to come.

From the Garden

   Yahshua’s corpus was habeased from a garden on Mount Olivette by a crowd of thugs.  They took the body with spirit intact to the High Priest Emeritus then on to the palace of the High Priest, Caiaphas.  Yahshua was interrogated by some lawyers at midnight and was assaulted by a temple guard.  The remainder of the morning, he was blindfolded and beaten about the face.  At daylight, the Council met together and tried him.  Failing to make the case with false witnesses, the authorities condemned him for the capital crime of blasphemy without any witnesses or a confession.  They sentenced Yahshua to death unlawfully. 

To Herod

  He was taken under guard to the Praetorium of the Roman governor Pilate (once Herod’s palace).  The most powerful regent in Palestine interrogated Yahshua but had no case, and turned him over to the ruler of his home province of Galilee, who happened to be in town: King Herod Antipas.  The King was pleased to see Yahshua because he thought him to be an occultist with great and useful powers.  Herod commanded miracles, but Yahshua wouldn’t.  So Herod’s men beat him again.  They put a huge robe on him to cover all the illegal abuse and sent him back to the Praetorium

 To Pilate

   Pilate interrogated him again, and again found no cause.  To please the local authorities, he had Yahshua stripped and torn beyond recognition with iron whips.  After this, the sadistic Roman soldiers had him alone.  They plated his skull with thorns.  The robe went back on to cover the corporeal abuse.   The soldiers repeatedly slapped his hooded face. 

   Pilate returned, had Yahshua brought before his assembled enemies, and again pronounced him innocent, finding no charge corpus habere – “to have the body.”  A good lawyer might’ve brought a Writ of Habeas Corpus and freed Yahshua.  Roman justice would’ve complied – for the corpus was about to become a corpse at the hands of the brutal guards. 

   However, his lawyer didn’t show, and his disciples, who were ignorant of Latin law terms, cowered behind the bushes, hoping not to be seen as a corporation

   Pilate, a brutal killer himself, was disturbed by the proceedings because of his wife’s dream– she sent him a message while he was on the judgment seat: “Have nothing to do with that just man; I’ve been badly messed up all day because of a dream about him.” 

   Pilate could produce the Writ of Habeas Corpus himself to let Yahshua off on his wife’s account, but the devil had one more trick.  The Temple leaders taunted their overlord, “Pilate, if you set him free you’e no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.”  Pilate’s friends in Rome had themselves recently been executed (in 31 AD); the chief priests knew it.   Pilate was a friendless man.  Now was the perfect time for a threat, and the Jewish crowd caught on quickly.  Pilate’s head was on the block now.  “We have no king but Caesar,” led the crowd of idolaters.

To Skull Place

   Pilate washed his hands and went into hiding.  A German Centurion and his men took Yahshua to the stake and the crowd followed the hobbled and decimated Messiah out the Damascus Gate, to a point overlooking the city, known then and recognized today as Skull Place.  Soldiers impaled Yahshua, nailing him down, lifting him up, dropping man and pole into a depression scratched into solid rock.  Yahshua quickly succumbed to the bleeding and died of asphyxiation.  A soldier speared him to make sure he was dead.

To the Tomb  

   In the aftermath, the famous explorer Yahosef of Arimathaea served a writ of Habeas Corpus on Pilate.  Pilate was so glad to end the matter that he granted the corpus / corpse immediately.  The dead Yahshua became Yahosef’s possession, and with the Pharisee Nicodemus, the body was retired to new hewn tomb.  A shroud draped the body; a turban covered the head.  A hundred pounds of cool aloe leaves encased the body.  The tomb was shut and airless for over seventy-two hours by a round stone, guarded by templars.

   Yahshua was as dead as could be.  Great measures were taken to preserve the body temporarily in case it might come back to life.  But in one very important way, Yahshua wasn’t like other humans.  His essence could never die – it’s impossible to kill one born of spirit.  The Son of G-d didn’t die with the Son of Man.  The living spirit escaped through the tomb floor.  His spirit went down, down, down.   Beneath Jerusalem’s foundations, there was a mammoth recess in the rock and a burning ring of fire – the largest, deepest underground chamber in earth’s entire 260,732,699,457 cubic miles of water, rocks, magma and empty spaces.

Imprisoned in the Earth

   Kefa tells us of ancient times when the offspring of fallen angels and women were monstrous youths, hideous and cruel, big bodied, mere cocoon-like shells for bloodthirsty demonic spirits.   Noah’s flood was sent by Yahweh to kill these things, but through the death of their corporis, the foul ghosts inside was freed.  By the time of the flood, humanity was entirely infiltrated by the spawn of Satan; Yahweh saved only eight souls.  The prophet Enoch relates that two hundred million Nephilim, freed from the limitations of flesh, were gathered by righteous angels and imprisoned in caves of nether gloom deep inside the earth.  Two hundred million devilish, death loving, blood sucking devils are chained under your feet, waiting to be set free to enslave you.  They may now be free.  The world seems to be ravaged by evil.

Kefa said (2 Kefa 2:4,5) Yahweh didn’t spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into Hades and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment; he didn’t spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the unrighteous….

Yochanon sees these wicked hoards escaping in his visions!  (Revelation 9:1-5 exc.)  I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the bottomless pit; he opened it and from there rose the smoke of a great furnace; the air was darkened with the smoke.  From the smoke came locusts, and they were given the power of scorpions; allowed to torture for five months.  In those days men will seek death and will not find it.  (By the way, five prophetic months is equal to 150 years.)

   Yochanon says these Nephilim are as locusts.  A scholar writes: “Numberless swarms are carried by the wind from Arabia into Palestine, then, having devastated that country, migrate to regions farther north ….”  On the day Yahshua died, the devils in hell rejoiced.  They had the writ of habeas corpusYahshua would soon be in Hades, and they would destroy him forever.  The only one who could keep them imprisoned was now theirs!  They’d soon be free from their chains to complete the final solution – the total annihilation of all creation.

Into the Smoking Pit

   The Son of G-d – no longer a mere man, but a life-giving spirit, transverses the quantum roadblocks through the molten nether world.  He locates that enormous crater ten thousand miles beneath Gehenna, far below where the Jebusites passed their children through the fire.  In majesty, protected from the flames by holiness, but carrying the burden of sin for the world of men, Messiah transverses the gate into that dank, airless, burning hell, where he senses the infernal slime of antediluvian vice, and feels the pitiless horror of evil surround him as if to consume.  He is in Hell. 

   Instantly, the alarm sounds: the king of that smoking pit, Apollyon, the destroyer, rises as big as the planet Pluto.  “Who are you, that you dare come into this abode, unless you be the one with the key to this loathsome place; open the gate that we may be free to consume the earth, else you too shall be congealed with the rest of the foul ooze in the cavern thither and below.  I command you! for I’m the king of this evil abode.  I AM Apollyon!  The Devil!” 

   The Son of Yahweh, experiencing again the Power as before he was born a man, thunders at this pestiferous midget with the voice of a trumpet, saying,

Behold, you Apollyon!  I am Yahweh Sabbaoth, whom you crucified!  I AM has sent me!  Look upon the one you pierced, and hear the words of the Master of Spirits, ‘THE EYES OF YAHWEH ARE UPON THE RIGHTEOUS, HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR SUPPLICATION, BUT THE FACE OF YAHWEH IS SET AGAINST EVIL-DOERS (1 Kefa 3:12).  I arrived here for the purpose of undoing the Devil’s works (1 Yochanon 3:8), and that I will do.  Now, get thee behind me, Abaddon!  for it is written, TO YAHWEH YOUR ELOHIM YOU WILL PAY HOMAGE, AND TO HIM ALONE WILL YOU RENDER WORSHIP.” 

With these words, the sword of his mouth cuts Abaddon / Apollyon a magnificent new orifice, sending foul steams spewing forth as he bounced down, down toward the boiling slime of spiritual excrement below

What Now, St. Kefa

   Simeon Kefa tells us plainly, “Chrestus died once for all for sins, the innocent One for the guilty many, in order to bring us to the Might One. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which He also went and proclaimed His Message to the spirits that were in prison, who in ancient times had been disobedient, while YHWH’s longsuffering was patiently waiting in the days of Noah …” (1 Kefa 3:18-20). 

To the horrific disappointment of the Devil and his hoards of scorpions, there, in the center of the earth, the Angel of Yahweh preached his most damning message to date – a far more blood-curdling oracle than any human prophet of former generations.  The fires below exploded with tremendous violence, slime mixed with magma cascades angrily through the torpid air of the pit – and above, on the surface of the land, there’s an earthquake centered in on the Hinnom Valley.  In Jerusalem at that moment,

the veil of the Sanctuary was torn from top to bottom, the earth quaked, the rocks split, the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy ones rose from the dead, and left the tombs, entered the city and appeared to many.  And the centurion and the others guarding Yahshua were terrified….” (Matthew 27:51-54 exc.).


SECUNDO

A Wounded Healer

     Yahshua the Nazorean awakes in dark agony.  His hands, feet, face and chest are all afire with pain.  Every joint’s out of place.  He remembers his ordeal now as the dead body slowly returns to life, blood and fluids again start to flow.  O, the pain!  He wrenches off the shroud with a whimper.  Unwrapping the turban, he lays it aside.  “I AM the sign of Jonah” – yes, he remembers everything. 

   It’s a long, stressful ordeal for him to roll off the cold stone slab, to swim through the spoiled vegetables piled on him, to roll off unto the bare stone floor.  Naked save for a loin cloth, he sees the light of day – for the tombstone is split: and there in the changing room, a fresh linen robe is folded – the priestly robe, fashioned after the manner of Melchizedek.  He dresses, painfully ties sandals on his deformed feet, and limps outside into the cool.  He Lives, sings a church in the wildwood, but barely.  Yet he’s not bleeding anymore; his burial wrappings and the aloes have staved his blood and kept his wounds clean.  He’s not been resuscitated – not at all; he’s arisen from the dead, as he said he would.

 

MarYah

   “MarYah!” he says in a whisper.  “Raboni,” she whimpers, reaching for him.  “Don’t touch me, MarYah.  I’ve come out of Sheol, but I  HAVEN’T YET ASCENDED.  PRAY FOR ME instead; I will recover.  Then go tell my disciples.”  MarYah prays, “Our Father, who art in heaven ….”  The Living Soul is yet in critical condition.  If he is touched, into pieces he may fly. 

 

Yahosef

  Yahosef of Arimathaea and Nicodemus were missed at the Feast.  Yahosef’s men watched the tomb.  They saw the guards abscond in terror, and a great lightening bolt crack the stone.  Like good Samaritans, they all convey the gravely ill man out of the city, lodging him in a safe house west of the city, in Emmaus.   Nicodemus tells Yahosef.  “I can’t even recognize him!”  Yahosef replies, “What counts is that he’s alive. Now let’s go.”

 

Yaaqov and Shimeon Cleopas  Luke 24:13-52 – The Journey to Emmaus

   Yahshua’s two brothers, Yaaqov the Just and Shimeon Cleopas known as the Zealot, are challenged by Yahshua’s death.  If he said he’d rise, then he’ll rise!  In the foolishness of youth, they make a vow to Yahweh.  They won’t eat until they see their brother alive.  Fasting was nothing for them.  They were religious men.  They fasted all the time.  But Yahweh would perform the miracle, or they’d die too. 

   Young, treacherous Saul, King Herod’s appointee to temple security, was looking for these boys – they had to get out of town.  Yaaqov and Shimeon topped the summit of the mountain west of Jerusalem on foot.  They’d walk to Joppa and secure passage for Heliopolis in Egypt where they had relatives. 

Late in the day, they approach Emmaus.  They try to debrief as they walk.  There’s a wretched leper on crutches ahead.  He hobbles out toward them; they’re horrified by his look – all bruised, swollen, wrapped, beyond recognition.  “Get out of here,” Yaaqov says.  “I want to know what you boys are talking about.” the cripple chirps weakly.  The boys slow up, and Yaaqov says, “Keep a distance between us.”  So the lame leper joins them.  The going’s sluggish, but the conversation’s fascinating.   The leper’s a scholar and a believer.  They stop at the Emmaus Holiday inn.  Yaaqov and Shimeon tell their strange companion, “We’re staying here, old fellow – you stay with us.  We’ll talk.”  The “old fellow” says, “This is my place – my Father owns it all.  I’ve been walking a little, recovering from a serious illness.  Why don’t we eat bread?”  But Yaaqov said, “No way. My brother and I are fasting.”  But Yahshua says, “Yaakov bar Yosef haTzadik!  It’s me, your other brother.”  While the astonishment is apparent, Yahshua chooses a flat loaf and breaks it before them.  Recognition comes.  “You boys eat your bread now; you need your strength.  THIS brother needs his rest.”  And Yahshua disappears into the back of the inn, leaving Yaaqov the Just and Shimeon Cleopas to wonder and rejoice.   “Did not our hearts within us burn as in the way he talked; unfolding all the mysteries of scripture as we walked?

Thus each unto the other spoke; and then they home returned to tell their friends the honest truth which now they had discerned. 

Kefa and Yochanon

   Later on, the leper’s carried into a hotel meeting room on Jerusalem’s south side by his brothers, Yaaqov and Shimeon, and his benefactor, Yahosef of Arimathaea.  Nicodemus and others are there, including Levi, Andrew, Nathaniel, Zacheyah, Philip, Salome and Joanna hiding in the corner.  Yaaqov points them out.  Yahshua sneaks up behind them, and hoots, “Peace be unto YOU!”  These disciples are frightened, but their fear turns to joy.

Thomas

   AgainYahshua is with his brothers Yaaqov and Shimeon, and his sister Salome.  Yahshua is no longer hooded.  He wears the linens of a Melchizedek priest.  He’s at the Bethany apartment of MarYah, his mother, who’s seen him in a dream.  They approach Yahshua’s other brother in the apartment.  He’s Yahuda, Yaaqov’ twin, known as Thomas.   “Peace, brother!  Behold.”  Yahshua parts his robe.  “Put your hand in my side.  Don’t be doubting, but believe.”  Yahudah T’oma, the brother of Yahshua, cries, “My master! It is you!” 

Teaching

   Ten days later, Yahshua is in the assembly room on Jerusalem’s southwest side, dividing the prophecies of Zechariah, Daniel and Esdras.  Now he’s on but one crutch, his swelling’s down, his voice is clear.  Zacheyah marvels to Yaaqov what a fine recovery Yahshua is making from death to life.  Yaaqov replies, “Yes, it’s remarkable.  He called on the elders of the assembly, we anointed him with oil, and he is recovering.”  Yahshua calls forth Yaaqov, and the rest.  “You too, Zacheyah!  I have a special plan for you.”  Yahshua breathes on them the breath of life, and he gives them authority to breath on others.  To Zacheyah he says, “Receive the Ruach haQodesh.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Yochanon 20:22).

Eating

   Early in the month of Sivan, Yahshua is at Capernaum on the seashore.  The sea air is doing him great good.  The leaders of the Sadducees are telling everybody that his body was stolen out of the tomb.  The seminary professor told his students that Yahshua’s body had been eaten by dogs.  Sounds crazy, no?  Despite what they say, for the time being Yahshua’s entirely free of persecution.  He has broiled sardines for the fishers’ breakfast.  They brought in a huge catch, 153 fish (3x3x17), and the crew was tired from hauling them in.  They rest now and eat.  Yahshua takes Kefa aside and points to the carp, flipping and flopping all over the rocky shore.  “Kefa,” says Yahshua, “do you like me more than these?”  Yahshua points a broken finger to the carps.

Paul

   In a few short years, Yahshua recovers.  He’s survived crucifixion, but others have done that.  Yahshua died; his heart stopped, his brain stopped, his breathing stopped, his blood stopped.  For three days.  The Risen Savior finds himself now in Syria with three of his brothers – Yaaqov the Just, Shimeon Cleopas, Yahudah the Twin, and Yahuda’s wife and children, and MarYah, his mother.  They’re all seeing Yahudah off at Damascus; he’s leaving the family and heading for the Indies with the Good News.  

   Ahead, there’s a caravan of armed guards and Pharisees.  “¿What are they doing in Syria?” Yaaqov wonders.  Then he recognizes the man in charge.  “Mother,” cries Yaaqov, “We must leave RIGHT NOW.  That’s Saul’s troop, breathing murderous threats against our family.”  Yahudah adds, “Don’t forget how they beat Yaaqov within an inch of HIS life last year!  We’ve got to go!  Now!”  But Yahshua says, “Calm down, dear brothers.  You just let me handle this Saul.”   

Yochanon and MarYah

   It’s ten years later.  Yahshua, Yochanon and MarYah are in Ephesus.   Yochanon moved there with Yahshua’s mother after the beheading of Yochanon’s brother, Yaaqov, son of ZebadiahYahshua sees his mother safely to that famous city, then he bids her and her Yochanon farewell.  Yahshua heads inland on foot. 

Galatia

   Months later, The Assembly of Yahweh at Galatia is celebrating Passover.  These people are Gentiles – formerly pagans – who converted to strict religion.  Saul, now Paul, taught them the story of Yahshua rising from the dead.  They believed the story.

   Now there’s a stranger in the Sabbath service, a Jew.  Paul warned them about the danger of the Jews.  When the priest ends his teaching and the Passover Haggadah is being said, this Jew boldly approaches the table, snatches the unleavened bread, tears it in half and holds it up.  There might have been a commotion, except that the Gentiles see the Jew’s mangled hands in the lamplight.  Despite the fact that they had never seen this Jew before, the people of Galatia knew him.

Rome

   Yahshua is almost fifty, living in Rome with Aquila.  There are two assemblies in Rome – First Circumcised Assembly of Yahweh and First Uncircumcised Church of Chrestus – the first of Jewish and the second of Gentiles.  Both assemblies believe the same things almost, but culture divides them.   Yahshua means to bring the bodies together as one – just as he and the Father are one.  He calls a joint meeting.   Clement’s the pastor of the First Uncircumcised Church of Chrestus and Aquila pastors the small First Circumcised Assembly of Yahweh right in his house.  Yahshua teaches them all an old lesson, but new to them:

No one puts new wine into old skins; for the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the both skins and wine are lost. No; they put new wine in new skins.  Both are preserved that way.” 

The Jewish Pharisees of Rome, and there are many, get wind of this meeting, and set fire to the building while Yahshua teaches.  A riot of fear breaks out among the people in the neighborhood.  Soon the hubbub gets to the Senate and Emperor Claudius expels all Jews, Christians and Druids, including Priscilla, Aquila, Paul and Clement.  “You get out of town, or else!

   The Roman historian Suetonius will write history still read today, “(Claudius) expelled the Jews in Rome because they, incited by Chrestus, they were constantly creating an uproar.” (Suetonius, Life of Claudius, ch.25.4.)  Chrestus the inciter is the Latin name “Christ.”  The Risen Yahshua was again blamed for a riot sixteen years after he cleansed the Jerusalem temple.   

Kefa

   Yahshua is sixty-five years old.   On a return trip from the Indies, Yahshua’s brother Yahudah was mistaken for an Egyptian bandit and executed.  Two years ago, Caiaphas’ son pushed Yahshua’s brother Yaaqov off the temple parapet.  His other brother, Shimeon Cleopas, is now the leader (mebakker) of the Jerusalem Assembly of Yahweh.  MarYah died some years ago at Ephesus in the house of Yochanon, the overseer of seven assemblies in AsiaKefa, Aquila and Apollos are back in Rome, hiding – trying to get out again.  Paul’s in Spain on his way to Britain.  The disciples of Yahshua are either dead or in AfricaChrestus, the title by which Yahshua is known in Rome, is incognito.

   Nearly all Rome burned last year; plague filled the city.  Thousands died, and now the crazed emperor Nero blames the Christians, Jews, Nazoreans.  His pregnant wife, Poppaea Sabina, is the first Christian to die.  Nero sets the example by kicking her to death.  The worst persecutions against any religious group had begun.  Believers tried to flee.  Aquila’s assembly disbanded; Clement’s church went into hiding. 

   Shimeon Kefa, Demetrius, Hiram and Sabinus were stealing southwestward across Italy, hoping to make the port of Delos – where Spartacus had camped a hundred forty years earlier.  Luke, Rufus, Clement, Thecla and thousands of other believers were arrested and sentenced to die in the most heinous ways.  No writs of Habeas Corpus are forthcoming.  Shimeon Kefa’s an old man, but still the icon of the movement.  The believers risk lives to send him out of the city, along with some youthful guardians.  Yet Kefa lags behind as the troop skirts a forest bend outside the city. 

   As he considers this terrible turn of fate, Kefa prays: “Father, help us to find our way to the brethren in Greece.”  Then he trudged on to the sea and Delos, and says to himself, “I go afishin’!”  A ghost of a man with a cane pops out of a gumbo tree and limps toward him.  Kefa sees a crippled leper – hardly able to walk at all.  “How’d he get out here?” Kefa wonders. 

   The cripple stumbles up and stops Kefa cold.  “Shimeon,” the man says.   

Quo Vadis?  Where are you going? 

There’s no mistaking the voice.  “Master,” Kefa cries, bending a knee.  “Where are you going, Master?”  Yahshua says, “Friend, I’m going into Babylon to be crucified afresh.”   Kefa says, “No Master!  I’ll die for you. I will this time.”  Yahshua takes three dried figs out of his bag.  “Do you love me more than these?” he says, and hands over the figs.  Kefa knows what’s coming.  “You know I love you.”  Yahshua’s last words to Kefa are, “Feed my lambs.”  With a deep, disquieted sigh, Kefa tries again to see Yahshua’s face, but can’t.  He turns himself back - toward Rome to feed the Master’s sheep – and the emperor’s dogs.

 

TRIO

Pray your flight may not be in the winter (Matthew 24:20) 

   Yahshua is seventy years old.  He’s in Jerusalem living with his brother Shimeon Cleopas, who met him on the Emmaus road after his resurrection nearly forty years before.  Yahshua feels his body disintegrating.  He was healthy for decades, then feeble, then leprous.  Now he’s getting lighter and lighter: matter is becoming energy.   E=MC2.  It’s a wonderful thing; his body is vanishing as his spirit angelizes.  It’s important he be here now; be strong for his brother’s family and the Assembly of Yahweh at Jerusalem.  Five legions of Roman soldiers surrounded Jerusalem two years earlier.  They’d see the Holy City leveled and burned.  Inside the city, conditions are horrific.  Many had turned to cannibalism, and the Jews were fighting each other for control of whatever meat was left. 

   Might we not here quote gallant men who were living close to the time of this great tribulation, and who tell us mysterious histories concerning the siege on Jerusalem? We’ll start with Kefa’s disciple Clement, who may have been inside or outside the walls of Jerusalem at the time.  (Some changes have been made for clarity only):

“An evident proof of a great mystery is supplied in the fact that every one who, believing in this Prophet who had been foretold by Moses and being baptized in His name, will be kept unhurt from the destruction of war impending over an unbelieving nation … But those who do not believe will be made exiles from their place and kingdom, that even against their will they may understand and obey the will of Elohim.” (Clement, Recognitions 1:39:3)

General Yahushefat, earlier of the resistance but now translator for the Roman general Titus, is definitely at the wall and very much involved in the assault against Jerusalem. He writes about an unexpected and fateful retreat of Roman allies:

“It then happened that Cestius (the roman legate of Syria) … recalled his soldiers from the place [Jerusalem], and by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world.”  (Josephus, Wars II, XIX, 6, 7, 75 AD.)

No reason in the world?  Maybe the reason came from another world.

And next we hear from Epiphanius, so-called church father and heresiologist of the 4th century::

“For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella, the town already indicated, across the Jordan.” (Epiphanius, On Weights and Measures, 15).

So it is to Pella on the Damascus road, the disciples were told by the Angel of Yahweh to venture. 

Now our last witness is Eusebius himself, church historian and theologian to the Roman Emperor Constantine:

“Now this sect of Nazarenes exists in Beroea in Coele-Syria, and in Decapolis in the district of Pella, and in Kochaba of Basanitis-- called Kohoraba in Hebrew. For thence it originated after the migration from Jerusalem of all the disciples who resided at Pella, the Messiah having instructed them to leave Jerusalem and retire from it on account of the impending siege. It was owing to this counsel that they went away, as I have said,to reside for a while at Pella” (Eusebius, Haer 29:7).  Other Pella quotations 

Yet there is no inkling that any in this embattled city would ever get out.  How could they possibly?  The gates were shut and barred and guarded both inside and out.  Just then, there was another miracle.

 

The Amnesty of Jerusalem

   The decree of Nero’s successor, General Galba in Rome, was heralded by his counterpart, General Titus, who had surrounded Jerusalem and was squeezing it for all its worth.  Galba’s declaration is astounding – and a complete surprise to both friend and foe!  These are the words of Galba’s message:

By authority of Galba of Rome.

Before we utterly destroy your capital and everyone therein,

those of the good faith, come out the Damascus Gate and be free! 

Galba was proclaimed acting emperor after the death of the antichrist Nero.  Believers in Yahshua within the walls of Jerusalem numbered to over five thousand.  They were all ready for this because the Angel of Yahweh, Yahshua the Anointed One, had predicted it a generation before,

When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,” he warned,

flee to the mountains.(Matthew 24:7)

This was their chance, and, with Yahuda, Yahshua’s nephew in charge of the exodus, the multitude formed outside the Essene quarter and began making their way northward through the wretched city toward the Damascus Gate.

   Even though Yahshua had been crucified, died, arose, been an athlete, a cripple, a leper, traveled through Asia and Rome and back, and was over the allotted seventy years, he found his steps lighter and lighter, his pain gone, his spirits high – as he moved toward freedom with the Assembly founded in his name.  They pass by the Praetorium, no longer the headquarters of Rome in the city, now full of the half-starved orphans and widows of the war.  Yahshua calls to them as they pass, “Children – come unto me – let no one hinder you!  HO, EVERY one of you who’s thirsty, come – we’re going to the waters; you who have no money, come and eat” (Isaiah 55:1).  Though there is grave danger, over three hundred starving women and children step out of the huge edifice in faith and follow; no one stops them.

   The entourage passes Gabbatha, where Yahshua had been whipped, slapped and bled out.  Looking beyond the Western wall, Yahshua sees his old enemy, the hollow eyes of Golgotha the Skull.  Up ahead is the final gate, and the Assembly of Yahweh will find safety outside the walls.  Yet before the escape, one more serious challenge lies ahead.  A huge band of armed Essenes, Zealots, and Sons of Perdition, led by Phinehas the Slasher, a murderous Sicarii cult leader, guard the Damascus gate, awaiting anyone who dared take Galba up on his decree of escape.

 The Confrontation with Phinehas the Slasher

   The Zealots bar the road and gate ahead, and Phinehas addresses Yahudah ben Yahudah (the leader of the Nazoreans and the son of the Yahuda who brought the good news to India) and his aging uncle, Shimeon Cleopas, with the words – “Nobody gets out!  If you try, you die.  Now empty your bags for us and go back where you came from, cowardly Minim (may your names be blotted from the book of life.” (Minim are heretics; the believers were of the Nazorean sect, declared heretics by both Temple and Rome.) Shimeon looks back at those he would’ve led to safety, especially the doomed children.  He speaks quietly to Yahuda, “Son, we must go back.  They mean what they say.  They’ll kill us all.”  But Yahudah ben Yahudah was a brave young man.  “No, Nuncle.  We’ll fight them.  We can overcome.  We outnumber them many times.  Yahweh is on our side.  Your brother is here.”  But Shimeon replies, “No, Son.  We’re not killers like them.  We’ll have to go back.

   The Nazoreans lose their nerve, and the crowd behind doesn’t know what’s happening.  Both Yahudah ben Yahudah and Shimeon Cleopas are arguing as Phinehas the Slasher and his bodyguard approach with crescent swords drawn.  At this tense moment, Yahshua of Nazareth, lighter and stronger than at any other time in his life (save his meeting with Apollyon), steps to the fore.  Moving in between his brother Shimeon and his nephew Yahuda, Yahshua says loud enough to be heard for a mile,

HinnehHinneh!  All you let this song be sung in the land of Yahuda: We have a strong city; SALVATION will Yahweh appoint for walls and bulwarks.  Shimeon my brother will keep you in perfect peace, those of you whose minds rest upon Yahweh: because my brother trusts in HIM. Confide in Yahweh forever; for Yah-Yahweh is the rock of ages.  He brings down all who dwell on high; the lofty city, he lays it low, he lays it low to the ground, he brings it to dust.  Your feet will stomp them down, even the feet of the stricken, the steps of the poor. The way of the just is uprightness: and you - you Just One, make the path of the righteous even.  Yea, in the way of your judgments, O Yah, have we waited for you; your name is the desire of our soul.  (Isaiah 26:1,3-8)

   Phinehas the Slasher, startled by the resounding voice of yet another elderly man, coyly moves forward to face him, and says to him in an ironic snear, “Who are you, Sir?”  Yahshua replies in the voice of a lion, “I am Yahshua, the one you are persecuting (Acts 9:5).  The first and the last, and the living one.  I am the one who died, and hinneh – I am alive for ever, and I have the keys of Death and Sheol” (Revelation 1:17,18).  “Now, open the gates so the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in” (Isaiah 26:2).  

   Yahudah ben Yahudah and the rest of the Nazoreans leap up and down, but Shimeon Cleopas trembles in fear.  In the commotion, Yahshua turns to his brother and whispers, “Brother, Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.’”  And to Yahudah, he says, “Yahuda benYahuda, say to those who are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not! Behold, your Elohim will come with vengeance, with the recompense of Yahweh. He will come and save you!” (Isaiah 35:3,4) 

   With a resounding CRACK the Damascus Gates break open – whether by man or angel, nobody knows.  At this speech and great noise, Phinehas the Slasher directs a loud command to his army, “Kill them all before the gate opens.”  Then, as the rebellious Jews fall upon the Nazoreans, Yahshua cries with a loud voice, “Prepare ye the Way of Yahweh!  Make his paths straight!”  And when he says, “Make his paths straight,” the attackers draw back, then most of them fall to the ground, stricken, foaming at the mouth, gnashing teeth.  Some fall from the battlements about the gates; Some from the heights of the temple.  Even Ananus, the high priest, watching the spectacle from the same parapet from which he cast brother Yaaqov a few years before, foams and falls himself.  And Yahshua, Shimeon his brother, Yahudah ben Yahudah his nephew, their families and the rest of the Jerusalem Nazoreans pass out the opened gate called Damascus – which translated means, “The Bloody Cup.”  The Jews who foam, they will never believe – but before month’s end, they’ll die in their sins, hacked to death by Roman swords and fire. 

   Outside the gates, at the Roman command post, General Titus Flavianus awaits the Nazoreans’ exodus from the city.  With him are historian Yahosefus, King Agrippa, the one who’d interviewed Paul seven years earlier, and the princess, Bernice.   In ten years, Agrippa would rule Palestine, Yahosefus would record this day in a book, and General Titus would rule the world from Rome

   Watching the scene with Titus stood his advisor, an old soldier named Longinus. 

Longinus and Titus

   Longinus had served the Tenth Legion in Jerusalem ever since he’d been captured in Germany fifty years previously.  He’d made Centurion quickly – and soon after, general.  At the zenith of his career, Longinus was a very influential man, a cult leader of sorts.  See, Longinus had been telling an amazing story for over forty years now – about how a Jew he crucified arose from the dead and was still alive.  This Jew, Yahshua of Nazareth, was the son of Iove, the greatest god of the Greeks.  Longinus claimed that anyone believing his story might never die.  For a time, his comrades thought Longinus mad from killing.  But then, Yahshua began visiting many who’d heard the story.  Now thousands of foreigners believed Yahshua was alive; and they followed Longinus, their storyteller.

   The aged soldier, who always had the ear of his General Titus, reminded him now of the living dead man.  And though many of Titus’ men believed the tale, Titus wasn’t superstitious, and wouldn’t believe unless he saw such a man himself.  In the middle of the siege of Jerusalem, Longinus says to Titus, “Many comrades have seen this man and they want to see him again.  If you saw him, my general, you’d believe my story.  Now, would you like to see him?” “Of course,” replied Titus.  “Where is he?”  Longinus replied, “He’s in there,” pointing to Jerusalem through the Damascus gate.  “Let him out, will you?” 

   And that’s how the amnesty of Jerusalem came into being, an invitation that eventually brought many of the general’s own confidents to belief.

   The Nazoreans are piling out through the Damascus gate, into the Roman custody of Longinus’ cohort.  There’s free food and water awaiting them: the old soldier had seen to it.  Finally, the last of the Nazoreans are out.  Then Yahudah ben Yahudah comes out with a child at each hand.  “Is that the man?” asks Titus.  “No, sir.  He’s too young.” 

   Then Shimeon Cleopas, the leader of the Jerusalem Assembly of the Nazoreans, comes out with another man.  Titus says to Longinus, “That’s Cleopas, isn’t it?”  Longinus replies, “Yes, good for you.  I’ve known Cleopas for years.”  Titus asks, “Who’s the other man?”  Longinus replies, “I’m not sure, except he may be their Syrian secretary.” 

General Yahoshafat (Josephus) takes a long look at the ‘Syrian Secretary.’  He would soon discover the secretary to be his long-lost father, a writer by the name of Matthew.  But that’s another story.

Finally one more man comes out with a couple children. He is a light man – looking more like the flame of a lamp than a man.  At the sight of him, Titus exclaims, “By Iove, the Greek god of the sky, I can see right through him.”  Then the gates rattle closed by the rebels inside, having recovered from their fits.  As this light man approaches, General Titus asks his advisor, “Is that the man in whom I must believe to gain eternal life, Longinus?”   

Longinus replies, “Ecce homo.  Habeas corpus.

Which is translated, “Look at the man!  For the eternal life you crave, you should have his body.”


QUARTO

   Yahusefus, formerly the commander of Israeli troops in Galilee, lately translator and confident of his former enemy Titus, historian to the Jews, thinks he knows this man who’s come out of Jerusalem with Shimeon.

 

 . . . . .   to be continued

 

Matthew

Matthew collected the oracles (logion) in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.
– Eusebius quoting Papias of Hieropolis (d. ca. 138 CE) in Ecclesiastical History 3.39.14-16

Habeas corpus: “you should have the body.”

A Writ of Habeas Corpus challenges the legality of holding a person in custody.

Corpus, corporis: Latin for “body, bodies.”  Corporeal: having to do with the body; i.e. corporeal punishment.

Corpus habere: Latin, “to have (the) body”

Nephilim: Fallen angels or the offspring of angels

Chrestus: Latin for the Greek word Christ, meaning “Anointed One,” and used in Latin as a personal name.

Yahshua was known as “Chrestus” in the Latin language, as preserved by the historian Suetonius.

Yahshua’s brothers: Yaaqov the Just, Shimeon surnamed Cleopas (the Zealot), Judah the Twin (Thomas or Theuda or Thaddeus).

Saul is St. Paul.

Heliopolis: a city in central Egypt.  “The City of the Sun”.

Quo Vadis: Latin, “Where are you going?”

Ecce Homo, Habeas Corpus: Latin, “Look at the man.  You have the body.”

now called the Shemoneh Esreh or Amidah. This (12th) benediction was called the Birkat ha-minim, the Benediction against Heresy, which said "For the apostates, let there be no hope and let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the Nazarenes and the minim be destroyed in a moment and let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the Righteous..."