A DISCOVERY – STARTLING, BUT TRUE
A little while ago I hinted at a remarkable discovery made on the far
side of our planet, in New Zealand. This may be the most unusual story I will ever get a chance to share with you. The connecting links may seem bizarre – but they are true… every one of them.Even if you’re not the slightest bit religious, you should find the following twist of events fascinating. Living as a skeptic for many years, I never expected to be breaking this kind of news to you.
THE DOCUMENT ON MY DESKI just wish you were with me here today. Because at this moment, on my desk – yes, right before my eyes – sits a 1,985 year old document. Until recently, we never knew it existed. But it has a clearly trackable history. Everything that follows is true history – supported now by solid archaeological exhibits. Did you get that? Please read it again.
You can’t get closer to an event than this report. On April 27, 31 AD,in Jerusalem, the eyewitness author of the document found himself forced into a key role following the execution of Jesus Christ.
Also fitting strangely into this bizarre chain of events is a well-known
archaeological treasure, the Ark of the Covenant.
For 1,500 years, the Ark (and ceremonies associated with it) enshrined a prophecy concerning a coming world Messiah and what he was predicted to accomplish.
First, why don’t I lay out for you the fast facts, then after that
explain events in more detail? Here is the sequence of events, all of
which we have been able to carefully verify… Guaranteed…
AMAZING EVENT SEQUENCE
1. 1446 BC: In the Saudi Arabian desert there is constructed a
priceless golden chest, which will ultimately bedeck Solomon’s
Temple in Israel. It is called Ark of the Covenant. Why? Because it enshrines the written Ten Commandments (the Covenant), the universal standard for human behaviour.
Sacred records affirm the reason why the Ark was made. Explained
(a) Every person on earth has violated the Universal Law, and
lives only by the Creator’s mercy.
(b) So, in a ceremony once a year the blood of a sacrificed animal
is sprinkled on the Ark’s lid (called the Mercy Seat).
(c) This symbolic act functions as a “passion play” forecast of a
promised future event. The essence of the prophecy is this: That the Creator has appointed a particular time in history when
he will express his love by becoming man to suffer the penalty for
every one’s wrongs. Hence the Mercy Seat, foretelling his act of
(d) As such, he will be known as the Messiah, the sacrificial
By this once-for-all act of mercy,
(i) the sovereignty of the Law will remain unshaken, and
(ii) every person who chooses to accept the Messiah’s death on
his behalf will be pardoned and restored into harmony with
2. 586 BC: During the siege of Jerusalem by Babylonian invaders, the
seer Jeremiah and Temple priests transfer the Ark of the Covenant to an underground cave near Skull Hill, about 270 feet outside the city walls. It will remain there for more than 2,500 years.
3. On April 27, 31 AD, Roman soldiers drill a hole into a rock ledge
fronting Skull Hill about 270 feet outside Jerusalem for the placement of a wooden cross on which to execute Jesus Christ – unaware that immediately below is the cave containing the Ark of the Covenant.
4. During the crucifixion, a Roman spear pierces the side of Jesus. His blood sprinkles down through a vertical crack in the rock onto the Mercy Seat of the Ark in the cave below.
5. Jewish Council member, Joseph of Arimathea, a great uncle of Jesus, (according to Jewish Talmud records), sabotages the authorities’ plan to toss Jesus’ body into a criminal pit. Instead, he donates his own new tomb adjacent to Skull Hill for an honourable burial. As a result, he becomes a “marked man”.
6. Several days later Jerusalem is astir with the news that hundreds
of citizens have seen Jesus walking, talking, eating – alive again! The
authorities rush to stifle the reports.
ANCIENT DOCUMENT: FROM ISRAEL TO SPOT X
7. The close family of Jesus write their own detailed memoirs of
8. Early AD 35: Joseph and eleven close companions are arrested and
exiled to perish at sea. Their precious documents go with them.
9. AD 37: They survive, and finally reach south west Britain, settling in Glastonbury. Here, with their records, they live in peace for about 6 centuries.
10. In 664, after Rome’s Saxon mercenaries invade and conquer most of Britain, the Roman Catholic Synod of Whitby orders the guardians of the Glastonbury records to surrender those “pagan non-Latin” documents for burning, and, giving up some, they continue to carefully guard the most precious of them.
11. They stay “underground” during centuries of persecution – until
ultimately some documents are “smuggled” out of Britain, and into New Zealand, to Spot X. We do not know the precise date this occurred.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS: FROM ISRAEL TO SPOT X
12. In the 1980s and 90s, our associated teams in Jerusalem excavate in front of Skull Hill and survey the crucifixion and burial sites.
13. After this, two of the team, Jonathan and Josephine Gray, follow an impression to relocate our working base to New Zealand – and specifically to the same Spot X – not knowing its significance. We are not aware that the Guardians are there, nor that they or their papers exist.
POLITICAL REFUGEE: FROM AUSTRALIA TO SPOT X
14. In 1998, P, a Perth university lecturer discovers 11 months before
the event that certain Australian government figures are involved in plotting the Bali massacre of Australians. After presenting a 5,000 page report to a Canberra official whom he trusted, P is forced to flee for his life from Australia to New Zealand – and ends up specifically (coincidentally?) in Spot X.
LINKS WOVEN AT SPOT X
15. In Spot X, P is thrown unexpectedly into close proximity to the
Guardians, who allow him access to their precious 2,000 year old history records.
16. In Spot X, totally unaware of what P has just seen, we “stumble” into contact with P, and share with him our Jerusalem expedition pictures.
17. As P goes into retreat and reflects, firstly on the Guardians’ papers, then on our expedition findings, there leaps out at him an absolutely startling connection. Our expedition findings are amazingly related to what the documents speak about!
18. June, 2011: P excitedly contacts us to announce that his marriage of the Guardians’ documents with our expedition photos, not only clearly cross-confirms the New Testament books, but vindicates the discovery claims of our teams.
19. P informs us: “My contact with the Glastonbury group was through a third party, D, who had bought a house previously owned by a family in the group. But he has now left New Zealand.
“Because of that, and because of the politically awkward nature of my attempted assassination [in Spot X], the door of opportunity into the group has probably been closed.
“Group members are secretive, ‘guarded’. They have survived for nearly 2,000 years by being careful – someone like me, with bullet holes through his windows, doesn’t fit in with a group wanting to keep a low profile.”
That should be the end of the story.
20. But now there occurs an amazing twist of events: Although D has
left the area, by some wonderful providence his house has not sold, so he finds himself returning to Spot X.
Is this merely a coincidence – or something more? – because now, through a series of events, we “bump into” D! We find him to be friendly and hospitable. But more importantly, through his graciousness we are granted access to the Guardians!
To our astonishment, the spokesperson for the group is already expecting me to phone her. And, by an absolutely amazing coincidence she already possesses my Ark of the Covenant book! While we have been dying to meet her, she has been trying to find out more about us!
21. On our first visit, she hands over to us our own personal copy of the document she believes was written by Joseph of Arimathea himself!
Why is this such a valuable document?
- Because it verifies in stunning detail the identity of the tomb we
have been examining adjacent to the Jerusalem crucifixion site.
- It also hits us with an independent eyewitness account regarding
Jesus by one who was intimately acquainted with Jesus, preserved
for 2,000 years quite separately from the Bible record.
THE ANTIQUITY OF THIS DOCUMENT
A careful investigation of all available evidence uncovers this early
history of the document:
- • During the period 27 to 31 AD, one of Jesus’ close acquaintances
was placing on record, as they occurred, many of the things which
he saw and heard.
- • Late April onward, 31 AD: These eyewitness records were brought together and, in the Jerusalem house of the disciple John, the first words were written of a connected report.
- • In the year 35, Joseph of Arimathea and his party were cast adrift by Saul of Tarsus to die at sea. The treasures they took with them included this scroll. The group survived, landing in France.
- • In AD 37 this precious document, along with others, accompanied Joseph to Glastonbury in Britain.
- • In AD 58, Joseph’s friend and colleague Aristobulus, going to labour in Wales, took with him a copy of this book.
Let’s flash back now to that fateful day in AD 35 when Joseph’s party was cast adrift.
“Get in!” shrieks the uniformed officer. “There’s room for one more. ”
He nudges the woman off the quay. She stumbles, almost crashing, into the boat. Stabs of pain shoot up her leg as she strikes something.
Marcella sighs… and looks around her. There is Joseph… Lazarus… and
twelve others crammed in with her. She knows every one. All dear friends. One of them smiles at her.
Another boat comes in close, to tow them out to sea. Four strong men give their craft a push.
From now on, they are castaways. Without oars or sails. At the mercy of the Mediterranean.
Yet… not afraid. That is the wonderful part. Each is very calm and at
Adjusting to a more comfortable position, Joseph reflects on the events that have led to this moment…
IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB
Just four years earlier, on April 27, AD 31, that alleged renegade
Yeshua (Jesus) had been publicly executed.
Governor Pilate’s official report of the event was deposited in the
imperial archives of Rome.
The Jewish Council (the Sanhedrin) intended that Jesus’ body be tossed into the pit reserved for criminals and that his memory be erased.
But their plan was thwarted by one of their own members – Joseph of
Of some reputation in Jerusalem, Joseph had become rich transporting tin and other metals from the Cornish mines of Britain to ports around the Mediterranean. He was one who could go privately to the Governor and make bold requests.
Pontius Pilate knew and respected him… and granted him leave to remove Jesus’ body from the cross and bury it in his own newly-cut tomb chamber.
This was in accordance with existing Roman law that a near relative could attend to the burial of a crucified man. The historical Jewish Talmud records that Joseph was a great uncle of Jesus (younger brother of Mary’s father).
He was also a secret follower of Jesus. And after that rushed Thursday night trial of Jesus, Joseph was in shock. Then, when Jesus died the next afternoon, Joseph could remain silent no longer. He “came out into the open”.
JOSEPH – A MARKED MAN
After Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus in his own tomb, he was a marked man. The enraged religious leaders wanted revenge. But due to his wealth and influence they had to move cautiously.
Meanwhile, those who claimed they had seen Jesus alive again were causing a stir. Since the reported resurrection, they had become courageous. Strengthened with a courage they had not known before, they hurried into the streets and began speaking publicly about what they had seen.
In the days that followed, thousands of local people, convinced by the
evidence, made commitments to Jesus. They claimed the authorities had made an awful mistake.
This brought opposition from the Establishment. They arrested the speakers, threatened them, whipped and even imprisoned some of them.
But the response was, “We cannot possibly give up speaking of things we have seen and heard.”
Why were these followers of Jesus so astonishingly successful? Because they were not discussing philosophical ideas which might, or might not, have some merit.
Not at all. They were reporting that they had actually seen Jesus alive
again, talked with him, eaten with him, walked dusty roads with him. They swore that what they were saying was true.
THE SKULL HILL BUILDING
Apparently, there was sufficient public outrage against Jesus’ execution, for the site to never be used as an execution site again.
Eventually, the land was sold off – to the growing community of believers.
It is likely that Joseph of Arimathea had a hand in the purchase of the
site, and donated it to them. They constructed a building around the site, with the rock wall behind where Jesus’ cross was, as one of the walls.
Into that back wall they fixed what appears to have been an altar.
Excavations at the Skull Hill site in the late 1970s and early’80s
uncovered the stones in the walls of that early building.
Pilate, the Roman governor, believed Jesus had been handed over to him because of the jealousy of the religious leaders.
One has the impression that after Jesus’ death, public opinion aligned
with Pilate’s assessment – so much so, that selling off the execution site to Joseph of Arimathea was seen as a necessary act of public penitence and compensation.
While some of the religious leadership was still convinced that their
murder of Jesus was necessary, the general populace were outraged at what had happened.
Even among the religious leaders, many came to believe that their leaders had murdered “the messiah”.
Rather than have everyone trek back and forth over to the tomb, to see the resurrection stone, the giant circular stone that had covered Jesus’ tomb entrance was moved to the new building at Skull Hill and placed in front of the cross holes.
(Jesus’ cross was at the back, and there were three more cross-holes
lower down, and closer to the road – two of which were used for crosses on the day Jesus died – i.e. for the two thieves).
The lower parts of the surrounding walls still exist.
The stone was laid flat, either as part of the floor, or as a raised
platform or “table”. It is hard to tell now just how high the stone was
positioned relative to the surrounding floor.
The stone is still there – as noted in my colleague Ron Wyatt’s first-hand archaeological report.
The excavation team were obliged by the official who approved the excavations, to restore the site to the condition it was in prior to the excavations.
So the stone, and remains of the walls from that first Christian meeting place, now sit buried below several feet of dirt.
The Skull Hill site was used until, 3½ years later, one of the young
deacons was dragged out of the city and publicly stoned to death for
speaking about Jesus. In this, Saul of Tarsus (a member of the
Sanhedrin) took a leading part.
A great rash of persecution now broke out in Jerusalem and followers of The Way were scattered everywhere. Saul now targeted Joseph of Arimathea.
Rather than bring down public anger on his own head for arresting such an influential figure, Saul decided to get rid of him quietly. Then he would not be seen as responsible for his fate.
So Joseph and eleven others close to him were cast adrift on a boat,
from which oars and sails had been removed.
Naturally, these exiles took their treasures with them, including what
written records they and the family / relatives of Jesus had.
Contrary to Saul’s intentions, the castaways managed to survive this
ordeal, landing eventually at Marseilles on the coast of Gaul (France).
Joseph of Arimathea continued with some of his party across the channel to Britain. Sailing around to the Glastonbury area of Cornwall, they were welcomed by residents who knew Joseph from his mining operations.
EVIDENCE IN ROYAL BRITISH ARCHIVES
Twelve hydes of land were granted to them by Joseph’s friend Arviragus. Still officially recorded in the British royal archives. we find these charters of land that were granted to them in AD 37 by Prince Arviragus of the Silures.
Today you are able to examine a record which contains remarkable details of the original charter. It is embodied in the Domesday Book of William I.
Their arrival in Britain seemed to relax them from their concerns. The
mood changed – and they obviously looked on Glastonbury as their new permanent home. Their ancient scriptures were unpacked, and taught, buildings built, trees and crops planted.
Joseph died on July 27, 82 AD, at the grand age of 98.
SAFETY AND PROSPERITY
The Romans were unable to occupy the area which included Glastonbury. There was an established trading and shipping route operating between the Mediterranean and the British Isles – including both the Roman and non-Roman parts of the Isles.
The Roman administration used Gaul (France) as its route to and from Britain. Roman documents, soldiers and administrators traveled from Rome into Gaul, thence across what we today call the English Channel.
Joseph of Arimathea’s documents were in the original Hebrew and Aramaic (and possibly Greek) at first, but were very likely translated into the local languages and later rendered into what became English over the intervening centuries.
There does not appear any history of harassment or persecution in Britain. The Glastonbury group seemed accepted and popular with both government administrators, and the common British communities, as the message of The Way spread throughout Britain and Ireland.
In these early days, the people tended to see their faith as flowing
direct from Jerusalem, and from the mother faith, Judaism. Such a
perceived spiritual heritage did not sit well with the church power
brokers in Rome.
ROME BACKS THE SAXON INVASION
After the power of the Roman Empire collapsed in Britain, the Saxons
cast their eye toward the British Isles.
Their invasions into Britain were supported, and often backed
financially, from Rome. Basically, the Vatican (successor to the empire) was lending the money to build and fit out the ships for the Saxons. The deal was that once the Saxons had conquered Britain, the loans would be repaid, with interest, by the victorious Saxons.
Effectively the Vatican was using the Saxons as mercenaries to re-assert Roman control over Britain – because direct military control from Rome had been weakened, or effectively destroyed.
Once the mercenaries (Saxons) had conquered much of Britain, spiritual control (from Rome) was to be imposed on the British Isles. Religion was to be conducted according to the language and rites of Rome, and not Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, the descendants of Joseph enjoyed freedom outside Rome’s reach.
SYNOD OF WHITBY: JOSEPH’S PAPERS BANNED
It all came to a crashing halt with the Synod of Whitby.
Rome had finally conquered Britain. The Synod of Whitby in 664 voted to standardise “Christianity” in Britain under Roman control – which would involve the use of Latin in the liturgy, acceptance of the papal authority of Rome, and of the Roman Catholic calendar.
That Synod pretty well determined the shape of mainstream religion
practised in Britain until the Reformation. Steps were taken to enforce acceptance of the decision. All non-Latin writings were to be destroyed. Book burnings took place, and groups holding documents from an earlier period, in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, were ruthlessly persecuted.
Thanks to Joseph of Arimathea, various documents from the early days were stored at Glastonbury. In line with the post-Synod of Whitby orders, most of these were burned.
Book burning is something that appalls scholars – and many of the scholars and devout believers in Glastonbury were appalled at the orders to burn their books and records.
They went through the motions of obeying orders, handing over some of their papers to be destroyed.
But they tried to hide and preserve some of their most valued treasures, including the scrolls Joseph of Arimathea had brought with him to Britain after Stephen’s murder in Jerusalem, over 600 years earlier.
Church and civil authorities would continue hunting for the remaining documents for much of the following 1200 years or so. The Glastonbury community was raided repeatedly.
Meanwhile, some of the faithful descendants of Joseph’s group (and their successors) blended into the community unrecognised, and hid the surviving scrolls.
TO LOCATION X
They stayed “underground” until some documents were “smuggled” out of Britain, and into New Zealand, to Spot X. This occurred in the 1800s, but we are unable to pinpoint the date.
Jesus’ apostle John wrote the book of Revelation on Patmos, at latitude 37 degrees north. The descendants and heirs of Joseph of Arimathea’s Glastonbury group, settled in Spot X at latitude 37 degrees south. (We are protecting the privacy of the actual location.) They stored Joseph’s papers here, at that latitude. There may be more than a co-incidence in those two latitudes. The Guardians have largely lost touch with the original faith, so, in the special document they protected, they did not really know what they had.
Here, now, is the punch line:
* Just one archaeological team on earth was exclusively working at the Jerusalem crucifixion site.
* Two key team members then relocated to the ends of the earth,
to discover that a 2,000-year-old eyewitness report of that very same event was waiting for them in that same spot.
Please re-read those last two sentences, and ask yourself, is that just a coincidence …or is something bigger playing out here?
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUTH ABOUT THIS OLD DOCUMENT
Have you ever heard either of these claims?:
1. that the New Testament books about Jesus Christ are mythical, written centuries after the alleged events? Or that
2. they were edited / altered by some political or religious
guys to suit an agenda?
This newly discovered document knocks those claims stone dead.
What we have here is an original eyewitness account by a close associate of Jesus himself, preserved for almost 2,000 years – and preserved far away and independently from the biblical New Testament.
Careful examination shows it to be penned by someone of integrity, who was intimately acquainted with the events and places, as only an
on-the-spot eyewitness could be.
His reporting is oriented to Galilee, rather than Jerusalem. The casual
details, tone, and first hand observations which are characteristic of
the document show it to have been written by one who personally knew Jesus and his message His descriptions of Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home village, and Joseph’s tomb in which Jesus was laid, match to the minutest detail what our archaeological teams were to physically uncover 2,000 years later.
What is the value of this document?
1. It proves the New Testament account of Jesus, including his
reported rising from the dead, to be an honest and contemporary
account of events.
2. It verifies our various teams’ archaeological findings made in
Israel during the 1980s and 1990s.
But the greatest wonder of all is that
(a) Joseph of Arimathea’s ancient written memoirs, and
(b) the refugee who became our go-between to the Guardians, and
(c) our specific team that worked at the crucifixion-site
– should all independently converge at Spot X on the opposite side of the world, so that this unlikely discovery could now “happen”. It makes you wonder, was Someone arranging that?
If you’d like more information about our Jerusalem archaeological finds, it’s in my special report,”The Forbidden Secret”.
Sincere best wishes