Block With the Messianic Seal;
Inscription: "Of the Spirit the Oil"
Holy Oil container with the Messianic Seal
Aurora, Colo. (EP) — A
Messianic Seal from the Christian church in ancient Jerusalem has been
rediscovered after 2000 years. This ancient symbol was found on Mount Zion.
It is believed to have been created and used by the Jewish believers who
called themselves Nazarenes in the first Messianic Church.
Three companies—Olim Creative Products of Tiberias, News About Israel (NAI)
of Jerusalem, and Christian Floral Delivery of Colorado—jointly announced
the discovery of this ancient symbol, which has been copyrighted by NAI. It
consists of three separate but integrated symbols: a menorah at the top, a
star of David in the middle, and a fish at the bottom. In each of the
renditions of the three-part symbol the star is created by interlacing the
stand of the menorah with the fish.
The Messianic Seal was found etched or inscribed on eight ancient artifacts.
The artifacts were presented to Ludwig Schneider, editor in chief of NAI's
magazine, Israel Today, in 1990. They came from Tech Otecus, an elderly monk
who lived as a hermit in the Old City of Jerusalem. Otecus said that in the
1960s he had personally excavated about 40 artifacts bearing the Messianic
Seal from an ancient grotto located in the immediate vicinity of the Upper
Room on Mount Zion.
What was once the main entrance to the grotto is now covered with a
jail-like heavy wire mesh enclosure. Its door, leading down into the ancient
baptismal place, is tightly secured with a heavy chain and lock. According
to Schneider, the last remaining entry to the grotto was sealed shortly
after he excitedly told the priests at the local monastery about the
discovery of the Messianic Seal.
Schneider photographed eight artifacts which were given to him by Otecus,
and showed the pictures to the curator of the Israel Museum. "When he had
carefully studied my pictures," Schneider recalled, "the curator immediately
promised me that these artifacts and their unique symbol were an important
find. He told me that the museum had seen other artifacts bearing the same
three-part symbol from some other sources he did not specify."
According to Bob Fischer, president of Olim Creative Products and co-author
with local historian and artist Reuven Schmalz of their book, The
Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church, the ancient three-part symbol
has, since 135 A.D., been suppressed by various Israeli groups or agencies,
such as the Israel Museum and Orthodox rabbis in the Old City of Jerusalem,
while simultaneously being buried for these nearly two millennia by the
According to Fischer, at least two of the eight artifacts were obviously
ceremonial pieces which may have well been used by James the Just, the
brother of Jesus, who is said to be the first pastor of the church, or
perhaps even by one or more of the Twelve Apostles.
One of the eight artifacts is a brick-sized block of well-worn local marble.
This piece bears an etched version of the Messianic Seal with a Taw (the
last letter in the ancient Hebrew alphabet that looks exactly like a sign of
the cross) in the eye of the fish symbol, as well as the ancient Aramaic
lettering proclaiming the use of this artifact as a stand to hold a vial of
anointing oil. The ancient Aramaic is transliterated as, "La Shemen Ruehon"
(For the Oil of the Spirit). Another of the eight artifacts is a small,
almost intact, vial which could well have sat on top of the marble stand.
Commenting on what he characterized as the "monumental importance" of this
archaeological discovery, Fischer said, "Beyond the historical background of
the Nazarenes, the first Jewish believers who founded the Jerusalem Church,
the Messianic Seal itself proclaims to the world the pervasive Jewishness of
Jesus Christ and the decidedly Jewish foundation and roots of the church
founded in His name."
"The Messianic Seal of the Jerusalem Church," Fischer continued, "strikes at
the very roots of anti-Semitism while proclaiming a compelling message that
restores unity: Jew with Jew, and Jew with Gentile. The importance of this
discovery cannot be minimized. The Messianic Seal is not only just the key
to understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, it can and should shake the
foundations of the church and orthodox Judaism with its incredible message
of unity and love. It breaks down barriers that have existed for millennia
and points the way toward restoration."
—Evangelical Press News Service, July 6, 1999.
Pictures from Schmalz, Reuven Efraim et al, The Messanic Seal of the
Jerusalem Church, Olim Publications, Tiberias Israel, 1999. This is
posted numerous sites across the web and the News article above is
reprinted here for convenience of the reader.
Is the return of the Seal of God to happen in our