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THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Kingdom Shekel Mission Statement
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MISSION STATEMENT

I designed the Kingdom Shekel to bare a slight resemblance to the US dollar in its graphical structure with a face on the front and the picture of a building on the back. This is so whenever people look at it they won't be guessing as to what in the world it is. Instead of the face of a prominant American on the front I put the face of the original shekel of ancient Judea, this one dates back to the Persian Empire (500-330 BC). The picture on the back is of the Temple of Herod or actually the Temple of God as it once stood in Jerusalem.

THE TEMPLE OF HEROD [on the KINGDOM SHEKEL BACK]

Originally God told His people to build a Tent of Meeting during the forty years when Israel was left to wander out in the desert wilderness. After the Israelites settled in their promised land God instructed David's son Solomon to construct the Temple of God. The First Temple was completed around 950-930 BC and it stood for over 340 years until it was destroyed in the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchaddnezer of Babylon in 589 B.C. For seventy years the Jews were exiled in the land of Babylon until Darius the Mede conquered Babylon and let the people of Judah go free. The Medo-Persian Empire now ruled all of Mesopotamia, Lebanon, Judea, Samaria and Egypt. A request was made by one of the Jewish servants of the Persian King if his people could return home and reclaim their land and rebuild the Temple. About 25 years after the Empire's outset a decree was made by King Artaxerxes in 475 BC for the reestablishment of the Temple in Jerusalem. A man named Zerubbabel led the expedition to reclaim the city of Jerusalem from the Edomites and to rebuild the Temple. The Jews literally had to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem with one hand while warding off Edomite raiding parties with the sword in the other. The Biblical prophets Ezra and Nehemiah recorded the ordeals of rebuilding the Temple. The Second Temple, however, did not match the size and stature of the First Temple. Some of the men wept when they recalled the beauty which had been Solomon's Temple.

Zerubbabel's Second Temple stood for about 310 years before it faced it's gravest crisis. Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated the Persian Empire in 330 BC. Ensuing relations between the Greeks and the Jews was tenuous at best. At first the Jews looked to Alexander as a liberator. In fact in 250 BC the curator of the library in Alexandria (Egypt) commissioned the translation of the Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek for the consumption of both Jews and Greeks throughout the Hellenistic world. Relations took a turn for the worse, however, when the leader of the Seleucid dynasty of Syria, Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), decided to take out his wrath on the Jews as he returned home from a humilitating military defeat in Egypt. Antiochus seized the Temple complex and he proceeded to defame God's Temple by sacrificing an unclean pig on the altar of sacrifice and by erecting a statue of the false god Zeus Olympus inside the Holy of Holies. The rightfully enraged Jews led by Judas Maccabees rebelled against the Greeks in the famous Maccabean revolt. Three years later in 165 BC the Jews fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel which said the people of God would do "great exploits" when they successfully liberated the Temple and gained their independence from the Seleucid (Greek) Empire. The Temple was cleansed and rededicated to Yahweh in the first Hanukkah celebration and the newly independent Jewish state established what would later become known as the Hasmonean Dynasty. For the next 120 years the Jews enjoyed their freedom until the Roman general Pompey conquered Egypt and Judea in 45 BC. Pompey entered the Holy of Holies to find absolutely nothing in the Most Sacred Chamber. In 30 BC, the Roman client Herod the Great, refurbished the Temple by making the Temple complex much larger and more grandiose. Liberal Jews like the Pharisees and the Saducees enjoyed the new renovations but some of the more conservative Jews such as the Essenes disdained Temple worship preferring the purity of the Dead Sea wilderness. Herod himself, a descendent of the Hasmonean dynasty, ruled over his people with the harshness of a disinterested foreigner. It was the same King "Herod the Great" who attempted to kill the baby Jesus in the city of Bethlehem when He was an infant. Yet the refurbished Temple that unfortunately bears his name was also the same Temple in which Our Lord and Savior walked, talked, studied, and taught in. After the Messiah was crucified, buried, and rose to life again the Temple of God continued its daily service until the Jewish rebellion of 66 to 70 AD. The first century Jewish historian Josephus gives us the full account of the abandoned initial Roman siege of Jerusalem and the devastating second Roman siege when the Temple of God was destroyed by an overzealous and spiteful Roman army. An altar was maintained on the Temple Mount until the Roman reprisals to the Bar-Kochba rebellion of 135 AD cut off Jewish access to the site altogether. The Romans then built a blasphemous temple to Aphrodite or Jupiter on the Temple Mount. Five hundred years later the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock upon the white marble pillars of the Roman temple after they conquered the region in 660 AD. None of the Jewish Temple stands today except for the western retaining wall of the Herodian Temple complex which is now known as the Western or Wailing Wall (Hebrew: Kotel). But there will be another Jewish or Biblically based Temple standing on the Temple Mount once again. If the Jews don't succeed in building a Third Temple before the return of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world will definitely have His Temple standing there as Ezekial and Revelation describe.

FACE OF AN ANCIENT JUDEAN SHEKEL (on the KINGDOM SHEKEL FRONT)

The face of the Kingdom Shekel has a picture of an original Judean shekel from the Persian period (500-330 BC). The original shekel had a picture of the bowl which sat on top of the Altar of Incense. The Altar of Incense was in the Sanctuary or the Second Most Holiest place in the Temple right outside of the Holy of Holies on the eastern side of the chamber. The Altar stood right in front of the Holy Curtain with the Menorah further back on the left and the Table of Showbread on the right. The Altar and Bowl of Incense was the place where the Priests would daily burn the Incense as an offering to the LORD and it represented the prayers of the people of Israel and/or the prayers of the saints in the Book of Revelation. The ancient Shekel, the Half Shekel, and the Quarter Shekel each had the same face (the Altar of Incense) and reverse side (the Lilies of Jerusalem).  The only difference between the three coins were their proportional size. So since all three denominations had the same face and back I decided to take the reverse side (the Lilies of Jerusalem) of the ancient shekel and make it the face of the Kingdom Bekah or Holy Half Shekel. The back of the ancient shekel (which is also the front of the Kingdom Bekah) has a picture of four lilies which represents the fact that the coin was minted in the city of Jerusalem. The lily, therefore, was the city's logo. Of course the Kingdom Bekah was not printed in the city of Jerusalem but the beauty and symbolism of the image could not be overlooked and dismissed. What represented the city of Jerusalem in times past will of no doubt be of value in the New Jerusalem in the future.

The purpose of the Kingdom Shekel is for entertainment purposes only. I decided to take a concept out of the Bible and modernize it. The Bible mentions several different measuring tools which were used to measure precious metals in the ancient world. They were the shekel ( .364 Troy ounces of precious metals), the bekah (half that amount at .182 Troy ounces), the gerah or one twentieth shekel (.0182 Troy), the mina or sixty shekels (21.84 Troy ounces), and the talent (more gold or silver than you can imagine). In order to find out how much the original shekel and the other denominations would be worth on today's gold and silver markets all you have to do is do the math. For instance, when silver was running at $5.115 per Troy ounce over two years ago and gold was over $370 a shekel of silver would have been worth around $1.80 and a shekel of gold would have been around $93. Of course "gold and silver have I none but what I do have I give to you" (no I won't tell you now to rise up and walk like Peter and John) but since modern money comes in the form of paper bills which are created by fiat I decided to do the same with the Kingdom Shekel. After all when Christ returns He will restore our economy back to the original gold/silver standard anyhow. I don't have any gold or silver in order to mint coins with so the denominational amounts below one shekel will also have to be made out of paper.  The kingdoms of this world issue paper fiat currencies when they have gold and silver in reserve so what's their excuse? Some would say that the precious metals are being stored away for safe keeping, others would call that greed or a conspiracy, and yet the official argument for paper money is that they measure the total value of all goods and services produced in the marketplace therefore making precious metals unnecessary... or even obsolete.  Nonetheless, I have designed an entire series of play money based on each of the different measurements/denominations mentioned in the Bible including some new subdivisions founded upon established Biblical amounts such as: the Revah or Quarter shekel, the Agorah (1/100th shekel), the 5, 10, 20 and possibly the 50 shekel bill, the 5 and 10 Mina bill, and (since the ancient shekel also measured gold too) the gold shekel and the gold gerah etc.

The Kingdom Shekel TM is intended to be used only for gifts whenever the use of money is optional such as tips, donations, presents, etc. and are never intended to be used to deceive people that they're real Federal Reserve Notes. Since the Bible teaches that Christians have "dual citizenship" both in the kingdoms of this world and in the Kingdom of God, I hope the Kingdom Shekel TM  will be regarded like foreign currency and not as some sort of challenge to the sovereigny of the US government etc. When you are visiting a foreign country and you have to use the currency of that country you can still carry around a copy of the money that reminds you of home. When you're with your fellow compatriots you can still trade your homeland's money for things if they will accept it. Carrying a copy of your home country's money in the host country is to remind you that your dwelling there is just temporary (as a temporary resident) and that you have a more permanent homeland elsewhere. The Christian is to be faithfully obedient to the laws of the land in which he sojourns while he seeks a more permanent homeland. As Hebrews 11:13-16a says:  "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country...." 

All of the shekel denominations (1,5,10,20,50ש ) are gray in color in order to represent the color of silver. The bekah or the holy half shekel will be red in order to draw a connection between the holy position that the half shekel held as the official Temple Tax with the holy words of Christ in a red letter Bible , the quarter shekel is a relaxing blue color, the gerah is green because the word gerah means "bean", the agorot will be yellow denoting the meaning of the word agorot as the "smallest of coins", the mina will be purple to reflect the color of wine since Jesus gave both the Parable of the Ten Minas and the Parable of the Vinedresser, the talent and gold shekel will both be gold because the Talent is a huge sum of money and the shekel of gold was actually made out of gold. These are of course subject to alteration.

Every bill will have a different serial number. The serial numbers are comprised of two Hebrew letters on the left (at the moment the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet - representing that Jesus is not only the Alpha and the Omega-the First and the Last in the Greek alphabet but that He is also the Aleph and Tav-the First and the Last in Hebrew as well. After them there are 8 numerals on the right followed by a single Hebrew letter. As of this writing I have printed 90 bills each of the letter Aleph ( א ) series. I can print up to 99,999,999 of each series. And of course each series will be designated by a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew alphabet reads from right to left:

אבגדהוזחטיכלמנסעפצקרשת

Their pronunciations will read from left to right: aleph, beyt, gimmel, dalet, hey, wav, zain, kheth, teth, yod, kaph, lamed, mem, nun, samek, ayin, pe, tsadde, qoph, resh, shin, tau. It will be a long time until I can start printing series based on the Final Variations of the 5 Hebrew letters, the entire Greek alphabet, and/or the English alphabet.

The email address and web site on the lower left and right of the bill can also be subject to change depending on the future availability of the email address shekel_qodesh@yahoo.com and of the web site http://housetreasury.tripod.com In addition, the year of the series which is printed on the lower left of the coin picture will be subject to change depending upon the year in which it was printed, the official Gregorian calendar is included alongside the year according to the Hebrew calendar. Bills printed before the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hoshannah [The FEAST OF TRUMPETS or Jewish New Year] will have a different Hebrew year than bills printed after Rosh Hoshannah. Therefore bills with the Year 2006 A.D. [Anno Domini: In the Year of Our Lord] may have the Hebrew year 5766 A.M [Anno Mundo: In the Year of the World] if printed before Rosh Hoshannah and the year 5767 afterwords. Rosh Hoshannah falls in either late September or early October.

All denominations of The Kingdom Shekel is copyrighted: 2006 Roger Baker and the Kingdom Shekel is trademarked: KINGDOM SHEKEL

The Web site is also 2005 Roger Baker

The picture of the Ancient Judean Shekel on the face of the Kingdom Shekel is public domain and the picture on the back of the Temple of Herod is 1998 Media Graphics International, Inc.

The currency symbol for the Kingdom Shekel will be the Hebrew letter Sin with a Shin dot: ( ) The English equivalent are the two English letters (SH)

The principle division of the Shekel is the Gerah which is 1/20th of a Shekel and it is the smallest denomination which is defined in the Bible.  The Gerah is represented by the Hebrew letter Gimmel with a dagesh lene or bosom point: ()and the English equivalent is (GR). The Bekah or 1/2 Shekel can be represented as 10 (10 Gerah) or by the Hebrew letter Beyt with a dagesh lene or bosom point in the middle: () and the English equivalent is (BK). The Mina or 60 shekels is represented by the Hebrew letter Mem with a bosom point () and/or the English letter (M). 

At the present time I plan to not sell the Kingdom Shekel as a for-profit commercial product but rather to give it away as free samples (with the possiblitly of receiving tax-deductible donations) as a non-for-profit educational device. The immediate purpose of the Kingdom Shekel is to use it to "preach the gospel of the kingdom of God" througout the whole world and whether or not I decide to add for-profit commercial status will come at a later date especially if it is picked up by a toy manufacturer for widespread distribution and sale. My name is Roger Baker and I am the St. Louis Regional Director for the House of the Lord Treasury. Please feel free to contact us with any of your questions, comments, and/or orders at: sheqel_qodesh@lycos and http://housebankblog.tripod.com/House_Bank_Blog 

Thank you very much and may the Peace of God be with you, Shalom. שלום

Roger Baker

House of the Lord Treasury-St. Louis Regional Director