Here are some of the flowers and trees I saw on my trip to Israel.
Friday, Mar 29, 2019 — Free Day — Jeeps — Wadi Kelt, St. George’s Monastery, Jericho — Shalom — You Are My Peace
Today is the last day of this fantastic journey. We set out for Jericho going the path that is called the Wadi Kelt. This is the path that Jesus would usually take from Jericho to Jerusalem (Luke 19). Wadi Kelt is the path based on three reasons. Travelers typically take the route where there is water, where there is kosher food and where it is politically possible.
From the mountains the Wadi Kelt we could see the Scapegoat mountain and the St. George’s Monastery tucked away in on the edge of one of the cliffs. We saw the nomads (even though they don’t move around anymore) as well as we saw many shepherds watching flock.
We arrived in Jericho after an adventurous jeep drive through the mountains. We wanted to be as close as possible to the original path. Once in Jericho, we had lunch at a traditional Palestinian restaurant. We visited the traditional sycamore tree mentioned in the Gospel about Zacchaeus. We then visited the site that is under escalation and saw the various levels of the city. In Jericho, I rode a camel for the first time. Our drive back to the hotel was less adventurous as we took the highway.
Our guide Ruben was terrific. His historical and biblical knowledge make the trip very informative. Our driver Audi skillfully drove us to our various locations.
We join the team from Emanuel Community Church, on this fantastic journey. Pastor Denny Miller and his wife were very gracious to us and his teaching, and informative commentary provided new and enlightening perspectives. The impact is immeasurable for me. My preaching and teaching will never be the same. Lord may I live a life that always pleases you. I desire to live a life that is of completed dedication to your mission.
My friend Trevor Mattis and I travel the path of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem. It was truly amazing time we spent together with our friends from ECC.
I am one of the engrafted one, purchased with His blood.
Thu, Mar 28, 2019
Our focus today is the city of Jerusalem — Walk the path of Christ, Upper Room, King David’s Tomb, Church of Gallicantu (meaning cock-crow), Overlook of Judas and Field of Blood (Map on hand), Holy Sepulcher, Temple Mt, and Garden Tomb.
This was a remarkable day. The entire journey reaches the climax. Jesus of Nazareth came to Jerusalem as the sacrificial Lamb. From the House of Caiaphas and Upper Room, we visited the pit where our Savior was held overnight in darkness. We also saw the Valley of Blood where Judas hanged himself as well as the hills of Golgotha. That moment I entered the garden tomb to see the empty tomb and confirmed with my eyes. Jesus is not here; he has risen.
Upper Room & Caiaphas home
The Upper Room is known as the Last supper; it was interesting to be in the same place that Jesus and his disciples had that infamous last supper.
At Caiaphas’ house, Jesus was held overnight in a pit. As I stood in the pit that is believed to be where Jesus was, I could not help but think, thanks, thanks for all you have done for me. To God be all the Glory. We next went to the courtyard where Peter denied Christ.
The Romas used to blow trumpet three times as a means of telling the time. It became known as the rooster crowing. It is believed that that could be what was indicated before the cock crow three times. From the courtyard, we were able to see the original path that Jesus was led on to be crucified.
The Via Dolorosa
We also walk The Via Dolorosa (Latin for “Way of Grief,” “Way of Sorrow. This is the path that is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is believed that this is the way Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Today it is a market place with shops.
There are three branches of the Christian community that occupies this church, Catholic, Coptic, and Greek Orthodox. Each of the three churches that hold this holy place has a section that has a specific identity. They also provide access to the tomb. An ecumenical order governs the church. Nothing gets done unless all three groups agree.
There are two possible locations identified as the burial place where Jesus’ body was buried. The first one is in the Church of the Holy, and the other is in the Garden Tomb. While both graves are empty, the Garden tomb seemed the most likely
A ladder placed on the wall above the courtyard by someone doing work on the building. They forgot to remove, and it’s sitting here for 300 years because they can’t agree on how to take it down.
The next stop was the Temple Mount where the dome of the rock is located and where the 2nd temple is located. This is believed to be Mount Mariah where the temple once stood. Abraham brought Isaac to be sacrificed at this location, and it is held that God brought Jesus.
In 1967 after the six-day war the security of the site was in the hands of the Israeli and control of the security of the Mosque that now sits on that site is in the hands of the Muslims. Muslims believed that this is where Muhammad was taken into heaven to receive the Koran. This is one of the three most holy sites for Muslims. Even though the Quran does not mention Jerusalem at all the Bible mentions Jerusalem mention 800 times.
This site is the Holy Place for the three major religions. The Jews worship at the foundation wall of the second Temple known as the Wailing Wall or the Western Wall because they are not allowed to go to the location beyond the wall control by the Muslims. The Christians view the entire location as a holy place.
Muslims believe that this is where the Prophet Mohammed went to the throne of God. In the seventh century, when the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, The Dome of the Rock (gold-topped Islamic shrine of the Old City), is where the Muslims built the Al-Aqsa Mosque after conquered Jerusalem.
This place is significant. This garden tomb is where we served communion and had service before we entered the tomb. The Garden Tomb is located in the same vicinity as Golgotha, where Christ was Crucified.
Who is this man? He is Jesus the Christ who died, was buried and rose from the grave, he ascended into heaven and will return. This is the Christian message. This is the hope of salvation. This story of Jesus demands our response. It is indeed the Great Exchange; He paid for our sins and in turn gave us eternal life. He is here with us in our hearts because he has risen even though he is not in the grave.
We are the engrafted ones; Gentiles save by grace. Like the gamer does with the olive tree so God has engrafted us into the tree of life.
Romans 11:17-22 (NKJV) 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief, they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He might not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
Today’s Hebrew name os El Shaddai – The All-Sufficient One
Wed, Mar 27, 2019 — We took a break from the sites in Jerusalem and visited the Dead Sea valley, En Gedi and Masada.
It was at this site that Saul stopped for a while as he was chasing David. While King Saul was in a cave, David when in and cut a piece of Saul’s clothing. He later called out to King Saul informing him of what he has done. This act of David to show that Saul was in his control, but refuses to hurt him. There is a connected to Mount Gilboa, located in the Lower Galilee region, south of the Sea of Galilee since it is here that David showed he had forgiven Saul.
The lesson from En Gedi:
If you cannot forgive those, who have done you wrong you are not ready to serve. I love David because of his humanity and desire to please God. No matter how Saul treated him he refused to do or say anything that would hurt Saul. Will you forgive someone even if they are not able to return the favor?
Masada does not have a direct Biblical except it was a fortress that was built by Herod the Great in the year 30 BCE. It is located in the Jordanian valley. It was the last stronghold of the Jewish zealots. It was later conqueror by the Romans. The 960 Jewish zealots that occupied the fortress fought hard but lost the battle. Ten men volunteered to kill the 950 people, and 1 of the ten men volunteered to kill the other 9 and then himself. Only a mother and two children were spared because they refuse to be apart of the plan. They refused to submit to the Romans a be subjected
Never allow yourself to be in a position that causes you to compromise your values and or belief system.
The Dead sea valley is the place where the recent discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls was found.
The name of God for today is El Roi – The God Who Sees
We are beginning to travel the path to Calvary. It was a moving day.
Tue, Mar 26, 2019 — Bethlehem, Church of Nativity and Shepherd’s Fields, Mt. of Olives, Gethsemane
We began the day visiting Mount Hebron, the burial place of the patriarch. Travel the way of the patriarch into Hills of Rachael. We spent time overlooking Shepherd fields. This is the place where the angels visited the shepherds. It was at this same location that is known as the farming land of Ruth and Boaz.
Bethlehem (the house of the bread) it is located between mountains. Bethlehem is meaningful; the message of his birth reached was not limited to those in Jerusalem. The place of the announcement of the birth of Christ and the birthplace of Christ.
The manager was probably in a cave. In Bethlehem, some of the homes are built above caves.
Dead sea scroll Jar
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was found in three clay jars. One is still located in Bethlehem, one in the Vatican and the other in Israel. In Bethlehem, I had the opportunity to visit with the grandson of the man who discovered the Dead Sea Scroll and to see one of the jars.
Mount of Olives
Our next stop was the Mount of Olives and began to walk the way of Christ to Jerusalem. We celebrate this journey on Palm Sunday. Gethsemane (place of the olive press), was an interesting place. The Garden is is still there, and we stopped and prayed over Jerusalem. You could see what Jesus was looking at as he came down Mount Olives. I read for the group the prayer Jesus prayed over the city (Matt 21:6).
The gates of the city of Jerusalem have many names. For example, the Mercury gate, golden gate, western gate are all the same. Jesus enters on Palm Sunday this gate passing through the Kidron valley.
Garden of Gethsemane
What s moving time as we spent some time in the Garden of Gethsemane praying and meditating. It was here that Jesus was arrested. It was here that it is said that Jesus was press between the father’s will and his will. Like olive, the first oil that comes from the press considered the virgin oil. The next pressed oil is for domestic The 3rd press oil is called, the blood of the oil. It was here Jesus surrender his will to the father’s will.
Lord, I surrender my will to your will at Gethsemane.
Monday – 3/25/19
Our Hebrew Jehovah Mekaddishkem – “the LORD your sanctifier” (Exodus 31:13)
Mon, Mar 25, 2019 — David City, Tunnels, Davidson Center, Kotel, Cardo, St. Annes, Bethesda, Israeli Museum, Model of Jerusalem and Dead Sea Scrolls
Today we finally got settled in Jerusalem. The focus of the journey was about reviewing Hezikiah’s wet and dry tunnels in the City of Jerusalem. The wet tunnel ended in the pool of SILOAM. Next, we went to the Wailing Wall and other sites around the city. We concluded the day after spending time at the Pool of Bethesda. At each of these stops, we read from the scriptures relating to that specific location.
No matter what you will face as you pursue a relationship with Christ keep going forward. In the end, remember that Jesus is a healer. He works on his timing.
It took about three years to build the tunnel. The men started digging from both ends.
THE POOL OF SILOAM
The journey so far has been very informative. This is the place were Jesus used his spindle to form a call. He then touched the man’s eyes and sent him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. I was able to step on the original stones
THE WAILING WALL or WESTERN WALL
We visited the Wailing wall and prayed to God. This place is very interest. I had the privilege to place the prayer requests for some of the members of our church.
THE POOL Of BETHESDA
Jesus healed the disabled man who was at the pool waiting for his turn to be healed. Since he was disabled.
Whatever you are doing or in need of, trust God! Never give up! Pursue hard after God and extend your faith.