Our Cup Runs Over
“…Tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderous works which He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children.” – Psalms 78:4b-5
The LORD be praised and exalted for the amazing work He has done in the land of Israel, in our hearts, and through us; to Him be the glory! Please talk to the people of our congregation who went on the tour. You will be built up and blessed by their incredible testimonies. We had a great time of fellowship, and time in the word of God at many biblical sites. I would like to share about the times we shared the gospel with the native people.
Sharing the Good News in Israel
Jose Mir and Michael Littlefield started talking to the hotel doorman at our hotel. He began to ask us, “Why do Americans want to come to Israel?” It was an open door to share how we believe in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), the King of Israel, and the amazing prophecies of the Bible. We had just come back from the old city of Jerusalem and picked up a free Hebrew Bible at a Christ Church. We gave him the new Hebrew language bible and turned to some of the prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament.
The doorman shared that he was an atheist, and was a member of the first Jewish family from Ethiopia to immigrate to Israel. We then opened up to the gospel of Matthew, and he began reading about Jesus the Messiah being the son of Abraham, son of David. He was very excited and hungry to know more about this Jesus he had never heard about. Please pray for his salvation, and that he would find a good messianic fellowship in Jerusalem. His name is Yoval. We know this was a divine appointment.
While we were in the Galilee, God opened a door to share with a Jewish man from London, England. He went to a Conservative Synagogue in London, where he had taught some famous people in their children’s ministry. I shared with him how there is a rabbinic curse in the Babylonian Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 97B that curses anyone who reads Daniel 9:24-26, because it tells the time of the coming of Messiah. Daniel tells us the exact time that the Messiah would come and die for us; it is a mathematical prophecy of the very day Jesus entered into Jerusalem palm Sunday riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). He looked into it, but then said, “The bible is never meant to be taken literally.” Pray for this man, named “Israel” that he too would be touched by Jesus and changed to be “governed by God”.
We really loved our bus driver, Mashdee, who is an Arab Muslim from East Jerusalem. He is a kind man, a father of five, and was not closed to hear about the LORD. We gave him an Arabic bible, which we also had procured from Christ Church, and he was happy to receive it. Please pray for the salvation of Mashdee and his family, and that God would do a great work among the Arab community in Israel, as well as among the Jewish people.
It is a strange phenomenon that the sons of Abraham, the Jews and Arabs, are among the most difficult and unreached people groups to reach with the good news of Messiah Jesus, even though they are the descendants of Abraham, called the father of the faithful. We can envision many Jewish people coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua (Romans 11:21-23), and Arab people as well. And with these two groups coming to know the Prince of Peace, we will see that as they are reconciled to God by His Son (Romans 5:10), they will then have peace with God and with one another. This is already evidenced in Israel, like a former leader of a Hamas terrorist group turned Christian, who is now a church greeter at a fellowship with Arab Christians and Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua! Praise the Prince of Peace!
“For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” Psalm 132:13, 14 Song of Ascents
God has chosen Zion. Jesus won the victory over sin, death, and the devil in Jerusalem. Not only that, but the King of kings is returning to Jerusalem, and Satan will have his final defeat in Jerusalem as Jesus will rule and reign the entire world from there for a millennium. That is why a tour of Israel is so powerful; we learn about our past, present, and future as believers. Yes, Jesus did the miraculous in Israel two thousand years ago, but you can see He is fulfilling prophecies right now in Israel, and that He will return to Israel to fulfill the miraculous promises of his second coming. And we will be with him! Praise God!
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.” – Revelation 19:11-14
Valley of Megiddo – It was truly amazing to see the “greatest battlefield on planet earth”. It is said that as Napoleon Bonaparte stood observing it that he mentioned that “All armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain.” Did Napoleon know the prophecies in scripture that the world’s armies would fight against God from this very place? This is an incredible place to see when you consider the future fulfillment of Jesus smiting the wicked with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:15).
Ein Gedi – meaning “the spring of wild goats”, this is a remarkable location near the Dead Sea. As we were studying our bible in Psalms, little conies (small rock gophers) came and scampered around at our feet. Groups of mountain goats known as ibex climbed the red rocky cliffs across the rushing oasis stream. David was hiding from King Saul in Ein Gedi because there are innumerable caves along the cliff side. David penned a number of Psalms there, many of which mention God as his hiding place, refuge, and stronghold. The safest place to be is not in an underground bunker (Revelation 6:15,16), but in the protective presence of the Most High God (Psalm 91:1). Remember Psalm 91:1, like 9-1-1, if you have an emergency and call out to God our refuge. Our safety and protection is not found in a place, but in the person of Jesus Christ.
Caesarea Phillipi – This is the place where Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”. This is even more noteworthy when you put this conversation of Jesus and his disciples into the context of Caesarea Philllipi or Panias, a place of pagan idol worship – Pan, the goat-man god, Ashteroth, the fertility goddess, Baal, and Caesar worship. As well as the fact that this place is at the bottom of Mount Hermon where fallen angels first went after strange flesh (Jude 6, Book of Enoch). Jesus was confronting all the antichrist works of both man and fallen angels, also called the “divine council” referred to in Psalm 82. Jesus was stating that He is the Son of God, Yahveh, the One true God. He is the Rock (“Petra” – big rock in Greek), not Peter (“Petros” – little stone in Greek). The church is not built on a little stone, Peter, but the church is built on the big rock, the statement that Jesus is Yahveh, the One true God. This location is also where the Jordan River starts, coming out from under a big rock, like the one that brought water to the children of Israel in the wilderness.
These are some of the many amazing places and teachings that we were able to experience. We encourage you to come with us, Lord willing, on our next trip to Israel in 2021. The Israel tour isn’t just about the amazing biblical past, but also seeing present day prophecy being fulfilled in Israel, and the incredible future we are looking forward to with the return of our King, the LORD Jesus Christ.