Tagged: israel

Israel

Pilgrimage Journey in the Land of the Bible – Israel & Palestine
Missionary Trip & Study
February 4th – February 14th, 2011

With

great joy the six of us were welcomed to the Land that has been called by various names such as Canaan, Palestine and now; Israel.  It was a great privilege for us to walk in footsteps of our roots and inheritance in our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our team included the following persons:  Sorin Iacoban and Cornel Buliga from Betel Church in Detroit, Toader Stirbu from Gethsemane Church in Chicago, Edgar Garza – Pavel Sav – Constantin Lupancu from Golgotha Church; active members of Blessed Hope International Mission.  Visiting Israel has been on my mind for a long time but I did not want to go for the sole purpose of visiting the sites.  I wanted to have a ministry at the same time.  Last year I met Pastor Steven Khoury from Bethlehem at the VOM Convention.  He invited our ministry to come to Israel to minister to his churches where he and his father are pastors.  During that same year, I met Pastor Ionel Skoblo from Tel Aviv(meaning: something new) when I visited Romania whom also invited us to come to visit his church in Tel Aviv.  When I made the arrangements to plan the trip and called Pastor Ionel and Pastor Steven, I felt greatly moved by the Holy Spirit to go.  Our mission had three objectives which were to minister to churches, visit persecuted Christians and see the historical sites of the Bible.  Israel was the center of the world during Biblical times.  It is a geographical location that is worthy of reflection because it has been the scene of manifestation of divine power.  Visiting this land helped all of us better understand the history of the bible and the bible itself.  We familiarized with the lay of the land, its customs and religious practices.  As we explored biblical sites we prayed in seeking God, our hearts were warmed and opened to fresh insights and the scripture came alive and we developed a deeper appreciation of our Lord and Savior and strength of our faith.

On Saturday when we arrived to Tel Aviv, Pastor Ionel brought us to his home and his wife prepared a great meal.  After resting a few hours, we joined Pastor Ionel on a city tour on that sabbatical Saturday.  We met some Romanian brothers in Tel Aviv who settled with their families.  Their names:  Daniel and Narcis Ciuruc and their Jewish wives originally from Bucovina; Nicu Cirdei from Dornesti; Nathanael from Suceava and many others.  “Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib (Aviv), who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.”Ezekiel 3:15

The

first site that we visited was Joppa which is among the oldest city ports in the world – a port where a lot of Jews came from all over the world.  This city has a lot of biblical references and is named after Japheth, the son of Noah.  The following references refer to the location of Joppa.

But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarhish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”Jonah 1:3

“And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as you need; we will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, and you will carry it up to Jerusalem.”2 Chronicles 2:16

“They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia.”Ezra 3:7

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.”Acts 9:36

“Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!””Acts 9:38

“This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.”Acts 9:42

“Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.”Acts 9:43

“Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.”Acts 10:5

“He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.”Acts 10:8

“Then he invited them in and lodged them.  On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him.”Acts 10:23

“Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.  When he comes, he will speak to you.’”Acts 10:32

“I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me.”Acts 11:5

“And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’”Acts 11:13-14

On Sunday morning, Nicu and Robert drove us to Jerusalem where we ministered in Calvary Church which is pastored by Steve Khoury, where Messianic Jew and Arab come to worship Jesus.  Each of us greeted the church and prayed for the sick towards the end of the service.  It was a great blessing for them because a lot of them are going through a lot of persecutions and we encouraged them to take stronghold in the Lord who called them to be a witness during this time in Jerusalem.  The body of Christ still suffers today and we are to remember and pray for those that are persecuted.  ”Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.Hebrews 13:3

After

the service, we were invited to lunch by a family from the church.  In the afternoon, we visited Jerusalem’s City Hall and met with the Assistant Mayor.  We had a privilege to present our mission to him and he was very impressed of our worldwide mission.  We prayed for him and promised we would keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem.  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:  “May they prosper who love you.  Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.”  For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.”  Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.”Psalm 122:6-9

In the evening, we crossed the wall to Palestine territory (just one mile from Jerusalem near the edge of the Judean desert) where we ministered to Bethlehem which means ‘the house of bread’ in Hebrew. 

In this town, the story of Ruth with Boaz, their son Obed became the grandfather of King David who was born and first anointed in Bethlehem 3,000 years ago.  Since Joseph was of the house and lineage of David, he brought Mary his espoused wife, who was with child, to Bethlehem to register for the census.  “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”1 Samuel 16:13

Pastor

Steve Khoury’s father is the main pastor at the church there.  It was evening of communion with the elements of Christ.  People were encouraged by our visit and message.  This church went through a lot of trials.  It has been attacked 14 times by Muslims and the pastor had been shot during one of those attacks.  Even though this church went through a lot of persecutions, the pastor remained firm in the gospel of Jesus and did not cease preaching it.  He installed large speakers on the roof that the entire city of Bethlehem hears the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  Our message was translated in the Arabic language by the pastor and heard by the church and the entire city.  At the end, lots of people came for prayer and words of revelation were spoken by God through Cornel Buliga.  Testimony of healing has been given by those that were touched by the power of God.

Monday morning, we visited Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ was born and the Church of the Nativity is built over the traditional site of the manger where Jesus Christ was born.  It is the oldest Christian church in the world.  During the Persian invasion in 614 AD, this church was spared while other Constantinian churches were razed to the ground.  The church was originally built by the Emperor Constantin in 326 AD. 

The church used to have 3 entrances but only one is left and is called ‘the door of humility”.  Matthew’s gospel says that the birth took place here in order to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy; “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”Micah 5:2

We

also visited nearby shepherd fields and walked through their caves where they would spend their nights.  At the shepherd field, we reflected on the glory of God that manifested when the angels brought the good news and as we prayed and mediated on what happened at that time, the glory of God was manifested over us and we began to pray and rejoice.  One brother received a new song in heavenly language.  What a place of His glory where the shepherds were the first people on earth to receive the good news of the birth of the Messiah!  “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”Luke 2:8-14  Within Bethlehem lies the town of Rachel who was the wife of Jacob and which gave birth to Benjamin.  “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac.  Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.”Genesis 25:19-20

Because

of the persecutions of the Christians in Bethlehem and Gaza and other parts in Israel a book store manager has been killed by Muslims leaving behind a wife and three children which later moved from Gaza to Bethlehem.  We visited the family, encouraged and prayed with them and helped them pay their rent.  In the afternoon, we visited the Jerusalem temple with its roots reflected in Judaism and Christianity in the early centuries.  This temple was built by Solomon and later rebuilt by Herod the Great which is important for the Jew in us.  The city where the temple is has nine gates one of which is closed.  The closed gate is called “The Golden Gate”.  It was through the Golden Gate that Jesus made his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem known today as Palm Sunday.  It is within these walls that Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, was crucified on Calvary and then rose from his tomb.  In the early 1500’s the Ottoman Empire permanently closed the gate.  A violent group called Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.  Has said they would protect Christians but persecutions against Christians increased instead and most Christians left Gaza, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and other places in the West Bank.  The Golden Gate is believed to be the Water Gate.  “Moreover the Nethinim who dwelt in Ophel made repairs as far as the place in front of the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower.”Nehemiah 3:26  The Golden gate is located on the eastern wall of the old city of Jerusalem, leading to the temple mount. It is regarded as a Holy site for all faiths – Jewish (arrival of the Messiah) and Christian (entrance of Jesus on Palm Sunday) and Muslim (site of future resurrection).  The gate was built in the 6th/7th C AD over the ruins of the second temple gate, and sealed since the 16th Century AD.  "And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.”Ezekiel 44:2

The gates are: 

The New gate (on the western site), the Damascus gate (on the north-western side), Herod's gate (on the north side), the Lions gate (near St. Anna also called the Stephen’s gate), the Golden gate (a closed double gate,  also called the gate of mercy), the Dung gate (on south side, near the western wall), the Zion gate (on the south-west side) and the Jaffa gate (tower of David).

Another

very interesting site we visited is The Western or Wailing Wall which is Judaism’s holiest site.  When the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the remembrance of its destruction brought sorrow for the Jews.  The present day wall is called ‘The Synagogue of the Wall’.  The wailing wall is the exterior wall of the yard of the Temple.  The Temple was built on the place where Abraham brought Isaac as a sacrifice to God on the Mount of Moriah.  “But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”  And he said, “Here I am, my son.”  Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  And Abraham said, “My son, God will "provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” Genesis 22:7-8

“And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” Genesis 22:14

This land was later purchased by King David from Aravna as a place for Sacrifice.  It was also here that his son King Solomon built the Temple.  It was also here that God provided Jesus Christ as a human sacrifice for all of mankind.  Today it is called the Dome of the Rock which is an Islamic site.

“And

Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. 20 Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him.  So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.  Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”  And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”  Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood.  All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”  Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.”  So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.  And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.  So the LORD heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.” 2 Samuel 24:18-25

We also visited the Mount of Olives which was located on Jesus’ daily route in and out of the city.  It stands about 300 feet above Jerusalem.  It is a mountain where the more important events of Christ took place.  And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.”Luke 21:37  It was here that Ezekiel 11:23 says, “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.”and Zechariah 14:3 prophesied, “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.”  It was while crossing these slopes, the day after He cleared the Temple of merchants and moneychangers, that Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21:18, “Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.”and Mark 11:13, “And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.”

On

this mountain, Steve Khoury’s uncle was martyred by the Muslims a few years ago.  In the memory of Jesus weeping over the faith of Jerusalem, a church has been built called the Church of Dominus Flevit – The Lord Wept.  Close to the church is a spot where Jesus delivered what has become known as the Olivet Discourse.  Prophetic questions regarding the end of the days, stretches over two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel.  “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”Matthew 24:3-14

Mount

Zion is hallowed for the Last Supper, the Apparition of the Risen Christ and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, all of which are said to have occurred here.  It was also on Mount Zion that the birthday of the Christian Church began at Pentecost.  This hill was incorporated into the city during Hezekiah’s expansion in the 8th century BC, and like the rest of the ancient metropolis, Mount Zion was enclosed within the city walls during the New Testament period.  When the Roman’s destroyed the city, the church stood on Mount Zion and the Christians heard the words of the Prophet Isaiah speaking directly to them, “Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.”  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”Isaiah 2:3  “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.  Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”Psalm 48:1-2

At the Mount of Olives, we visited the church of Agony which is also called the Church of All Nations because it was built by worldwide contributions.  We then headed to the place called Via Dolorosa or ‘Way of sorrow’ which is the path Jesus took on the faithful journey to the crucifixion at Calvary (or the place of a skull).  Nearby this is the chapel of Condemnation and Flagellation.  It was the place that brings alive the scene of Pilot washing his hands of the guilt for Jesus’ death.  “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.”Mark 15:15

It was here that Jesus mounted a donkey on Palm Sunday (Bethpage).  It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Dominus Flevit).  It also was here that Jesus agonized in the garden (Gethsemane) and it was here that Jesus ascended into heaven (Ascension).  “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-11

From the tower in Jerusalem city, we walked over the brook of Cedron to the Garden of Gethsemane.  The Garden of Gethsemane with some of the original ancient Olive trees is still there along the lower slopes of the mountain and we remembered Jesus’ prayer before He was crucified.  Some of the olive trees are believed to have heard Jesus’ final words of prayer, “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”Luke 22:42.  It is a fact that when an olive tree is cut down, it always grows back.  The present trees in the Garden are actually the saplings of the original olive trees from the time of Jesus.  Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 

And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.  Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”  He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”Matthew 26:36-39

In

the same courtyard, at the Chapel of Flagellation, which remembers that Jesus was bound and scourged and the crown of thorns was placed on his head as the event was told in the gospel.  “And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”Mark 15:17-18.  The place where it is believed that the house of the priest was located with the shrine house, the dungeons and the pits used by the High Priest to keep Jesus a prisoner after his condemnation by the Sanhedrin.  It was also here that Peter, a disciple of Jesus, denied Him three times in the courtyard of the high priest.  Outside the Chapel is a pavement where Jesus took up the cross and carried it to be crucified as a common criminal.  In the memory of the words written in John 19:5 – “Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” which in Latin is Ecce Homo (A Chapel has been built with this name), it is believed that this is the place where Pilot tried Jesus.  “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.”John 19:13

On this place of Via Dolorosa, the Lithostrotos pavement can also be seen where the Roman soldiers used to gamble the clothes of those condemned to die.  “And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.”Mark 15:24.  Here is also where Jesus first fell while carrying the cross – doing so, meeting this mother.  A lot of pilgrims come and read from the book of Lamentations, “For these things I weep; “My eye, my eye overflows with water; because the comforter, who should restore my life, is far from me.  My children are desolate because the enemy prevailed.”Lamentations 1:16.  Simon of Syrene, a man from northern Africa, was compelled to help Jesus carry the cross.  “Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.”Matthew 27:32

On

the way out of the city through Via Dolorosa, it is sad that a gate of judgment stood there where the authority placed the notice with the convicted criminals – also where Jesus fell for the second time while carrying the cross.  Jesus, knowing the future devastation that awaits those following him, he comforted the women of Jerusalem.  “And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.  But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”Luke 23:27-28.  As Jesus passed through the doorway exiting Via Dolorosa towards Calvary, he fell for the third time.  “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”John 19:17-18“Afterward, they stripped Him of his garments and nailed him to the cross.”Matthew 27:35  Visiting this place, we remembered the sufferance of Jesus and the fulfillment of the prophecy of Simeon when Mary brought the infant Jesus to the temple.  “Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”Luke 2:34-35  “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”John 19:25

All

four gospels narrate how Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans next to two common criminals.  On top of Jesus’ cross was written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew the words, “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”Matthew 27:37

Matthew 27:45-56 describes the Death of Jesus.

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.  About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (meaning “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)  When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”  Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge.  He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.  The rest said, “Now leave him alone.  Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”  And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.  The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”  Many women were there, watching from a distance.  They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”Matthew 27:45-56

Carrying our bibles as we walked through these historical places, the bible became alive and we remembered that after Jesus died on the cross, the disciples and close family came and took the body of Jesus to be buried.  “But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”John 19:33-34

“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.  Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders.  With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.  He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.  Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.  Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.  This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”John 19:38-40

Before

no images were found

the Passover Sabbath, Jesus was taken down from the cross and was laid in the newly cut tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.  A great round stone was rolled over the entrance to seal the tomb (now called the Garden Tomb) which was outside the walls of Jerusalem near the Damascus Gate.  During the century, the structure around the tomb has changed but the inside is the first chamber (where the resurrection took place) remained the same since then.  We held a prayer in that place and thanked God for the power of resurrection that resurrected us from the death of sin and trespasses.  “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.  Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.  Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen!  Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”  And they remembered His words.”Luke 24:1-8

From Jerusalem we went to a village called Emmaus which is 7 miles from Jerusalem.  The village had existed since the Greek period.  It grew to become Nicopolis city during the Byzantine time.  We visited the road which is known as the road to Emmaus where Jesus met two of his disciples.  Some of the ruins are still there.  “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.” Luke 24:13

“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.” Luke 24:30-31

The next day, Narcis Ciuruc and Nicolae drove us to the northern part of Israel where we were able to see the ruins of Caesarea, which was the capital of Judea as well as the seat of Roman procurators including Pontius Pilate.  Apostle Paul in his missionary journey came to this seacoast to travel to Antioch, Ephesus and others.  Apostle Peter baptized the household of a Roman nobleman, Cornelius.  Eusebius; a student of Origin, the disciple of apostles, became the bishop of Caesarea in the 3rd century and was the first Christian historian. “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” Acts 10:1-2

From

there we went to Mount Carmel where Elijah the prophet prayed for rain.  We also visited Elijah’s grottos and his tomb.  “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”  So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”  Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!”  So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”  Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.  Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”1 Kings 18:41-46

From

there, we visited the city of Haifa which is also the world center of the Bahai religion (a monotheistic faith which emerged in the middle of the last century in Iran).  This religion began in Persia and emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind and is a religion of idolatry.  This coastal town has been the home of the Israel navy and is the third largest city in Israel.  We then visited Cana of Galilee (presently called Kefar-Kanna), the place where Jesus performed his first public miracle – changing water into wine for the wedding and partying at Cana.  “Three days later a wedding took place in the city of Cana in Galilee.  Jesus’ mother was there.  Jesus and his disciples had been invited too.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They’re out of wine.”  Jesus said to her, “Why did you come to me?  My time has not yet come.”  5His mother told the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Six stone water jars were there.  They were used for Jewish purification rituals.  Each jar held 18 to 27 gallons.  Jesus told the servers, “Fill the jars with water.”  The servers filled the jars to the brim.  Jesus said to them, “Pour some, and take it to the person in charge.”  The servers did as they were told.  The person in charge tasted the water that had become wine.  He didn’t know where it had come from, although the servers who had poured the water knew.  The person in charge called the groom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the best wine first.  When people are drunk, the host serves cheap wine.  But you have saved the best wine for now.”  Cana in Galilee was the place where Jesus began to perform miracles.  He made his glory public there, and his disciples believed in him.” John 2:1-11

We then passed by the place where Jesus ministered in the villages around the Sea of Galilee where Jesus called his first disciples – Peter, Andrew, James and John.  He also calmed the storm at sea and walked on water.
Located near Tabgha is the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount of which the Beatitudes (Latin for "Blessings) are the most important.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

On a clear day, the Mount of Hermon can be seen from Mount Tabor along the northern border of Israel.


“And at that time we took the land from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were on this side of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir), all the cities of the plain, all Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.” Deuteronomy 3:8-10

Capernaum: 

“So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine.  And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.  Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”  The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”  Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.”  So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.”John 4:46-50

Tabgha“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.  When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late.  Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”  But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat.”  And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”  He said, “Bring them here to Me.”  Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass.  And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.  So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.  Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”Matthew 14:14-21

Dalmanutha:  “So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.  Now those who had eaten were about four thousand.  And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.”Mark 8:-9-10

Magdala:  “Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.  And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.”Luke 8:2

Tiberias: 

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:37-39

Nazareth: 

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” Luke 1:26-31

In the city of Nazareth, we stopped and visited a few churches and also met a Christian family from Russia.  In the afternoon, we went to Mount Tabor the place where the miracle Transfiguration of Christ occurred.
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.  Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear Him!” Matthew 17:1-5

Known

also as the Holy Mountain, the Biblical Psalmist called on it and Mount Hermon to witness the glory of the Lord, “The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name” Psalm 89:12.  When you are on this mountain and think about biblical facts and times, your faith increases.  “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.  And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” Mark 9:2-4

On our way back to Tel Aviv, we stopped at the River Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ.  “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”  But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then he allowed Him.  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17

The next day, Brother Nathanael (a Romanian pastor who relocated to Israel 30 years ago), offered himself to tour us to other sites of Israel.  We first went to Kibbutz, Yad Mordecai which it is on the main road leading northward to Tel Aviv, and are the first settlement to receive the full weight of the invading Egyptian army for six days in the War of Liberation.  It’s military and political significance are profound because this small group of people stood up in a difficult time while Israel was reestablished in 1948.  The meaning of Kibbutz is ‘everybody is a form of organization that everybody works as much as they can and receive as much as he needs.  This form of organization has been born in Israel when the Lord put in the hearts of the Jewish people that were scattered all over the world to come back to their land.  When they came to what now is Israel – famine, malaria and Arabic thieves were throughout the desert.  It was very difficult for these newcomers to survive by themselves especially for most of them being young.  An elderly Jewish woman that was already living there, advised the young newcomers I will be like your mother and I will guide you and direct you on what you need to do.  They all worked and brought the money to her and she organized all their needs and they obeyed her respectfully as if she was their mother.  This form of collaboration called ‘Kibbutz’ still exists throughout Israel to this day.  Jews bring money to the Kibbutz center and give everybody else to their needs.  John the Baptist also preached this form of living.  “So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”  He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” Luke 3:10-11  We also visited Prophet Samuel’s tomb.  “So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 

And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD.  Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 3:19-21  From there we went to Timna Park, one of the most breathtaking places in Israel, a site which combines amazing landscapes with a fascinating historical story.  Here we saw the pillars of Solomon, which are a natural part of the cliff wall in the Judean desert. 

We

also visited the world’s oldest copper mine – a special site in Israel.  Here is an authentic reconstruction of the Holy Tabernacle which was constructed precisely according to the dimensions and colors commanded to the Israelites upon their Exodus from Egypt.  This journey took us on a journey to the depth of the history of the Hebrew people.  It was an unforgettable biblical experience.  Inside the tabernacle is where we also saw the altar, the copper wash stand, the show bread table, the menorah and other items. A messianic guide described to us the importance of the Tabernacle and God’s plan for Salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

Messiah as fulfillment:
The Only way in/back to God (The Way, The Truth, The Life)
The Once and for all time sacrifice to remove sin
The Word that washes and cleanses
The Living Bread that feeds us
The Light of the world to show us the Truth and light our path
The Great Eternal High Priest that represents us by name before the Father
The One who ever lives to intercede for us before the Father
The One whose shed blood has caused the guarding Cherubim to be removed and opened the way permanently back to the Father
The Bread from Heaven
The (Resurrected) Messiah chosen/sent by God
The King who came from Heaven and shed His Blood to Purify us; Who is Pure and has Shed his Blood; returned to Heaven and sits on the Throne as King of ALL.

On

our way to Timna Park we visited Abraham’s well in Bathsheba.  About 3,700 years ago, the Patriarch Abraham and his family wandered from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan, and in the land of Canaan, wandered from the north to Canaan’s southern border in the Negev desert.  “Now the LORD had said to Abram:  “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.  And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan.  So they came to the land of Canaan.  Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh.  And the Canaanites were then in the land.  Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.  And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.  So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.” Genesis 12:1-9

We

also visited the Ramon Crater which contains geological formations unparalleled elsewhere in the world.  We drove by the Moab Mountains to the Eilat desert, located in the southernmost tip of Israel and occupies only 30 miles of the coast.  King Solomon’s fleet sailed out of ‘Ezion-geber which is by Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea’ to bring back 420 talents of gold from Ofir, thought to be either Ethiopia or India (1 Kings 9).  In Eilat we visited the underwater Red Sea observatory.   This brought us to the aquatic world with all kinds of fish and corals.

The next day, we visited Jericho where we visited the oldest walled city in the world.  Jericho was ancient when Joshua marched the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.  According to book of Deutoronomy, the Israel people refused to enter the Promised Land at first.  “Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole.  They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs.  The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there.  And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. 

Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.  Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us.  It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.  Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.  The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”  Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:23-33

So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.  And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt!  Or if only we had died in this wilderness!  Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims?  Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”  So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”  Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.  But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.  If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’  Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us.  Do not fear them.”  And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.  Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.  Then the LORD said to Moses:  “How long will these people reject Me?  And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?  I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”  And Moses said to the LORD:  “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land.  They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.  Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the LORD was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”  Then the LORD said:  “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD – because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.  But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.  Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” Numbers 14:1-25

Due to the fact that they disobeyed God even after witnessing miracles and signs from God and that they people cried on that night (Numbers 14:1), God caused a motive for the people of Israel to cry from generation to generation onward.  That day was the 9th on the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar.  “It is the month of the "low point" of the Jewish calendar (the 9th of Av, the day of the sin of the spies and the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem) as well as the month of the "high point" of the Jewish calender (the 15th of Av–"there are no happier days for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom HaKippurim" (Mishnah Ta'anit 26:)–the day of finding one's predestined soul-mate).” www.Inner.org

For the people of Israel, this day was the beginning of pains.  The Holocaust also began on that day and month.  The wailing wall is a place of weeping even to this day.  It is for us to learn that we should NEVER complain and disobey God’s will in unbelief or fear.  It was also here that Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus.  “Now they came to Jericho.  As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. 

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Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer.  Rise, He is calling you.”  And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.  So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”  And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” Mark 10:46-52

It is said that Jesus was tempted on Jericho’s mountain – the Mount of Temptation where the Greek Monastery is now built.  “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2  It was here that the tax collector, Zacchaeus – touched by Jesus’ spirit, gave half of his belongings to the poor.

From

there we went to Qumran, 25 miles southeast of Jerusalem and 10 kilometers south of Jericho, by the Dead Sea.  According to the words in the gospel of Luke, it is said that John the Baptist grew up in this desert.  Copies of almost eight hundred manuscripts were found in the caves – from tiny fragments to twelve almost complete scrolls.  One spring morning of 1947, a Bedouin boy went into a cave looking for forgotten treasure – and came out with rolls of rotting leather.  He had no idea that these Dead Sea Scrolls would provide the world’s greatest insight into the life of ancient Israel.  The Bedouins were descendants of various migrating tribes from the horn of Africa and Arabic peninsulas.  They were merchants bringing myrrh, oil, and other fragrances from distant horizons.  The scrolls include the oldest copies of the Old Testament ever found showing that the Bible we know today is almost identical to the one studied around the time of Jesus Christ.  They contain all the books of the Old Testament except the book of Esther.  Some of the texts are commentaries that made the Bible relevant to their own days.  The Dead Sea contains no life and is the lowest point below sea level.  We swam and enjoyed the salty water and mud.  On our way back to Jerusalem, we passed by Shen and Mizpah.  “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”” 1 Samuel 7:12  Not far from the Dead Sea is En Gedi where David hid from King Saul.  Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.” 1 Samuel 23:29

We also had an attitude of reverence towards God for what he has done for us.  The next day we attended a church service in Tel Aviv because Brother Nathanael wished for us to go to home town where he was running a messianic church.  We decided to split the group as follows:  Toader Stirbu, Cornel Buliga and I went to Tel Aviv Church and ministered to the Romanian brothers and sisters that there are settled in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas.  The Lord moved mightily and prophetic words from God were delivered to them.  One brother was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence with speaking in other tongues.  Other brothers were also moved by the Holy Spirit and we all experienced a great joy.  Where God is present, there is great joy.  The next day after, we went to brother Nathanael’s church where Sorin, Edgar and Pavel Sav ministered.  In this church, we also ministered to the messianic group in this church.  This church has experienced a mighty move of God and their children were very rooted in the word of God.  Most of the young men experienced God’s mighty protection during their military service in the war with Gaza.  Testimonies of God were given by those that were released from the army.  This gave them a confidence in God.  A messianic Christian girl attends bible competitions and won the first prize in all of Israel among her peers.  Another girl raised the children of a high official and gained their favor because of her Christian testimony.  Later in the evening, we came back to Tel Aviv and we held a prayer meeting until midnight.

Towards

the end of our trip, we went back to Jerusalem to meet Pastor Eugen Mitrea who runs a Romanian church in Jerusalem.  Brother Nathanael drove us to Jerusalem and on our way there we passed by the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath.  So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod.  If you will take that, take it.  For there is no other except that one here.”  And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.” 1 Samuel 21:9

“Then

Saul dressed David in his own tunic.  He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.  “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.”  So he took them off.  Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:38-40

In

Jerusalem, we met Pastor Eugen and a group of messianic brothers from Ephraim invited us into their home to dinner with their families.  After dinner, brother Gherson from Ephraim and his wife, Ana Liga, drove us to Tel Aviv Church where we held a late night prayer.  On our way to Tel Aviv, we stopped by Esthaol where Samson was moved by the Spirit of God.  “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Judges 13:25  After midnight we went to Nicu Cirdei’s family where we rested for an hour and they drove to the airport.  In addition to touring this beautiful lane, we had great services in the churches.  We believed this trip released a miraculous power of the Holy Spirit that will provoke the people we met – Jew or Romania, Arabic, or other ethnicity, to increase their faith in the living Messiah who has come to seek and save the lost and have life more abundantly.  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10  Jewish, Muslim and other people need to see a demonstration of God’s power before they believe that God Is, that He loves and cares for them and that His Son – Jesus Christ – had already come and is getting ready to return!  We believe that God is making everything possible in these last days to reach out to His chosen people – the Jewish – because of the promises He made to their father to bring them into right relationship with   Him.  What a blessed trip we had that refreshed our knowledge of the Bible.  May God receive all the.