Tag Archive: JERUSALEM


ON the occasion of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, I decided to re-post something on the subject. This post is five years old, but not at all out of date. In fact, what is covered here will become increasingly relevant to all of us in the coming months and years…

Take a look at the map above. If you can spot tiny Israel at all, dwarfed by all the surrounding lands governed by Muslims, you will see how disproportionate is the opposition to its existence. I say “existence” because sometimes Islamic leaders speak of their determination that Israel should be “driven into the sea”, or “wiped off the map” To locate Israel in this map, refer to the one at the bottom.

In my country of origin, the United Kingdom, it’s become fashionable to blame all the problems of the Middle East on Israel. Neo-Nazis and other anti-Semites even go so far as claiming that all the political and economic problems of the world are caused by Zionists and Jews. I’ve heard some of them say it myself – perhaps you have too.  Anti Semitism did not die with Hitler, it just took a back seat for a time.

Here’s a rather enlightening quote from the Hadith, a collection of phrases attributed to Mohammed:

The day of resurrection will not arrive until the Muslims make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew hiding behind a rock and  tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’ (Sahih Bukhari 004.52.176)

The Koran does not contradict the Hadith:

Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends (Surah 5:51).

And for our liberal friends, who generally side solidly against Israel, here’s some rather politically incorrect advice from the Koran which seems to escape your attention:

Men take authority over women…As for those who are disobedient, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them (Surah 4:34).

Of course, anti Semitic views are not confined to Muslims or to the United Kingdom – they are worldwide. It’s fashionable for the news media, for colleges and universities, for many politicians, celebrities, and the people on the street to take sides against Israel. The United Nations regularly condemns Israel for defending itself, and wishes to diminish its power in any way possible.

I don’t intend to go through the history of Israel, Islam and the Middle East here, except to remind you (or perhaps you’ve never been told) that  Israel was last removed from its land by the legions of the Roman Empire under Titus, in the first century AD. Josephus estimated that the Romans killed over one million people in the process, ploughing Jerusalem into the ground, and then renaming the land “Palestina” as a final insult to the Jewish race, since Israel’s nearby enemies for centuries had included the Philistines.

There has never been a nation called “Palestine”, and no other nation has had Jerusalem as its capital except Israel. Israelites wandered the earth since the first century, being hounded and persecuted wherever they went. The last significant persecutions, perpetrated by Hitler and Stalin, caused Israelites to seek their own homeland after WWII, in the hope of avoiding any future genocidal attempts against them. Fulfilling Bible prophecies, they founded the new nation of Israel, and have been growing in population and economic success. People of Jewish descent have been moving into the land from all over the world.

The terrible history of the Jewish nation, struggling for its very survival, as well as its future, was prophecied well before and during the time of Christ. In fact, the Bible speaks clearly of events still to come which will affect the whole world, centred in the nation of Israel.

The current “peace process” calls for the division of Jerusalem, and for Israel to become even smaller, so that it would be shrunk to nine miles wide at its narrowest point, and fifty at its widest. A space this small would be impossible to defend agoinst the many surrounding nations committed to Israel’s destrution. Islam now (and not in the past) claims that Jerusalem and the land “occupied” by Israel belongs to them.  Jerusalem was not mentioned once in the Koran, but is mentioned 800 times in the Bible. Jews established Jerusalem as their capital three thousand years ago.

This opposition has been prophecied in the Bible. Not only so , but the Bible speaks of a time, just before the return of Christ to the earth, when Israel’s neighbors, with the help of “all nations of the earth” will make one last almighty effort to remove the Jewish state, particularly Jerusalem and Judah, currently known as the West Bank. The number of similarities between Bible prophecy about Israel in the “Last Days”, and the current situation in the Middle East, along with world wide anti-Semitism, is amazing. You can see some of the details below.

Please understand that I am not saying that all Israelis are good and all Moslems are evil. Many Moslems are good people, and many have found faith in Christ, despite the threat of persecution from radicals among their own people. Many Israelis are ungodly people, and the judgments of the Last Days are aimed at them as much as anyone.

I’m writing today to suggest that you choose sides wisely in your discussions and your prayers, in the coming Middle East peace or security arrangement which will not last, and in the coming battles and wars between Israel and its neighbors. Choose wisely before and during the war of all wars between Israel and all the nations of the world (“all” implies that even the US will side with the Muslims, or just step aside). Choose wisely, because God has said to Israel, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you” (Genesis 12:1-3). Choose wisely, because whoever touches Israel touches the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). Choose wisely, because in the day that “all nations” attack Israel, and forcefully divide Jerusalem, The Son of God Himself will show up to join in the fight (Zechariah chapters 14 and 12). At that time he will not be meek and mild, but the roaring lion of Judah:

I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it…Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…(Zechariah 14: 2-4).

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, the earth and sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel (Joel 3:14-16).

In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land (Joel 3:1-2).

Notice the words “my land” in that last verse. The land belongs to God, and he can lease it out to whoever He wants. Notice also the words “my people”.

ISRAEL IN SCRIPTURE – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE:

THE LAND OF CANAAN WAS PROMISED TO ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANTS

Genesis 12: 1-3

Genesis 13: 14 – 17

Genesis 17: 8

THROUGH THE LINEAGE OF ISAAC, NOT ISHMAEL:

Genesis 17: 18 – 21

THE PROMISE IS IRREVOCABLE – IT CANNOT BE CANCELLED:

Jeremiah 31: 35 -37

Romans 11:25– 32

Isaiah 49: 14 – 18

EXILE WAS A PART OF GOD’S JUDGEMENT ON ISRAEL’S REBELLION:

Deuteronomy 28, especially v.63 – 65

THE FIRST COMPLETE EXILE WAS TO BABYLON:

Daniel 1: 1 – 2

Ezra 5: 11 – 16

THE SECOND WAS TO ALL NATIONS:

Ezekiel 36: 16 – 19

Ezekiel 36: 3

Matthew 23: 33 – 39

THE SECOND COMPLETE EXILE WAS TO BE THE LAST:

Isaiah 11:10– 16

Ezekiel 37: 21 – 25

ISRAEL WOULD BE REGATHERED TO THEIR LAND BEFORE THE TRIBULATION:

Ezekiel 38: 8 – 9

Ezekiel 39 21 – 29

Zephaniah 2: 1 – 3

THE WASTE-LAND WOULD THEN BECOME FERTILE AND DENSELY POPULATED:

Ezekiel 36: 8 – 12

Ezekiel 36: 30 – 38

Joel 3:1-2

ISRAEL’S ENEMIES WOULD SAY THAT THE LAND WAS THEIRS:

Ezekiel 36: 1 – 7

Ezekiel 35

ISRAEL WOULD NOT BE REPENTANT UNTIL JESUS’ RETURN:

Ezekiel 36: 22, 23, 31, 32

Ezekiel 39: 21 – 29

Romans 11:25– 27

JERUSALEM WOULD BE A ‘CUP OF TREMBLING’ FOR THE NATIONS:

Zechariah 12: 1 – 10, especially 2, 3

Zechariah 14: 1 – 19, especially 2, 3

Matthew 24: 14 – 22

Revelation 16: 1 – 2

THE SO-CALLED ‘OCCUPIED WEST BANK’ IS ‘JUDAH’ IN PROPHECY:

Zechariah 12, verses 2, 6 and 7.

Zechariah 14:14

Joel 3:1

Matthew 24:15-22

JERUSALEM AND JUDAH (THE WEST BANK) WOULD BE THE DISPUTED TERRITORIES

Zechariah 12: 2-3

THEY WILL BE ATTACKED BY THE WORLD COMMUNITY, AND JERUSALEM WILL BE DIVIDED FORCEFULLY:

Zechariah 12:2, 3

Zechariah 14:2-9

THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL TODAY WERE PROPHECIED 2500 YEARS AGO

All the nations around Israel: Ezekiel 36 – 39; Zechariah 12:2

Russia: Ezekiel 38

Iran (called Persia until 20th C): Ezekiel 38

Turkey(then Gomer) Ezekiel 38

All nations of the world – see below

ALL NATIONS WILL BE ANGRY WITH THE BIBLICAL GOD AS WELL AS ISRAEL:

Revelation 19 – 19

Psalm 2: 1 – 6

Revelation 11: 18

ALL NATIONS WILL ATTACK ISRAEL (PERHAPS TWO SEPARATE ATTACKS):

Joel 3, especially verses 1 – 2

Zechariah 12:3

Zechariah 14:2

Revelation 16: 14 – 16

Ezekiel 38: 1 – 9

THE ATTACKS WOULD BE SOON AFTER ISRAEL’S REGATHERING TO THE LAND:

Ezekiel 38:7-9

Ezekiel 39:25-27

BUT FIRST, THERE WILL BE A TEMPORARY ‘PEACE’ OR SECURITY PACT INVOLVING ISRAEL:

1 Thessalonians 5: 1 – 4

Daniel 8: 25 (esp. see the KJV)

Daniel 9: 27

Ezekiel 38: 14 – 16

THERE WILL BE A JEWISH TEMPLE OR WORSHIP CENTER BUILT AT ABOUT THIS TIME IN J:

Daniel 9: 27

Revelation 11: 1 – 2

2 Thessalonians 2: 4 – 6

Matthew 24: 15

PEOPLE WILL BE LIVING ‘NORMALLY‘ AND UNSUSPECTING, UNTIL THE TRIBULATION STARTS:

Matthew 24: 37 – 39

Ezekiel 39: 6

GOD WILL DEFEND ISRAEL AGAINST ITS ATTACKERS:

Zechariah 14: 2 – 5 and verse 12

Zechariah 12: 9

Isaiah 34:1 – 10

Joel 3: 16

Ezekiel 38: 17 – 23

Matthew 24: 30

THIS WILL BE THE END OF HUMAN RULE OVER THE EARTH:

Revelation 19 and 20

Daniel 2: 42 – 45

Isaiah 34: 1 – 4

Zechariah 14: 9 and v 16 – 19

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Those of you who hate politics, who hate a certain current president of the United States, who hate the idea of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and who recoil at the rantings of some obscure, half-mad Christian, be warned that you’ll probably hate this post too!

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Fifty years ago or so the “grandfather of Bible prophecy”, Hal Lindsey, wrote his book “The Late Great Planet Earth”, and became one of the men who led many millions of people to conclude that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ was just around the corner. I was one of them (though not fifty years past). The “stage was being set” for the grand finale of history, they said, and continue to say.

However, half a century later here we all are on the same old planet earth, and we may well ask ourselves if what some of us were led to believe either wasn’t true, or at best that it was rather premature. After all, it was many hundreds of years ago in northern Europe that people were saying, with the dark dawn of the Black Death, the threat of the Turks from the East, and the onslaught of the Pope’s church against non-conformist believers, that the end of the ages was surely upon them and the return of Christ could not be far off. They were longing for his appearing, but they were wrong about a few things. Are we similarly wrong?

Past prognosticators considered the people of ancient Israel to be guilty of murdering the Messiah, and believed that as judgment Israel had been judged and destroyed forever, in the first century destruction of Jerusalem and Israel by the Roman armies. Consequently they totally missed the fact that a literal nation of Israel must have a central role in last days events. Prophetic references to “Israel” and “Zion”, they were convinced, were addressing the Church. They didn’t understand that the nation had to be reborn and once again in possession-a very tentative and hotly contested possession-of the physical city of Jerusalem: present-day realities.

REMAINS OF THE SECOND JEWISH TEMPLE, WITH ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK BEHIND IT

This leads me, indirectly, to our modern day political scene. I say “political scene”, but it really isn’t accurate to refer to it solely as a political scene: there’s an additional dimension to it all. What we see appears to be political, but what’s behind it, driving it all along, is spiritual.

There are some of us out here who were wondering during the last US administration’s two terms whether we would all be led within a year or so into that final showdown of the ages as spoken of in the Bible. Truth was being thrown to the ground; sacred institutions were being trashed, so that schools were being ordered to open restrooms to anyone deciding to belong to a different gender for the day; Israel was being shunned, shamed and threatened, and pressured into handing over Jerusalem. Power was being centralized, nationally and internationally, and we were being surreptitiously ushered into a global society.

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A certain religion wishing, one way or another, to convert the world, was being favored and facilitated, and the faith of our founding fathers was being muzzled and demoted. But with the coming of a new administration in recent months, has the West seen a reprieve, a turnaround and a backing away from the precipice and from the end of the world as we knew it?

I would love to say that yes, we in the West are returning to our right minds: we’ll be keeping our own identity, our own traditional understanding of faith, and our own God’s view of right and wrong. Perhaps we will hang onto it all, for a time-I hope so. I pray so. It may even be that the US will dissent from the foretold international assault on Israel, but scripture says that “all nations” will descend on Jerusalem.

“None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 12:10).

However, we see daily in our “news” reports the desparate efforts going on to destroy or emasculate, in any way possible, the new administration, and most particularly, the new President. Even before he was elected; even when he’d barely started campaigning for nomination, his opponents the world over were accusing him of just about everything negative and hateful that they could cook up. What he didn’t say they attributed to his words and actions anyway, and what he did say was ignored, distorted or edited for the most damaging effect possible. Among the accusations was the idea that he would start a nuclear war as soon as he possibly could.

Don’t look now, but it hasn’t begun yet. They said the same about Reagan thirty years ago, because they hated him equally. I was one of those partially convinced at the time that Reagan was an evil, rich warmonger who was going to start a nuclear war against those poor peace-loving communists.

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Trump was being viciously attacked by media people, sports commentators, college professors, so-called “comedians” and pro-abortion advocates right out of the gate. He’s hated. And it’s not just he who’s hated, it’s all those who voted for him. There’s an inexplicably rabid, unreasonable and frantic movement against all that he stands for-even before his opponents know what it is he stands for. Why? What’s the goal? What will be the outcome?

And what, you may be wondering, does hatred for Trump have to do with last days things? To begin my answer, no I don’t think he’s going to start Armageddon, and no, I don’t think he’s the antichrist. What’s most telling is the vehement opposition to him and his supporters. Trump will not be around for long: hatred for what he stands for will. What will happen when they eventually-one way or another-get rid of Trump? I’ll tell you what I think.

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Considering the world’s obsession with reborn Israel’s possession of Jerusalem, and its determination to divide it as the Bible predicts, Bible prophecy must really be on the verge of fulfillment, be it a few years or decades. I don’t see how it can be coincidence. The world hasn’t changed its direction permanently with the election of Mr. Trump: some trends have just been slowed or postponed. As surely as the pendulum of politics swings, and as surely as Bible prophecy of the first coming of the Christ was fulfilled, so the march towards the world’s destiny will continue, and the second coming is certain. I’m no prophet, and I would never say “The Lord told me”, but I can still tell you what to expect…

The push for globalism and the end of the values of the West will return with a vengeance, with growing support among those who believe we should have no borders. The one-world crowd will almost get their way:

“All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast…” (Revelation 13:8).

The slide into moral lawlessness will surge:

“Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts” Revelation 9:21)

Anti-Christian sentiment, only being held in check now by the Holy Spirit and a few law-respecting leaders of the world, will vent itself freely:

He opened his mouth to blaspheme God ,and to slander his name…He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them (Revelation 9:6-7).

Pressure upon Israel to hand over Jerusalem to enemies of all that the West once stood for-at work today even in the West-will turn into action:

I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured…Half of the city will go into exile…Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations…(Zechariah 14:2-3).

And in that last phrase is the good news: the good news that those who are intent on trashing all godly institutions, and all true faith, and all right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will, just as they think they have won, be stopped in their tracks…dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JERUSALEM’S FINAL STATUS

The final status of Jerusalem is certain. No “talks” are going to decide it. There will be no “agreement”. There will be no successful “peace” plan from President Obama, Secretary Kerry or anyone else, no matter how devious or sincere, and there will be no lasting solution presented by the United Nations…

THE WESTERN WALL

Oh, there will be plenty more talks, schemes, agreements and consultations, and there’ll be copious amounts of cajoling, pressure, persuasion, threats, rhetoric and argument. perhaps for years or decades more. There’s even going to be at least one more war. But all the promises, schemes, arguments and blood-letting will amount to nothing. No-one can change the ultimate outcome: the real final status of Jerusalem is fixed and unalterable.

THE TRAP IS SPRUNG

It’s fascinating to see an unbelieving world which sneers at the Bible, work so hard to fulfill Bible prophesies. Two and a half thousand years ago Zechariah, Joel and Ezekiel wrote that God would set a trap for the rebellious nature of man. It will cement the god-haters in their chosen destiny. Even Jesus referred to last-days events as a trap:

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth (Luke 21:34-35).

The trap specifically spoken of by the prophets would be the world’s own obsession with Jerusalem, and with a determination to wrest the city from its rightful tenants. Jerusalem would become an itch the world just couldn’t resist scratching. The nations now anxious to divide Jerusalem and Israel ostensibly in the name of “peace”-but really in a deep abiding hatred for the Jew-will eventually resort to force:

I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished. And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city (Zechariah 14:2 KJ21).

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem (12:2).

THE WORLD’S OBSESSION WILL BE ITS DOWNFALL…

And in that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who try to move it will injure themselves (12:3 NIV).

Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle (14:3).

On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem (12:9).

REMAINS OF THE SECOND JEWISH TEMPLE, WITH ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK BEHIND IT

THE REAL FINAL STATUS

The final status of Jerusalem will begin to unfold when it’s re-claimed by the God who owns it, and who calls it “my land”. It belongs to Him: not to the UN, not to the Palestinians and not even to the Israelis:

In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land” (Joel 3:1-2).

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Ultimately, Jerusalem will be replaced and superseded by the new, eternal city:

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:2 NIV).

In the New Jerusalem, God will dwell with people from throughout history who’ve loved him, and who didn’t jump into his trap at the climax of history. If you want to be one of those people, and don’t know how to get to this celestial Jerusalem, please read my post, “WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST?”

https://nickyfisher.com/2013/08/13/what-is-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ-2/

 

 

 

UN RESOLUTION: REVELATION?

Unnoticed by most people, the world may have just taken one more step towards the conflagration to end all conflagrations, spoken of in the book of Revelation and other Bible books…

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Rejecting a decades-old US tradition of defending Israel at the UN, the Obama administration refused to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which insists that Jewish settlements, including those in “East” Jerusalem, are occupied territories. It includes in its “occupied” status the Jewish holy place known as the “Western Wall”, or “Wailing Wall”- part of the retaining wall of the second Jewish temple mount destroyed by Roman armies in the first century. I’ll discuss the prophetic significance of this in a minute.

This resolution increases the perpetual threat to the existence of Israel and to seven million people living in the land, and to any hope of peace in the middle east. It takes away from Israel the bargaining power it had for a genuine agreement. In this resolution the Palestinians have made huge gains in principle without offering anything in return-such as peace. Why would you make peace if you can get your own way through forced political arrangements?

My wife and I spent six months in Israel. When one day we walked from where we were staying to the coast, we were told that we had just walked what was the width of Israel before the six-day war. How do you defend a nation nine miles wide at its narrowest point and seventy at its widest-particularly in modern warfare-against numerous enemies, the leader of which may soon be a nuclear powered Iran?

The intention, on the face of all such resolutions and campaigning, is to give the Palestinians a state. The UN can’t give the state back to Palestinians, because there never has been one. The concept of a Palestinian state has been accepted by Israelis, but they require reciprocal sacrifices and assurances of safety-things which can only be arranged by negotiation and not by one-sided international resolutions. This intended state includes the eastern half of Jerusalem and what the Bible calls Judea and Samaria, or what is today called the West Bank. How often has the UN insisted upon dividing a city?

THE WESTERN WALL

Israel existed in what is now called “Palestine” for thousands of years before Islam came along. I’ve discussed the true and provable history of Jerusalem and Israel in previous posts*. The Romans removed Jews from their land, demolishing Jerusalem in 70AD, and re-naming the land “Palestine” after Israel’s long-term enemies the Philistines. Titus’ arch, still in Rome today, commemorates the Roman massacre, clearly demonstrating Jewish artifacts from the temple mount being carted off as booty.

So how does this resolution bring Revelation closer into view?

One of the most significant Bible prophesies not yet fulfilled concerns an international attack on Jerusalem leading to a forceful (but ultimately unsuccessful) division of Jerusalem! The invasion forces will meet a sorry end:

I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it…Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives…” (Zechariah 14: 2-4).

Israel became a nation once more-via the United Nations-after almost nineteen hundred years in 1948, and after Hitler had attempted to wipe out all Jews on earth. Note the reference to “all nations” again:

In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land(Joel 3:1-2).

Notice the words “my land” in that last verse. The land of “Palestine” belongs to God, and he can lease it out to whoever He wants…without any reference to the United Nations.

Relevant past posts:

https://nickyfisher.com/2011/08/31/israel-the-main-sign-of-the-return-of-jesus-christ/ https://nickyfisher.com/2012/04/20/jerusalem-and-you-choose-wisely/

Emaciated in the Negev

At the age of twenty-six I travelled, with the girl who is now my wife, to Israel. We were there for six months, and every moment of the trip, from the flight from London on El Al to the return home on the “Magic Bus” was an incredible, spiritual time.

(ASOK, “Cabal”)

For the first three months we stayed on a Kibbutz called “Ramat Hakovesh”-a commune-north of Tel Aviv, and did what was loosely called “work” for about five hours a day. It really wasn’t work at all, and the locals made us feel very much at home, as did all the other young people staying there, who were from many different countries around the world.

From the Kibbutz we were able to travel around the country by bus and on foot. The most memorable times were our stays in Jerusalem and our exploration of the Old City, the Western Wall, the markets and the empty tomb. Equally amazing was our tour of Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea, and yes, you can float on it without swimming. On Christmas Eve we went to Manger Square in Bethlehem, and then, walking back to “Ramat Rachel”, the Kibbutz we were staying at for the weekend just outside of Jerusalem, we found a quiet piece of desert and slept under the stars.

No less wonderful was our time in Galilee. For a few days we walked around the lake as far north as Capernaum. For one of those nights we slept on a gravelly Galilee beach under a log. We spent another night in a cave on the hill-side, burning a small fire of sticks and dry grass for an hour or two, and later listening to the bats flying in and out of the cave above us.

The remaining three months were spent on a Moshav called “En Yahav”- a community of small privately owned farms in the desert several miles south of the Dead Sea.  For our keep we had to work hard-and as time went on we were working in the heat of late Spring, but our time off was so thrilling it really was worth all the work. From the Moshav we explored the desert to the west of us (to the east was the border with Jordan), and took a bus down to Eilat on the Red Sea.  In Eilat we slept on the beach, cooked in the sun, and watched the tourists. The photo (top) is of me, emaciated through hard work and not much food during our time on the Moshav, wandering around in the desert west of our farm. My wife and I were the only people for many miles around.

Leaving the Moshav, we decided to return to the UK an alternative way. We’d learned that we could get a dirt-cheap cruise on the Mediterranean to Athens by sleeping on top deck. This provided us with opportunities to stop at Cyprus and a couple of islands closer to Greece. After a week in Athens we took a bus through Europe, all the way to London.

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Among the lessons I learned from my time in Israel was the fact that Israel is a tiny nation which needs to be constantly alert for attacks from enemies.  But much more significant was the experience of travelling in the footsteps of Jesus, in the very places he had trodden and taught. Tourists to Israel say that the trip makes their faith come alive. I would agree with that, and I’m very thankful to my God for the experience, and to the people of Israel who made us feel very welcome and at home.

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