by Tim Moore, Assistant Evangelist
(Editor's note: Tim Moore is the new Assistant Evangelist for Lamb & Lion. He is a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve and makes his living as a commercial pilot. He teaches and preaches Bible prophecy for Lamb & Lion on the weekends. He also leads pilgrimages to Israel for the ministry.)
That fervent aspiration, "Next year in Jerusalem!" has echoed from the lips of every Jew for over 19 centuries as the hopeful declaration and the closing prayer of every Passover meal. Over the last 100 years, more and more Jews have taken advantage of modern transportation to return to their Promised Homeland in increasing numbers – both as permanent immigrants and as glad-hearted guests.
For many years, most Christians had little inclination and limited opportunity to journey to the Promised Land. But as more and more Christians have become serious students of Scripture, they realize that God has not forgotten His promises to His Chosen People or the Promised Land. And, they are drawn to the ancient land that God calls the "Holy Land" (Zechariah 2:12).
So, why should a 21st century disciple of Jesus Christ consider a pilgrimage to modern-day Israel? I can think of several reasons. First, there is no substitute for first-hand experience – literally "walking where Jesus walked." Visiting the places where Jesus ministered offers insight and understanding of the geography and terrain as well as the sweep of God's revelation in a chosen place to a chosen people. History – or His story – becomes clearer when you see how ancient promises were fulfilled in the Promised Land. And, the continuing faithfulness of God among the Jewish people bears testimony to God's goodness and fulfillment of prophecy before our very eyes. Also, our Lamb & Lion pilgrimages emphasize the connection between ancient history from Scripture, fulfilled prophecy in modern times, and the culmination of history and prophecy in the soon return of Jesus Christ.
In summary, a Christian visiting modern Israel receives:
1) Illumination and understanding. While there, you will –
- Stand on Mount Carmel and hear the words of Elijah before he kills the prophets of Baal: "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow Him; but if Baal is God follow him" (1 Kings 18:21).
- Walk among the rubble of the cities of Capernaum and Korazin and hear Jesus say "Woe to you" because they did not repent (Matthew 11:20-21).
- Experience the scorching heat of the Ein Gedi oasis at the Dead Sea and truly understand why David wrote, "As a deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1).
- Stand atop the fortress of Megiddo and look over the Valley of Jezreel (Armageddon) where the armies will gather in the end times to come against the Lord and will be destroyed (Joel 3:14).
- Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus asked the Father "If you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but your will be done" (Luke 22:42).
- Walk the very streets where Jesus carried the cross on His way to fulfill the Father's will (John 19:17).
- Stand before the Hill of the Skull and then enter into the empty tomb where many believe the body of Jesus was buried (John 19:17 and Matthew 28:5-6).
Can you see it? Can you hear it?
2) Motivation to dig even deeper in their personal study of the Word. If you are a student of Scripture but have never visited the Promised Land where Jesus lived and ministered, I can promise that your faith will be strengthened, your joy will be heightened, and your anticipation of the Lord's soon return will be set aflame.
3) Connectivity with other like-minded believers who share the experience and provide mutual encouragement. Nothing can compare to the joy and peace and understanding one receives when walking with, talking with, and worshiping with brothers and sisters in Christ in the place where the Word of God was, is being, and will be fulfilled.
4) A greater love for the Jewish people – not because of their inherent worth or merit (any more than any other people), but because God is obviously honoring His promise to regather and bless His Chosen People in these "end days."
5) The ability and desire to come back home and share your experiences, insights and renewed passion with your church, family and friends. The return on your investment will overflow into the lives of people all around you.
6) A heightened sense of Jesus' soon return. You will peer intently up into the sky on the Mount of Olives imagining the sight the disciples saw when Jesus was taken up before them and then hear the words of two men say, "Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Then, you will look down on the Eastern Gate of the city where Jesus will soon enter to reign as King of kings (Acts 1:10-11 and Psalm 24:7-10).
Some folks express a degree of reluctance or concern about visiting the Holy Land because of a perception that Israel is "dangerous." So, is it safe to visit Israel? Having been to Israel several times, and traveled throughout the United States and much of the world (including some very dangerous places), I can tell you that I feel safer in Israel than most American cities. Even the most hesitant pilgrims quickly learn that their fears were overwrought. Furthermore, we do not go into the areas of unrest, like the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.
Is it worth the expense and investment of time? While not inexpensive, the cost is all-inclusive and is very reasonable for a pilgrimage of this quality. For this "once in a lifetime" experience, it is truly a bargain. No one who has gone to Israel with Lamb & Lion has regretted this investment in their increased understanding of and appreciation for what they have read in Scripture for years.
I can assure that you will be blessed and that you will return home praising the Lord for impressing on your heart to go. I can also promise that you will come back excited about His Second Coming and crying, "Maranatha, Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"
Our next pilgrimage is planned for early June. Come with us. Make Aliyah (Hebrew for "going up") to Israel. Gaze upon the hills and valleys and rivers and streams that Jesus saw. See with your eyes and hear with your heart the wonders of the great "I AM"! Stand where He will set His foot once again when He steps out of heaven to reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Lay claim to the prophecy of Isaiah when he said:
...And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths..." (Isaiah 2:3).
So, instead of praying, "Next year in Jerusalem," join us this year. You'll be glad you did!
Join Our Next Pilgrimage!
Our next pilgrimage is scheduled for June 6-17, 2015. The air carrier will be Lufthansa, which means we will spend the night in Frankfurt on our return journey to the States. In Israel, we will spend two nights in Tel Aviv, two nights in Tiberias (on the Sea of Galilee), and five nights in Jerusalem.
The hosts will be Tim Moore and George Collich. George is our senior staff member. Both have been to Israel many times, and both have been trained by Dr. Reagan to serve as pilgrimage hosts. Every aspect of the pilgrimage has been planned by Dr. Reagan. If you are interested in this pilgrimage, contact us and we will send you a detailed brochure, or register online.