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  • Nazareth, Israel: Mt. Precipice, Jesus Hometown, Christ Rejected, Attempt to Throw Jesus off Cliff |

    Nazareth: Mount Precipice Nazareth: Mount Precipice Location 1. Nazareth is in the northern part of Israel in the lower Galilee area. 2. It’s about 15 miles (24 km.) southwest of the Sea of Galilee, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km.) southwest of Cana, and about 23 miles (37 km.) inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Historical Background 1. Nazareth had an estimated population of around 300 during the time of Christ. 2. It’s a famous town because this is where the Angel Gabriel announced the miraculous virgin birth to Mary. 3. Nazareth is also the place where Jesus grew up. 4. It was a small farming town where everyone knew each other. 5. For some reason, Nazareth had a bad reputation (John 1:43-46). Places of Interest 1. Nazareth ​ 2. Hometown of Jesus ​ 3. Mt. Precipice ​ 4. Church of the Annunciation (Basilica of the Annunciation) ​ 5. Mary’s Well ​ 6. Greek Catholic Church ​ 7. Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation ​ 8. St. Joseph’s Church ​ 9. Mensa Christi Church ​ 10. Greek Catholic Church ​ 11. Synagogue Church Now, this synagogue where Jesus preached here in Nazareth still exists to this day. According to Christian tradition, the church is built on the ruins of the ancient Nazareth synagogue where Jesus studied, prayed, and then preached at in His visit here when they attempted to throw Him off the cliff. This synagogue is simply named today, “the Synagogue Church.” Ancient tradition maintains that this Synagogue Church stands atop the synagogue where Jesus worshipped as a young man. In fact, in A.D. 570, the anonymous northern Italian “Pilgrim of Piacenza” — the last western Christian writer to visit Palestine before the Muslim conquest that occurred less than a century later — claimed to have seen not only the ancient synagogue itself but the original Scriptures from which Jesus had read, as well as the bench on which Jesus used to sit as a young man. During Byzantine times, Christian believers started attending this place, and in Medieval times the synagogue was turned into a church. The church was later destroyed, but a stone structure marking the location of the first-century synagogue is still intact. Its floor is 6 feet lower than street level, and its roof is arched, a typical element in medieval architecture. A marble pillar next to its entrance is dated to the Roman period. This column is the only possible genuine remnant of the ancient synagogue. A raised platform in its northern end holds an altar. By local tradition, this is where Jesus read from Isaiah to the local congregation. The current “Synagogue Church” is a 12th-century Crusader structure located in the area of Nazareth’s medieval market, just a few minutes’ walk from the Church of the Annunciation and directly adjacent to the Greek Catholic Church of the Annunciation. The Synagogue Church is visited by just a fraction of those coming to see the Church of the Annunciation, perhaps because of its hidden location. The site is maintained by the Melkite Greek Catholics, who added an adjacent modern church which was completed in 1887. Nazareth In the Bible ​ 1. Nazareth was the home of Joseph and Mary and the place where the angel Gabriel was sent to announce to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Christ the Messiah. There has been a church built here to commemorate this announcement called, “The Church of the Annunciation.” Luke 1:26-38 says, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And 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 bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.” 2. After living in Egypt for some time after Christ’s birth, His parents returned to Nazareth where Jesus grew up. Matt. 2:19-23: “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene." 3. Jesus lived Nazareth until He started His earthly ministry at the age of 30. From Nazareth, Christ relocated and set up His ministry home base in Capernaum. Matthew 4:13-17: “And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-- the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 4. Jesus was rejected by His own townspeople at Nazareth and was unable to perform many miracles there due to their lack of faith in Him. Luke 4:14-27 - And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself.' What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well." And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." 5. Those who knew Christ the best rejected Him and attempted to throw Him off a cliff close-by to their town. Today, this place is called, Mt. Precipice, named after this event. Luke 4:28-30: “When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away. Faith Lesson ​ 1. Am I oftentimes misunderstood by my family and friends like Christ was? ​ 2. I should love my family and friends, but if they don’t understand my commitment to Christ, I shouldn’t allow them to negatively affect my relationship with Christ and be discouraged. Jesus said we must love Him more than our closest relationships. 3. Do I love Christ more than my family and friends? In Matt. 10:37 Christ said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

  • Mt. Tabor Overview: Transfiguration of Christ, Israel, Deborah, Barak, Jezreel Valley |

    Mt. Tabor: Transfiguration of Christ Photo Gallery Places of Interest Mount Tabor Transfiguration of Christ ​ Location 1. Mount Tabor, rising like a dome-like mountain from the Plain of Jezreel, is the place where Christian tradition places the transfiguration of Jesus. 2. It’s about 11 miles (15 km.) southwest of the Sea of Galilee and about 5 miles (8 km.) east of Nazareth. 3. Mount Tabor stands some 1,500 ft. (457 m.) above the Jezreel Valley plain in Lower Galilee. 4. It held a strategic position at the junction of several trade routes. For this reason, many battles have been fought around it. 5. It's mentioned as one of the key mountains in Scripture: The north and the south, you have created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name (Psalm 89:12). Historical Background 1. In the Old Testament, Mount Tabor is described as a sacred mountain and a place for worship. However, it's not mentioned by name in the New Testament. 2. Throughout its history, it has been a place where mankind has sought contact with the divine. 3. It also served as an important fortress during the Old Testament, Greek, Roman, and Crusader times. 4. It is best known as the believed place where the transfiguration of Christ took place, an event in the Gospels in which Jesus is transfigured upon an unnamed mountain and speaks with Moses and Elijah as described in Matthew 17:1–9; Mark 9:2–8; and Luke 9:28–36. ​ 5. Christian tradition in the early centuries named Mount Tabor as the place of the transfiguration of Christ. This location is cited in early apocryphal writings and was accepted by the Syriac and Byzantine churches. 6. The earliest identification of the Mount of Transfiguration as Tabor is by Origen in the 3rd century. 7. During the Byzantine period, due to the importance of Mount Tabor in Christian tradition, it became a pilgrimage site from the 4th century and onward. According to descriptions of the pilgrims visiting this site during the 6th century, there were three churches that resided on the top of Mount Tabor. 8. Some biblical scholars today now question this tradition. These scholars see the much higher Mount Hermon as a more likely location as it was closer to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter’s confession of Christ took place. ​ However, this is very unlikely for the following reason. After the transfiguration of Christ, He descended the mountain and was met by a crowd of people: Matthew 17:14: "And when they came to the crowd , a man came up to him and, kneeling before him." Mount Hermon was in a district that the Jews did not go to because it was filled with pagan worship and gentiles. Therefore, it would be extremely unlikely that a large crowd of Jews would be in this area. ​ Also, according to Mark 9:30, right after this event, "They left that place and passed through Galilea." Mount Hermon and Caesarea Philippi were not in the Galilean region, so again, it's very unlikely Mount Hermon was the site where the Transfiguration of Christ took place. 9. Mount Tabor is a much better candidate, and there is great value in considering the 2,000-year-old tradition of history at this site. 10. Scripture says that the transfiguration of Christ took place 6 days after Peter’s confession of Christ in Caesarea Philippi. Mount Tabor is only about 40 miles (65 km.) south of Caesarea Philippi, which could easily have been reached in 6 days. 11. It’s really not important where this event happened but that it did happen. 12. Today, there are two main churches and monasteries on top of Mount Tabor, marking the event of the transfiguration of Christ. They include the Franciscan Basilica of the Transfiguration and St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church. Places of Interest 1. Franciscan Basilica of the Transfiguration – The main church that is visited and sits at the highest part of Mount Tabor. This church, which is part of a Franciscan monastery complex, was completed in 1924. It was built on the ruins of an ancient (4th–6th-century) Byzantine church and a 12th-century church of the Crusader Kingdom period. 2. St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church – Located on the northern side of Mount Tabor. It’s named after the Prophet Elijah. 3. Tower & Walls 4. Other ancient structures, chapels, cisterns, and quarries. 5. Descentibus Chapel 6. Melchizedek Chapel 7. Jezreel Valley Mount Tabor in the Bible 1. Mount Tabor is mentioned 12 times in Scripture. 2. It's first mentioned in Joshua 19:22 as a border between the three tribes of Zebulun, Issachar, and Naphtali. The mountain's prominence is due to its strategic location at the junction of Galilee's north-south route, along with the east-west highway of the Jezreel Valley. 3. According to Judges chapter 4, Hazor was the seat of Jabin, the king of Canaan. His military commander, Sisera, led a Canaanite army against the Israelites. Deborah, the Jewish prophetess, summoned Barak of the tribe of Naphtali and gave him the following command from God. Judges 4:14–16: And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So, Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. 4. Transfiguration of Christ. Matthew 17:1–13: And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John, his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also, the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. 5. After descending Mount Tabor, Christ healed a man and used Mount Tabor as an example of faith. Matthew 17:14–20: And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain , ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith Lesson from Mount Tabor 1. The transfiguration of Christ is another proof that He was truly the Son of God and divine. 2. It cemented in the hearts of Peter, James, and John, who would become key leaders in the early church, that Christ was definitely the Messiah and God the Father in the flesh. 3. The Apostle Peter looked back to this landmark event of the transfiguration to speak about how sure and solid our faith in Christ and His Word is. 2 Peter 1:16–21: For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain [mount of transfiguration]. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation [source or wisdom]. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 4. Are we anchored in our faith and unmovable? 5. Do we believe Christ was God in the flesh, and are we willing to follow Him and be His disciples? 6. Do we have faith that we can move spiritual mountains if we have faith in Christ?

  • Eastern Gate: Temple Mount, Jerusalem (Golden Gate, Beautiful Gate) |

    Eastern Gate Photo Gallery Places of Interest Eastern Gate Location 1. The Eastern Gate is located on the eastern side of the Temple Mount and faces the Mount of Olives. 2. It is an important gate because it plays a central role in Scripture and prophecy. 3. The current Old City of Jerusalem is surrounded by a wall containing eight major gates. Lions Gate (Stephen’s Gate) Eastern Gate (Golden Gate, Shushan Gate) Dung Gate Zion Gate Jaffa Gate New Gate Damascus Gate Herod’s Gate 4. The Eastern Gate is unique in that it is sealed shut. 5. It is the oldest gate in Old City Jerusalem. ​ Historical Background 1. The original Eastern Gate was built by Solomon (960 BC), or at a later date, by Hezekiah (715 BC). The ancient posts located inside the gate today, along with the stones beside the gate of the Eastern Wall, date back to these time periods and would affirm its early existence and location at its present-day site. 2. It is very likely that Nehemiah rebuilt the Eastern Gate when he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in around 444 BC. Some believe the original gate was then named the Eastern Gate by Nehemiah at this time. ​ 3. Herod the Great then rebuilt the Eastern Gate in around 19 BC and added a stairway, or rebuilt an existing one that led up to the gate. This stairway ran alongside the Eastern Wall. In the 1860s, Charles Warren discovered an outer wall that enclosed the stairway leading up to the Eastern Gate that Herod had built. ​ 4. The best evidence suggests that the gate was then rebuilt during the Umayyad period (661–750 AD), on the foundations of the earlier gate dating to the time of Solomon or Hezekiah. Part of the gate from this time period has been preserved. As mentioned above, the remains of two massive ancient gateposts are preserved inside this gate. These gateposts are situated in the same line as the Eastern Wall of the Temple Mount. They also line up with the lower massive stone masonry on both sides of the Golden Gate. The gateposts, along with the masonry sections of the Eastern Wall, suggest they are all part of the same construction. The upper part of the southern gatepost is level with the top of the ancient stone masonry that can be seen south of the Golden Gate. The gatepost in the northern part of the gate is one stone course higher and is located just one stone course lower than the surface of the Temple Mount. These two ancient gateposts belong to the gate dating back to the First Temple period, which is most likely the Shushan Gate that is mentioned in Mishnah Middot 1.3. This gate was the only gate in the Eastern Wall at that time. 5. The current gate that is seen today was rebuilt by Suleiman in around 1541 AD and was built on the foundations of the earlier gates. The Eastern Gate’s outer facade today consists of two blocked-up gateways decorated with detailed carved relief arches. 6. The original gate was thought to have been discovered in 1969 by Dr. James Fleming and was believed to be east of the current Eastern Gate a bit and about 8 feet (2.5 m) lower. However, after significant research and archaeological work was done and analyzed, it appears what Dr. Fleming found were arches of a stairway that led up to the Eastern Gate that Herod the Great built. Again, inside the gate are ancient posts that date back to the First Temple period. These reveal that the level of the current Eastern Gate is relatively the same as it has always been. ​ The bedrock beneath the Eastern Gate rises sharply upwards from the Kidron Valley to the Temple Mount, so this would make it very unlikely that the original gate was beneath the current one as the bedrock would be in the way and prevent this. ​ Moreover, the stones of the arch that Dr. Fleming discovered are Herodian, which are much later than the original Eastern Gate, making it unlikely the arch that was discovered was part of the top of the Eastern Gate. Again, reputable archaeologists now believe that what Dr. Fleming discovered was one of the arches of the stairway leading up to the Eastern Gate. Herod built this stairway, so the stone type that was found would match this time era as well. ​ However, it should be noted that what Dr. Fleming discovered does provide more evidence that the Eastern Gate’s current location is accurate. 7. The Eastern Gate gives the most direct access to the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. 8. The Eastern Gate is unique in that it is completely sealed shut. Some commentators see the Eastern Gate’s obstruction as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. It was closed by the Muslims in 810 AD, reopened in 1102 AD by the Crusaders, and then walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187 AD. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman rebuilt it together with the city walls and again walled it up in 1541 AD, and it has stayed that way until today. It’s believed that the closing of the Eastern Gate was to prevent the Jewish Messiah from gaining entrance to the temple on the Temple Mount. Muslims also put a cemetery directly in front of the gate as an extra layer of precaution, believing that the Messiah, being a good Jew, would not walk through it and become unclean in doing so. However, whatever Christ touches becomes clean, so that presents no problem. 9. Jewish tradition states that the Messiah will pass through the Eastern Gate when He comes to rule. For Christians, Christ already did this at His first coming and will do it again at His second coming. Ezekiel 44:1–3: Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore, it shall remain shut. 3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.” 10. Though it is formally called the Eastern Gate, it is also known as the Golden Gate, the Gate of Eternal Life, the Mercy Gate, the Shushan Gate, and sometimes as the Beautiful Gate. Scripture says in Acts 3:1–10 that the Beautiful Gate was one of the temple gates. This would make the Nicanor Gate the best candidate for being the Beautiful Gate. 11. Some believe the Eastern Gate was in direct alignment with the gate into the temple's outer court, inner court, and main entrance doors. This belief comes from a misunderstanding of a writing in Middot 2.4 (which is part of the Jewish Mishnah) that says: “All the walls there were high, save only the eastern wall because the [High] priest that burns the [Red] heifer and stands on top of the Mount of Olives should be able to look directly into the entrance of the sanctuary when the blood is sprinkled.” However, the view from the top of the Mount of Olives through the Eastern Gate would only allow one to see into the ground because the gate was lower than the temple. So, this presents an impossibility as you cannot look from a higher elevation through a lower gate and then see something that is higher than that gate. Therefore, a line of vision from the top of the Mount of Olives through the Eastern Gate makes it impossible to see anything on the Temple Mount, let alone the temple. Therefore, it appears that what was meant in the writing of Middot 2.4 referred to the Nicanor Gate. This was an outer gate of the temple complex. From the top of the Mt. of Olives, one could easily look directly through the Nicanor Gate and see the sanctuary. Therefore, the Eastern Gate was not in alignment with the temple, as some suggest. The original temple has very strong evidence that it was in the exact location where the Dome of the Rock stands today. 12. Some also believe that during the time of Christ, according to the Mishnah (collection of Jewish oral laws), a bridge (causeway) led out of the Temple Mount eastward over the Kidron Valley, extending as far as the Mount of Olives. The Hebrew word for causeway is Kevesh , usually translated as “ramp,” not as “bridge.” It is very unlikely there was a major causeway spanning the Kidron Valley as it would have been massive in size, extremely difficult to build, and expensive. This causeway mentioned most likely refers to the stairway leading up to the Eastern Gate that ran along the eastern wall. Moreover, it wouldn't have been far to walk up the Kidron Valley a bit and then back to the Eastern Gate. People in ancient times were used to walking, so this seems more likely than saving a few steps to walk over a large bridge spanning the Kidron Valley. However, if there would have been a causeway or bridge that did exist, it would have been on a small scale. 13. It should also be mentioned that the archaeological evidence supporting the Eastern Gate as being authentic provides strong evidence that the original temple was located on the current Temple Mount. Additionally, the ancient stones of the Eastern Wall dating back to the first temple period also validate the temple’s location. ​ Places of Interest 1. Eastern Gate 2. Ancient Gate Posts 3. Ancient Stone Masonry 4. Eastern Wall 5. Stairway Leading Up to the Eastern Gate 6. Outer Wall Encompassing the Stairway 7. Temple Mount 8. Nicanor Gate 9. Original Location of the Temple 10. Inner and Outer Courts of the Temple 11. Mount of Olives 12. Other Gates of Old City Jerusalem ​ The Eastern Gate in the Bible 1. It is the likely gate the ashes of the Red Heifer sacrifice were carried through and then deposited in a clean place outside the city (Num. 19:1–10). 2. The glory of the Lord left the temple because of Israel’s disobedience. Ezekiel 10:18–19: Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. Ezekiel 11:23: And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city [Mount of Olives]. 3. The glory of the Lord will return to the temple at Christ’s second coming. Ezekiel 43:1–5: Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east , 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Zechariah 14:4: On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east , and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. 4. When Jesus entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday (Triumphal Entry), He most likely used the Eastern Gate. Luke 19:37–38: As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives —the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:45–46: And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” 5. It is the gate that Jesus would have entered and exited through repeatedly as He taught in the temple and then retreated to the Mount of Olives to rest and sleep. Luke 21:37–38: And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet . 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. 6. The Beautiful Gate (most likely the Nicanor Gate) was where Peter and John healed a lame man. Acts 3:1–10: Now Peter and John went up together to the Temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms from those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Faith Lesson from the Eastern Gate 1. The Eastern Gate has seen many prophecies fulfilled. 2. There are still more prophecies it will witness. 3. Prophecy proves the Bible is accurate and that we can place our full confidence in it. 4. If all past prophecies have been fulfilled, we can rest assured that what is still prophesied will also come to pass. 5. Do we fully believe the prophecies in the Bible and are we living in such a way that proves it?

  • Boat Ride Sea of Galilee: Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea |

    Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea Photo Gallery Places of Interest Jesus Walks on Water and Calms the Sea Location 1. This miracle took place in the middle of the widest part of the sea. John 6:19 suggests it was about 3–4 miles (5.5 km.) from the eastern shore. The sea is about 8 miles (13 km.) wide at its widest part, so this would place them in the middle of the sea. 2. They were also a long way from land (Matt. 14:24). This means they were a long way from the northern part of the seashore as well. Historical Background 1. The disciples had just come off an amazing time of preaching and healing all throughout Israel (Christ had sent them out two by two). 2. Jesus took them to the eastern side of the sea, south of Bethsaida, to rest. However, instead of resting, a large crowd gathered, and Jesus taught them all day and then fed them. There were 5,000 men, not counting women and children present, which means there were probably 15,000–20,000 people or more total. 3. After Christ fed the multitude, they wanted to make Him King by force (John 6:15). However, what they had in mind was an earthly kingdom wherein the Romans would be overthrown, and Jesus would return them to their glory days. This was prophesied in Scripture, but Christ’s earthly kingdom would not be realized until His second coming. 4. The disciples were caught up in the frenzy of the crowd’s desire to make Jesus King, so He immediately sent them away by boat to the other side of the sea. 5. The disciple’s hearts were hard, and Scripture says they didn’t learn anything from the feeding of the 5,000 (Matt. 16:5–12). 6. After feeding the 5,000, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray. He likely prayed that His disciples would learn the lesson of faith He was about to teach them. This lesson would involve sending a storm and revealing His deity to them. 7. Jesus purposefully allowed them to get to a state of utter disaster, fear, and desperation so what He was about to teach them would sink in deeply. 8. The narrative of Scripture would place the disciples sailing from the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee to the western shore. Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above) 1. Feeding of the 5,000 location 2. Mountain upon which Jesus prayed 3. Departure beach 4. Bethsaida 5. Capernaum 6. Place Jesus walked on water 7. Gennesaret 8. Sea of Galilee Jesus Walks on Water and Calms the Sea in the Bible 1. Immediately after feeding the 5,000, Jesus sent His disciples to the other side of the sea. Matthew 14:22: Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. Mark 6:45: Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. John 6:16–17: When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. The summary of these verses indicates that they were headed east to the other side of the sea. 2. Jesus went up on a mountain to pray. Matthew 14:23: And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 3. Jesus sends a strong storm. Matthew 14:24: But the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. Mark 6:48: And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. John 6:17–18: It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 4. Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the sea. Matthew 14:25: And in the fourth watch of the night [3:00–6:00am] he came to them, walking on the sea. John 6:19: When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat. 5. The disciples become terrified. Matthew 14:26: But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. 6. The emotional state of the disciples: They were already exhausted from their ministry of being sent out two by two. They had a long day of ministry. They rowed all night in a state of panic and desperation. They missed a night of sleep. It was still dark, so it was probably around 4:00 am. They feared for their lives. They were alone. It was dark. They were terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the sea. 7. Jesus spoke to them. Matthew 14:27: But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I [I AM, in Greek]. Do not be afraid." 8. Peter walks on the water a moment. Matthew 14:28–31: And Peter answered him, " Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come. "So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 9. The disciples worship Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Matthew 14:32–33: And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Mark 6:52: And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded. This miracle was a major turning point in the lives of the disciples. The deity of Jesus was now deeply embedded in their hearts and lives, and they would never be the same. 10. Jesus and the disciples miraculously arrive at the other side of the sea at Gennesaret. John 6:21: Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. 11. After already being exhausted and missing a night of sleep, they had more ministry awaiting them. Matthew 14:34–36: And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. Faith Lesson from Jesus Walking on Water and Calming the Sea 1. Jesus embedded in the lives of His disciples that He was God. Do we believe in the deity of Christ and that He was God in the flesh? 2. Like Peter and the disciples, are we of little faith sometimes? 3. Like the disciples, we, too, are often surrounded by serious problems. Do we realize Jesus cares for us during the storms in our lives? 4. Like the disciples, we can often feel tired and alone in our trials and problems. Do we understand we are not alone, and God is caring for us? 5. Peter walked on the water a moment and then took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm. Therefore, he sank into the water. Do we understand that in order to navigate the storms in our lives we must keep our eyes on Jesus despite the raging problems around us? 6. Jesus was the one who sent the storm in order to teach His disciples who He was and their need for faith in Him. Do we understand that Jesus also sends us storms to teach us the same truths? 7. Jesus and the disciples often had long days of exhausting ministry. Are we willing to do the same?

  • Antonia Fortress: Military Headquarters Overlooking Temple Mount |

    Antonia Fortress Photo Gallery Places of Interest Antonia Fortress: Pilate’s Judgment Hall Location 1. The Antonia Fortress was located just outside the Temple Mount area on its northwestern side. 2. Today, Umariya Elementary School and a convent of the Sisters of Zion lie atop its ruins. 3. Some of the ruins can be accessed through the Convent of the Sisters of Zion. 4. Tradition places the Antonia Fortress as the beginning point of the Via Dolorosa (painful path). Historical Background 1. The Antonia Fortress was a military headquarters and barracks built to protect the Temple Mount. Later, it was renovated by the Hasmoneans (164 BC) and Herod the Great (19 BC) to protect the Temple Mount area and the city of Jerusalem. It was named after Herod's patron, Mark Antony. 2. Some believe Jesus appeared before Pilate here and was condemned to death by crucifixion. 3. Others believe that Pilate’s Headquarters, also called Pilate’s Palace or Praetorium, was the place Christ appeared before Pilate. It’s located on the northern side of Jerusalem, just south of the Jaffa Gate. The evidence points strongly in favor of this location as the place of Christ’s trial and condemnation. 4. Some believe that the Antonia Fortress encompassed all the current Temple Mount and that the original Temple Mount was in the City of David. However, Scripture clearly states that at the dedication of the temple that Solomon built, in 2 Chronicles 5, that the Ark of the covenant was brought, “out of the City of David ” to the temple. “Then Solomon assembled to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the City of David , which is Zion” (2 Chron. 5:2). If the Ark was brought out of the City of David to the temple, then the temple couldn't have been in the City of David. There is also overwhelming historical and archaeological evidence, and the writings of the famous Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, that contradict the belief that the Antonia Fortress encompassed all the Temple Mount. Evidence that the Temple Mount was not the Antonia Fortress. ​ 1. Contrary to what some say, the current Temple Mount existed long before the Romans arrived. The Temple Mount foundation, or platform, was first built by Solomon. Then Hezekiah enlarged it. Later, its foundations were repaired during the time of Zerubbabel when the second temple was built. We see evidence of this in the ancient stones around the Eastern Gate. They date back to the time of Solomon, Hezekiah, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah. 2. Later, in around 141 BC, the Hasmoneans built an extension to the southern end of the Temple Mount. This can be seen in the Eastern Wall, where the bend in the wall exists. Thus, there is a change in stone styles from earlier periods to the Hasmonean period. 3. Then, in around 19 BC, Herod the Great began to enlarge the Temple Mount Platform. He would double the size of what it was during the Hasmonean period. This can be seen in the Eastern Wall as well, where there is a seam in the wall. The stone styles change from Hasmonean to Herodian. Josephus confirms this: “Accordingly, in the fifteenth year of his reign [23-22 BC], Herod rebuilt the temple, and encompassed a piece of land about it with a wall, which land was twice as large as that before enclosed. The expenses he laid out upon it were vastly large also, and the riches about it were unspeakable” (Wars of the Jews, Bk 1, Ch. 21, Sect. 401). Therefore, the current Temple Mount existed long before the Romans arrived and was not expanded to be a Roman Fort. 4. There are also no historical records that a Roman Legion was stationed in Jerusalem before 66–67 AD. At this time, the Jews had revolted and recaptured Jerusalem from Roman control. The 10th Roman Legion was then moved to Jerusalem to conquer it. This was a fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy. The city was destroyed and conquered in 70 AD. 5. Facts about the 10th Roman Legion. It was founded in around 41 or 40 BC. It was also called the X Fretensis or Legio X. ​ It was never stationed in Jerusalem until it arrived to overthrow the Jewish rebellion that had taken place wherein the Jews overtook the Roman Soldiers who were in Jerusalem and regained control. It was the 10th Roman Legion, led by Vespasian, that would win the battle to recapture Jerusalem from the Jews in 70 AD. ​ From 67 onward, X Fretensis fought in the war against the Jews. It was commanded by Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, the father of the future emperor. The supreme commander of the Roman forces in Judaea was general Vespasian, who was to become emperor during the civil war that broke out after the suicide of Nero in 68 AD. ​ After the conclusion of the Jewish revolt in around 73 AD, Legio X was garrisoned at Jerusalem. Their main camp was positioned on the Western Hill, located in the southern half of the old city, now leveled of all former buildings. The camp of the Tenth was built using the surviving portions of the walls of Herod the Great's palace, demolished by order of Titus. The camp was at the end of the cardo maximus of Aelia Capitolina (Pace, H. Geva, "The Camp of the Tenth Legion in Jerusalem: An Archaeological Reconsideration," IEJ 34, 1984, pp. 247-249). ​ 6. Josephus clearly describes and clarifies that the Antonia Fortress was destroyed by the Romans when they conquered and tore down the temple in 70 AD: “Titus now ordered the troops that were with him to raze the foundations of Antonia and to prepare an easy ascent [into the Temple Mount] for the whole army” (Wars Ch. 6, Sect 93). “Meanwhile, the rest of the Roman army, having in seven days overthrown the foundations of Antonia, had prepared a broad ascent to the Temple” (Wars Ch. 6, Sect. 149). It is vital to understand that when Josephus wrote this, it was in 70 AD, more than 70 years after Herod enlarged the Temple Mount Platform. Also, the Tenth Roman Legion never was stationed in Jerusalem until after it was conquered in 70 AD. So, the idea that the current Temple Mount Platform was built for the Tenth Roman Legion is entirely false. 7. If the Antonia was destroyed in seven days, it reveals that it wasn’t that big. Also, it was destroyed, so there is no way the current Temple Mount could be the Antonia Fortress. Places of Interest 1. Ecce Homo Arch (behold the man) 2. Convent of the Sisters of Zion 3. Cistern hewed out of the rock. 4. Pavement stones with Roman carved games on them. 5. Pavement stones with carved grooves. 6. Temple Mount Antonia Fortress in the Bible 1. The Antonia Fortress is the believed place where the Via Dolorosa begins. Tradition places the Antonia Fortress as the beginning place of the Via Dolorosa. However, the site with the best evidence for being the beginning place of the Via Dolorosa is Pilate’s Palace, located just south of the Jaffa Gate. 2. Paul addressed an angry mob from the Antonia Fortress. Acts 21:27–40: When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him [Paul] in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. 31 While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 At once he took along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done. 34 But among the crowd some were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks . 35 When he got to the stairs , he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob; 36 for the multitude of the people kept following them, shouting, “Away with him!” 37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks , he said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek? 38 Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?” 39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect. Faith Lesson from the Antonia Fortress 1. Paul suffered at the Antonia Fortress for his faith. Are we willing to boldly proclaim our faith and suffer as a result if necessary? 2. Paul shared his testimony often. Do we have our testimony memorized, and do we share it when talking to others about God?

  • Upper Room: Last Supper, Pentecost, Mt. Zion, David's Tomb |

    The Upper Room Photo Gallery Places of Interest The Upper Room (King David's Tomb) Location 1. The Upper Room is in a second-story building in Jerusalem that commemorates where Jesus shared the Passover (Last Supper) with His disciples. 2. It is located directly above the Tomb of David and near the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion. 3. It is also called the Cenacle Room, which means “dining room” in Latin. 4. On the first floor of the building is King David’s Tomb. It functions as a synagogue, so a head covering for men must be worn. It is divided into three sections: (1) a small synagogue room (2) a men’s viewing area of David’s tomb, and (3) a women’s viewing area of the tomb. ​ 5. The location of David's Tomb is just a memorial place as Scripture says David was buried in the City of David (1 Kings 2:10). Historical Background 1. This building became a synagogue church in the first century by early Christians. There is archaeological evidence of four layers of construction in this building today. ​ 1. Roman Floor with Judeo-Christian Graffiti. A Torah Ark niche also exists with large stones from the 1st century AD. ​ 2. Byzantine Floor ​ 3. Crusader Floor ​ 4. Present Floor ​ 2. Whenever you have one thing built on top of another thing, it provides strong evidence that this was the authentic place of the Upper Room. 3. Strong archaeological evidence shows that the Upper Room is also the location of the first Christian church. After Christ rose from the dead, this place was venerated and converted into a Jewish-Christian synagogue. Evidence of this can be found in the massive stones in the Torah Ark Niche of the church on the first floor. 4. It was built by the first-century Jewish-Christian community of Jerusalem. Interestingly, different than all other Jewish synagogues, the apse and T orah Ark Niche point toward Golgotha (Church of the Holy Sepulchre) and not toward the temple. 5. This site of the Upper Room has been the traditional place of the Last Supper since the 4th century AD. 6. In the 5th century AD, the church was referred to as "Zion, Mother of all the Churches.” 7. The Upper Room that pilgrims visit today was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century as part of the Church of St. Mary of Zion. The Gothic-era columns seen today were from this time era. 8. The buildings around the Upper Room are remains of a Franciscan medieval friary from around 1335. 9. The Upper Room was transformed into a mosque by the Ottomans in 1524, and a prayer niche is embedded on the south wall, directed toward the Islam cities of Mecca and Medina. 10. The Upper Room building is currently managed by the State of Israel Ministry of the Interior. 11. It’s very likely that the Upper Room was used for more than the Passover meal. It could also have been where Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, where Matthias was appointed the apostle to replace Judas, and where the disciples stayed while waiting for Pentecost. Some believe it’s also where Pentecost happened or began. 12. It seems logical that all these events shared the same Upper Room as the man who allowed Christ to use his large room for the Passover meal was probably a follower of Christ who continued to allow the disciples to use it. Places of Interest 1. The Upper Room Second Floor Crusader remains Capital on a pillar above the Crusader remains depicting events from the Last Supper Model of an olive tree symbolizing the Garden of Gethsemane, grapes symbolizing the cup of wine, and wheat symbolizing the bread Muslim prayer niche from the Ottoman period Apse marking the spot of the 1st century Judeo-Christian Synagogue 2. The Upper Room First Floor ​ King David’s Tomb ~ This is just a memorial place as Scripture says David was buried in the City of David (1Kings 2:10). Modern-day synagogue Torah Ark Niche Large Stones in the Torah Ark Niche from the 1st century 3. Temple Mount Southern Stairs 4. Royal Stoa 5. Mount Zion 6. Temple Mount 7. Zion Gate ​ 8. City of David ​ The Upper Room in the Bible 1. Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples in the Upper Room. Luke 22:11–13: And tell the master of the house, “The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 2. The Upper Room is the likely place Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. John 20:19: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 3. After Christ ascended back to heaven, the disciples went to the Upper Room which was most likely their living quarters while they stayed in Jerusalem. Acts 1:13–14: And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying , Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 4. It’s possible that the Upper Room is where Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. Acts 1:15–16: In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. Acts 1:26: And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. 5. Some believe the Upper Room is where Pentecost happened or began. Acts 2:1–4: When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 6. If Pentecost did begin in the Upper Room, it quickly moved outside somewhere by the Temple Mount Southern Stairs area as a multitude gathered, and 3,000 were saved. The Upper Room couldn’t have accommodated the 15,000 – 30,000 people who would have gathered at this event. Acts 2:5–6: Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together , and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. Acts 2:41: So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 7. On the southern side of the Temple Mount, just above the Southern Stairs, was the Royal Stoa. It was a large covered public meeting place. This would be the most likely place where Pentecost began. Also, throughout Scripture, the temple was referred to as a house. (For a more detailed look at where Pentecost happened, please see “Temple Mount Southern Stairs”) The Upper Room and Passover in the Bible 1. The meaning of the Passover. The Passover was a celebration the Israelites observed each year in remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt as slaves. The last miracle performed by God was the killing of the firstborn of all people and animals. He gave a command to the Israelites, and to the Egyptians as well, to kill a lamb and put its blood on the door mantles and doorpost of their houses. In so doing, God would pass over that home and save those inside. Christ's crucifixion during the Passover was a fulfillment of this covenant act. In the New Covenant, Christ is our Passover Lamb whose blood saves us from death and sin. 2. The Passover meal began with Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. John 13:1–5: Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 3. Christ taught about true love and servanthood. John 13:12–16: When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 4. Christ instituted the New Covenant at the Passover meal. Matthew 26:26–29: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.” 5. The meaning of the bread. The bread represents Christ’s body which was broken and crucified for our sin. It speaks of the bread that was made without leaven for the rapid departure of the Israelites from Egypt. It also represents the Israelite’s utter dependence on God for their sustenance during their time in the desert, and beyond. Christ referred to Himself as the Bread of Life and the True Manna from heaven. Christ now becomes our unleavened bread and sustenance. 6. The meaning of the cup. The cup represents the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross for the payment and forgiveness of our sins. The blood being poured out is synonymous with Christ being crucified and shedding His blood. There is also wedding imagery that is used in the taking of the cup. Receiving the cup was used for confirming an Israelite marriage much in the same way our modern-day ring vows do. When we receive the cup, we are confirming our marriage to Christ. Faith Lesson from the Upper Room 1. Christ gave a humbling example of true servanthood by washing the disciples’ feet. What kind of a servant am I? 2. Christ introduced the New Covenant at the Passover meal. Do I understand the meaning of the bread and the cup? 3. Is Christ my sacrificial Passover Lamb or am I separated from God and in danger of His judgment? ​

  • Privacy Policy

    Pivacy Policy Holy Land Site Privacy Policy This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their 'Personally Identifiable Information' (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website. What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app? When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, mailing address, phone number or other details to help you with your experience. When do we collect information? We collect information from you when you fill out a form or enter information on our site. How do we use your information? We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways: To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests. To quickly process your transactions. To follow up with them after correspondence (live chat, email or phone inquiries) How do we protect your information? We do not use vulnerability scanning and/or scanning to PCI standards. An external PCI compliant payment gateway handles all CC transactions. We use regular Malware Scanning. Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. 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The law's reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. See more at: According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following: Users can visit our site anonymously. Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our homepage. or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website. Our Privacy Policy link includes the word 'Privacy' and can easily be found on the page specified above. You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes: On our Privacy Policy Page How does our site handle Do Not Track signals? 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This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors. CAN-SPAM Act The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. We collect your email address in order to: Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions. Process orders and to send information and updates pertaining to orders. Send you additional information related to your product and/or service To be in accordance with CAN-SPAM, we agree to the following: Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses. Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way. Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters. Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used. Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly. Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence. Contacting Us If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below. Contact Us Last Edited on 03/08/2019

  • All Kinds of Maps of Israel the Holy Land |

    Maps of the Biblical Sites Maps for Purchase Map of Israel Map of Jerusalem Satellite Poster of Israel In the Footsteps of Jesus Map Sea of Galilee Booklet & Map Via Dolorosa Booklet & Map Posters & Maps in General ​ ​​ Maps for Viewing ​ Map of the Holy Land During the Time of Christ ​ Website with Many Maps of the Holy Land and Surrounding Areas ​ ​ Map of Abraham's Journey to the Holy Land ​ Map of the Travel Locations of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph ​ Travels of Moses and the Children of Israel ​ Location of the 12 Tribes of Israel in the Holy Land ​ Harmony of the 4 Gospels (Chronological timeline of events of the Life of Jesus) ​ Biblical Sites for Christian Visitors Booklet ​ Great Website for photos and info on the Holy Land ​

  • About Holy Land Site Ministries |

    About Us About Us In 2010 we began going to Israel, and in 2011 we began leading tour trips to Israel. God gave us a passion for helping people see the places and context in which the Bible took place. As a result, we started creating videos, writing books, and leading tour trips to Israel to fulfill this calling and passion. In 2012 we officially launched Ministries. It is a rapidly growing ministry that has become our central ministry focus. ​ In conjunction with leading Holy Land Tour Trips to Israel, we go to Israel regularly to film more sites for our Bible teaching videos. For example, we just spent 2 months in Israel filming around 100 sites for the upcoming videos we plan to produce. ​ Holy Land Site is a ministry affiliated with Go Missions to Mexico, a Christ-centered, biblically-based, non-denominational mission organization that has 29 years of experience in missionary service. It exists to incorporate short-term mission teams in the Great Commission to reach the unreached and strengthen churches and believers of Christ in Mexico. ​ ​ Scroll down to see more info about us. Todd & Letsy Fink (left), Logan Fink (center), Joel and Miriam Fink (right), Jonathan & Jason (Joel & Miriam's children) Todd Fink Todd has 45 years of ministry experience in the U.S. and Mexico. During this time, he has served as Youth Director, Campus Life Staff, AWANA Director, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Hispanic Outreach Pastor, Building Construction Chairman, and Missionary. He also has experience in the secular field in agriculture and construction. Currently, he is in his 25th year as a missionary in Mexico and is the founder of Go Missions to Mexico and Holy Land Site Ministries. ​ Todd is married to Letsy Fink and has four grown children and 8 grandchildren . ​ Todd holds the following Bible degrees Bachelor of Theology Degree from Freelandia Bible College Master of Divinity studies at Western Seminary Master of Theology Degree from Freedom Bible College Master of Biblical Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary Doctor of Theology Degree (Ph.D.) from Trinity Theological Seminary. For books by Todd, click here . Letsy Fink ​ Letsy has many years of ministry experience in both the U.S. and Mexico. She has served in many children's ministries, served with Todd in youth ministry, and loves leading Vacation Bible School Outreaches in Mexico with short-term mission teams. She has become a vital part of Holy Land Site Ministries and does a lot of camera work and filming for our videos. Letsy grew up in a godly home and went to church in an evangelic, Bible-believing church her whole life. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Theology Degree and delights in learning and growing in the Lord. ​ Letsy has four grown children and 8 grandchildren . Joel Fink​ Joel moved to Mexico with his parents when he was 9 years old. He has grown up in Mexico and attended a local high school. It was there he met his high school sweetheart, Miriam, and later married. The culture of Mexico is second nature to Joel, and his Spanish speaking abilities are flawless. He has been working with short-term mission teams for practically his whole life. He has many building skills, ministry skills, and is a worship leader at his home church in Mexico. ​ Joel accompanies us on all our Holy Land Tour Trips to Israel and helps with all the details, and is the main camera operator. Joel received a Bachelor of Theology Degree from Freedom Bible College and Seminary. Joel has two children. Miriam Fink​ Miriam is from Mexico and married Joel Fink in 2009. She has been an incredible addition to the ministry team and loves the Lord. She enjoys working with children and short-term mission teams. She is a great mother and loves her family deeply. Mirian goes to Israel on occasion and loves it very much. ​ Miriam received a Bachelor of Business Degree from a university in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a Bachelor of Theology Degree from Trinity Bible College and Seminary. Miriam has two children. Logan Fink​ Logan moved to Mexico with his parents when he was about a year old. He has grown up in Mexico and feels very at home in the culture and his Spanish speaking abilities are flawless. He has been working with short-term mission teams for practically his whole life. He has many building skills, ministry skills, and is the youth pastor at his home church in Mexico. ​ Logan accompanies us on many of our Holy Land Tour Trips to Israel and helps with all the details, and is one of the main camera operators. ​ Logan has done Bachelor of Theology studies at Freedom Bible College and Seminary. Bere Fink​ Bere is from Mexico and married Logan in 2019. She has been an incredible addition to the ministry team and loves the Lord. She is the children's director at her home church, helps Logan in youth ministry, and is active in leading VBSs with Go Missions to Mexico. She is very gifted administratively and brings organization to whatever she does. Bere goes to Israel on occasion and loves it very much.

  • Why Israel Israel Is So Unique |

    Why Israel Is So Unique Israel – God’s Chosen Land ​ Israel . . . Land of the Bible . . . Land of Faith . . . the Holy Land, revered throughout recorded history as the cradle of monotheistic religion. For a person of faith whose beliefs are rooted in the Bible, there is no place on earth like the Holy Land. In this narrow strip of land lies the source of religious belief of much of mankind. Here, amongst the barren hills and fertile plains, man’s spirit learned to soar and from here a new message went out to all the world: “. . . and many peoples shall 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 His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For out of Zion (Hill next to Jerusalem) will go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3,4). The unique factor about the Holy Land is its special location in the World. Situated as it is, straddling the divide between Africa and Asia, the area has almost always been a battleground. Wave after wave of conquerors poured into it, anxious to control the strategic trade routes linking the centers of the ancient world. It’s not by accident that it’s virtually in the center of the world. In God’s master plan of creation, He decided to place Israel exactly in the center of His creation. Located on a tiny land bridge between Africa and Asia, there is no other way to get between the two of them except through Israel. It’s located on the crossroads of the world. Whoever wanted to trade between the two continents, or control the known world, had to conquer and control Israel. For this reason, there have been more wars and events that have taken place in Israel than any other country on earth. God positioned Israel in its unique location in order to influence the world and be on “Center Stage” so all of creation would know that He alone is God. For nearly 2,000 years, Christian visitors from all over the world have come to the Holy Land, the land of their spiritual heritage. With Bible in hand, they have walked the places Jesus walked and prayed in the places He preached and prayed. For Christians, Israel is a place like no other. It provides them a one of a kind opportunity to experience the land of the Bible, to deepen their faith, and to be spiritually transformed for a lifetime. ​

Holy Land Site

Bringing the Bible to Life by Seeing Where It Took Place!

Digital Book Cover Front - Israel Book (
Israel Biblical Sites Bible Companion (L
Biblical Sites


Israel Overview Tour of All Biblical Sites

Jerusalem Sites


Jerusalem Overview

Jerusalem Holy Sites Overview


Antonia Fortress

Bethany: Tomb of Lazarus

Chapel of the Ascension: Ascension & Return of Christ

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

City of David Overview

Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ


Dominus Flevit Church: Triumphal Entry

Eastern Gate


Garden of Gethsemane: Church of All Nations


Gordon's Garden Tomb


Gethsemane to Golgotha:

Christ's Path to the Cross

Hezekiah's Broad Wall


Hinnom Valley Overview


House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ


Kidron Valley: Judgment of God


Mary's Tomb


Mount of Olives Overview


Pater Noster Church: Lord's Prayer, Olivet Discourse

Pilate's Palace: Trial of Jesus

Pools of Bethesda & St. Anne 



Pool of Siloam

Prophecy, Proof the Bible Is True: Mount of Olives


Solomon's Temple

Southern Stairs/Davidson Archaeological Site

Temple Mount Overview

Temple Location

Temple Mount: Pentecost


Temple Cleansing by Jesus


Temple & the Early Church

Tomb of King David

Tombs of the Prophets

The Old Testament Feasts & Jesus


The Upper Room

Via Dolorosa


History Of Jerusalem's Walls and Gates


Western Wall & Tunnels Tour

Other Sites In Jerusalem

Sea of Galilee Sites


Sea of Galilee Overview




Calling of the Disciples


Capernaum: Jesus' Ministry Base




Feeding the 5,000

Gennesaret: Jesus Boat


Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea


Kursi: Demonic Man Healed


Magdala: Mary Magdalene


Mount Arbel: The Great Commission

Mount of Beatitudes


Sower's Cove: Parables of the Kingdom


Tabgha: Restoration of Peter

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Other Sites Around the Sea of Galilee

Northern Israel Sites


Beth Shean

Beth Shean Amphitheater


Caesarea Maritima Overview

Caesarea Maritima: Holy Spirit Given to the Gentiles


Caesarea Philippi


Cana: First Miracle of Jesus

Church of the Annunciation & St. Joseph Church

Dan (City of Dan)

Gideon's Spring


Jezreel Overview

Jordan River Overview

Megiddo: Armageddon


Mount Carmel & Elijah

Mount Tabor: Transfiguration of Christ


Nazareth Overview


Nazareth: Mt. Precipice

Sepphoris (Tsipori, Zippori)


Other Sites In Northern Israel


Central Israel Sites






Ein Karem (Kerem)


Emmaus Road 


Gezer: On Crossroads of the World

Gibeon - Nabi Samwil



Inn of the Good Samaritan


Jericho ~ Tell Es-Sultan


Joppa (Jaffa, Yafo) Overview

Jordan River: Crossing into the Promised Land

Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qsar al-Yahud)

Judean Wilderness

Judean Wilderness: Testing of Jesus

Mount Nebo & Moses

Philistine Cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Ekron, Gath

Qumran: Dead Sea Scrolls


Samaria (Sabastia)



Shechem: Jacob's Well


Shiloh: Center of Worship

St. George's Monastery (Wadi Qelt)

Timnah: Life of Samson

Valley of Elah: David & Goliath

Other Sites In Central Israel

Southern Israel Sites




Beer Sheba: The Patriarchs


Bethlehem Overview

Bethlehem: Church of Nativity


Bethlehem: David & the Psalms

Bethlehem: Naomi, Ruth, Boaz


Bethlehem: Shepherds' Field

Dead Sea Area


En-Gedi: Living Waters


Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai




Hebron Overview

Hebron Caves of Machpelah

Herodian (Herodium) Fortress

Oaks of Mamre, Hebron


Kadesh Barnea





Mount Sinai


Sodom & Gomorrah

The Philistines & Their City Strongholds


Timna Park: Tabernacle, Moses


Other Sites In Southern Israel

Other Biblical Sites

Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai

Madaba ( Map), Jordan

Mount Nebo & Moses


Noah's Ark & the Great Flood


Noah's Ark Location


Petra, Jordan

Biblical Series


Life & Ministry of Jesus Series

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