Are you ready to go on an Israel pilgrimage? Take a life-transforming trip with tour leader Tim Moore on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: February 25, 2023
Tim Moore: Shalom! Welcome again to Christ in Prophecy! We have a very special treat in store for you today.
When Dr. David Reagan invited me to join the team here at Lamb & Lion Ministries, he charged me with two primary tasks: traveling to preach the soon return of Jesus Christ and leading Pilgrimage groups to Israel. I was thrilled with both responsibilities.
Our primary mission is proclaiming the Lord’s coming. We point to the signs of the times prophesied throughout Scripture that are multiplying before our eyes right now as evidence that Jesus is at the gates of Heaven—waiting for His Father to tell Him to “Go, and get Your Bride.” When that happens, Jesus will descend from Heaven with a shout to gather the Church—all of those who are His.
It has been a tremendous privilege to share that glorious message—offering hope to the redeemed and a warning to the lost.
But the other role David originally called me to has been a repeated blessing as well. Once or twice a year, I get to lead a group of Pilgrims to Israel.
We didn’t get to go in 2020 or 2021, but in 2022 we did return to the Promised Land. Our next trip is in May of this year.
For those of you who have never been to Israel—and those of you thinking about coming with us on a Pilgrimage—we thought we’d give you an appreciation of what awaits those who join us on this spiritual adventure.
Our tours emphasize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy—in the life of Jesus Christ and before our very eyes today. Unlike most tour groups that proceed from one Catholic church to another along a traditional pilgrim path, we spend two nights in Tel Aviv, two nights in Tiberias, at the Sea of Galilee, and six nights in Jerusalem.
One of the first sites we visit is the ancient city of Joppa—or Jaffa. It was an important port city dating to antiquity—and is prominently mentioned in the Old and New Testaments.
Israel Tour Joppa
Tim Moore: It was here at this place on a day similar to this when Peter came up to the roof. Why did he come to the roof? To feel a cool breeze. Yeah, to pray. To do what you all are looking forward to doing, take a nap maybe. But to feel the cool breeze. It was on the roof of a building not unlike some of these, in the home of the very lowest man in Joppa, that the Lord said to Peter, “Now, I’ve got another job for you.” And he sent him to the north to actually reach further down in the spiritual pecking order according to Jewish understanding to a Gentile, and to do what with Cornelius? To share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord didn’t come for the elevated and the proud, He came for the humble and the lowly. And He humbled Himself. And so, again, this theme of coming down, our Great God and Savior came down. Down. Down. To even the lowliest of us so that we can be lifted up. And as He was raised up on the cross, as He was raised up from the grave, and as He has been raised up to the heights of Heaven to the right side of God the Father, we too are promised that we will be raised up. He condescended, to come to save you. And to save you.
From start to finish, our tour is unapologetically evangelistic—even as we focus on God’s prophetic Word.
We call our Pilgrimage the “Footsteps of Jesus Tour” because we focus on where Jesus walked and ministered—and where He fulfilled His prophetic promises. But some of those promises were fulfilled before and after His ministry on the Earth—and some of them are being fulfilled even today.
As important as Joppa is to the narrative of Jonah and the building of the temple in the Old Testament, and as important as it is to the spread of the Gospel in the New Testament, we linger in Tel Aviv for another reason altogether.
One of the most important modern sites is a concrete structure that once housed a mayor and now stands as Israel’s Independence Hall. It is the location where David Ben Gurion read the proclamation declaring the modern state of Israel.
Most Christians alive in 1948 did not realize they were witnessing the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. From God’s rhetorical question to Isaiah about bringing forth a nation in one day to Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones, the Bible offered repeated prophetic promises that the nation of Israel would be reestablished in the end times. In a non-descript house in Tel Aviv—that was founded in 1909—that promise was fulfilled.
That is why we linger in Tel Aviv—and why we visit the home of Meir Dizengoff, the city’s first mayor. You can almost feel the joy that filled Jewish hearts around the world in 1948 as Israel was born.
This too is the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes!
Moving up the coast, our pilgrims visit another important site. Documented in Acts 23-26, Caesarea Maritime played a major role as the Gospel began to spread far and wide.
Uncovered as a major archeology site, this seaside ruin is breathtaking in its scale and beauty. You can easily envision Paul being brought to this quintessential Roman fortress-city to be held for many months. You can walk on the stones that once housed the palace where Felix and Festus would have heard Paul’s testimony and see the hippodrome where athletes and chariots would have competed to the cheers of Roman crowds.
There are tremendous spiritual insights to be gained from standing where Paul stood and considering the power and might of the Roman empire he sought to evangelize.
Picking up speed, our pilgrims travel further up the Mediterranean coast—following the ancient Roman Via Mares, or way of the sea, that connected Egypt, and Lebanon, and Assyria. It becomes easy to understand the strategic importance of the little sliver of territory called Canaan by Abraham and his immediate offspring but promised to his descendants forever.
Abraham’s descendants finally gained possession of the Promised Land after God called Moses to lead them out of captivity in Egypt. Because of their rebellion and disobedience, they were condemned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. But even then God proved Himself faithful as their protector and provider.
Under Joshua’s leadership, the children of Israel moved into the Land. Before He died, Joshua challenged them to choose who they would serve—the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or the false gods of the Canaanites. The people responded with resounding conviction that they would serve the LORD.
But, just a few generations later, the people had strayed grievously. So much so that by the time Elijah the prophet offered them the same choice, he was met with resounding silence. It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah presented that choice as he threw down a challenge to the prophets of Baal.
So, Elisha came to this mountain and offered a contest to the prophets of Baal. You all know the rest of the story, what happened? Well, he won, the Lord won by demonstrating His provision for actually answering Elijah’s prayer. It’s actually funny if you read the story, Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to offer a sacrifice, to prepare wood, to put it on an altar, and then to call out to their god. Well, they do so all day long, they cut themselves, they carry on. And at one point Elijah says, “Maybe he’s taking a nap. Yeah. Yell louder.” At one point in the original language he says, “Maybe he’s in the bathroom. He can’t hear you.” He is making fun of Baal, and of these prophets of Baal. And finally they are worn out. The day has gone all day long.
And so, Elijah gives the people a choice. And I think this is very instructive that he allows them to choose whom they will serve. And what is their answer? Silence. They don’t want to answer. They take the easy way out. They abstained. I mentioned yesterday that Great Britain abstained when the vote to embrace statehood for Israel, Great Britain took the cowards way out and abstained. Well, the people sat silent. They didn’t respond. So, Elijah prepared a sacrifice. He rebuilt an altar. He put wood on it. He put the sacrifice on it, and then he covered it with water. He even dug a little trench around and filled the trench with water. And then how did he go about praying? How would you all describe Elijah’s prayer to the living God? Short. How impassioned, how loud, how much out crying and repetition did he use?
I always find it interesting people have different styles of praying, and I’m not making fun of different styles of prayer any more than I would different styles of worship and song. But Elijah’s prayer was very simple, and compared to the prophets of Baal very quiet. He simply prayed, “O Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God, in Israel and that I am your servant. Now, I have done all of these things at your word. Answer me O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord our God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”
Our pilgrims visit other sites on their way north to Galilee. One of the favorites is the Nazareth Village—a working farm that replicates life in the time of Jesus. Nazareth Village has even discovered a watchtower and wine press that were likely in use when Jesus lived in the vicinity.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is another highlight for every pilgrim to Israel. Most Americans are surprised at how small the Sea of Galilee actually is. You can easily see across the lake and from one end to the other. But it is along the shoreline of Galilee that Jesus spent most of His ministry and performed most of His miracles. We try to visit all the primary sites around Galilee, but over the years, new sites continue to pop up. In just the years I’ve been leading Pilgrimage groups to Israel, the site at Magdala has been discovered and opened.
While we are at Magdala you all just heard about this incredible site that was discovered just very recently. Again, when I first came to Israel back in the day this site was not here, because it had not yet been discovered. It certainly had not been excavated. So that has happened virtually within the last 20 years, clearly. But there is an important aspect of this site that we want to emphasize here, because we always think about the 12 disciples that Jesus chose and who followed Him, but there were a number of other followers of Jesus, and some who arguably demonstrated even greater faith.
We heard about the woman with the issue of blood, and a beautiful painting down in the modern chapel, and she showed a tremendous faith, but she also showed a tremendous desperation. And last night we heard a testimony of a man who had a bottom point of life, desperate to find a way, found the true and living God. So, who am I talking about from right here at Magdala, none other than Mary Magdalene. And there is a powerful testimony about the significant role that woman played in the Gospel accounts, and in bearing witness to the person and to the miraculous power of Jesus Christ.
This is a new archaeological site where Mary Magdalene was from. One of the proofs of the Bible’s authenticity is its treatment of women. Written at a time when women were not even considered valid witnesses in a court of law, God’s Word gives full credit to the role of women. Several women were among Jesus’ most dedicated followers. In fact, women were present at and after His crucifixion—even when most of His disciples had fled from His side.
And women were the first witnesses to see the empty tomb—and in Mary’s case to meet the risen Savior. That is why I typically ask a lady among our group to share a testimony about our great God and Savior at this important site.
Wendy Howard: Can you imagine the feelings of these women? They’ve seen the greatest event in all of history. And they come to tell, supposedly these people who love them and that they love and have been following along with for over three years, and they thought they were speaking nonsense. And that just goes to the testimony there. But here is Jesus in John 20:15-18, and Jesus said to her, this is Mary, “Woman why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary,” she turned and she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni” which means teacher.
Mount of Beatitudes
Tim Moore: Moving up the hill from Magdala, we come to another site where the Bible says thousands gathered to hear the Lord. The Mount of Beatitudes is a gently sloping hill that overlooks the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee. It is surrounded even today by farms and crops that testify to the kind of people who lived in the region 2,000 years ago: fishermen near the Sea of Galilee and farmers in the surrounding hills.
Many of Jesus’ parables were pulled from the life experience of His listeners in that day and age. He spoke to fishermen of becoming “fishers of men.” He spoke to farmers about sowing seed. And given the volcanic nature of the area—with more rocks than any western farmer would want to deal with—His reference to some seed falling on the rock, other on the path, and some on the good ground, would have resonated dramatically with His listeners.
Some of them were drawn by His miracles. On the Mount of Beatitudes, He did not disappoint—even when the disciples insisted that they did not have enough food to feed the gathered thousands.
I’ll read from Matthew 14:13, “Now when Jesus heard about John He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself, and when the people heard of this they followed Him on foot from the cities.” From what cities? From all the cities here on the shoreline that we’ve talked about, clamoring to go where Jesus was. Mark 6:33, “The people saw them going, Jesus and His disciples and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities and got there ahead of them.” Skipping to Luke 9:12-14, “Now the day was ending, and the twelve came up and said to Him, ‘Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for we are here in a desolate place.'” How could they have gone to a desolate place? They were up in the foothills, in the hills where they were away from the cities. The people had come to be near Jesus and now it is getting to evening time and they did not have anything to eat. “But He said to them, ‘You give them something to eat!’ And they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men.” So, if there 5,000 men, you can expect there were well over 10,000-15,000 people with women and children gathered there. “And He said to His disciples, ‘Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.’ And then they all had them sit down. Then He took the five loaves, and the two fish and looking up to heaven He blessed them, and broke them and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. And they all ate and were satisfied and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up and 12 baskets were filled.”
The bountiful meals we enjoy today consist of bread and fish—and many other Israeli delicacies. Every evening after dinner, our groups enjoy gathering together to reflect on the experiences of the day and dig deeper into the spiritual insights they offer.
We used our word of the day, which was for those of you who came in just a few minutes late, what was the word of the day? Boker Tov. It sounds like broken toe, but it is boker tov. And then what is the good evening? Erev Tov. Erev Tov. We’ve already learned Shalom. You’ve learned saba. You’ve learned sababa. You’ve learned sa. And yesterday’s word was Shalom. So, now you’re picking up some Hebrew. You can pass in certain places.
Whenever possible, we like to meet outside—to enjoy the beautiful Israel weather and to look out on the same hills Jesus saw.
I want to do a brief review even before I introduce our very, very special guest about some of the things that we experience today.
We thought it would be fun to offer you a time-lapse view of the lengthening shadows as the sun sets over Galilee. Before darkness envelopes the land, I’d like you to meet Dan and Meg Price.
As often as we can, we invite special guests to describe what it is like to live and work in Israel. Dan and Meg are dedicated to sharing the Gospel with the Druze and the Jews.
Dan Price: Again, we were not expecting to ever live in Israel. As Meg said we thought we were going to be in Jordan for a really long time. We thought we were supposed to be in Syria, but then we had to go to Jordan instead. And so, we would take trips over here periodically when people came to visit us in Jordan, and it wasn’t that far so we would come over here. As Meg said we made seven trips and that was unexpected, but in one of those trips we meet with someone who was actually working with the Druze at that time, he had been here for 40 years, here in Israel working with the Druze. And I asked him in that meeting, I said, “How many Druze have come to belief in that period of time, in 40 years?” And he said, “This many.” And he said and I’m certain of this many.
Tim Moore: Sadly, Dan and Meg would tell you that there is much darkness covering the land of Israel today. Just as only two Druze came to trust in Jesus Christ during the 40-year ministry of their predecessor, many Israelis remain either adamantly secular or at least resistant to the Gospel. But thanks to the efforts of faithful servants like Dan and Meg Price—and dear friends to Lamb & Lion Ministries like Amir Tsarfati, Avi Mizrachi, Baruch Korman, and Christian Friends of Israel, the light of Christ is shining brightly in the darkness. Our pilgrims make a point to express our love to every Israeli Jew we meet.
I have to tell you that some of those evening gatherings are particularly memorable. In 2016, two of our pilgrims were married in a beautiful ceremony that blended Christian and Jewish elements.
After two full and busy days in the Galilee—including the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River—we make our way to Jerusalem. That means driving south down the Jordan River valley and then ascending almost 4,000 feet. There are so many important sites in Jerusalem that we’ll have to devote another episode of Christ in Prophecy, or two or three, to cover them all. But there is one that is my favorite.
Mount of Olives
But this is my favorite place I think in all of Israel. As much as I love the other sites, I love coming here. And why? Because of what happened in this place, and what you see in front of you, and what we anticipate happening in this place. So, let’s go back to get to the future.
In addition to the Mount of Olives, Pilgrims also love to visit the place where Jesus went with three of His closest disciples to pray the night before His crucifixion.
Gethsemane translates into “oil press.” It was here, in an olive grove we call a garden, that Jesus sweated great drops of blood as He contemplated being pressed as the perfect sacrifice—the Lamb provided by God to cover the sins of mankind.
One of the last stops on our Pilgrimage is a place that represents the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It is where His footsteps ceased—for three days.
Although scholars still argue about the exact spot where Jesus was crucified and buried, the Garden Tomb offers a beautiful and representative place—and quite possibly the exact location—where our Savior died, where He was buried, and where He rose again.
There is nothing quite like looking upon the skull-shaped hillside, peering into a tomb cut into solid rock and configured exactly as the Bible describes, and partaking of communion along with brothers and sisters in Christ who have become like family.
What better way to end a journey following in the footsteps of Jesus—literally and figuratively. What better way to reflect on what He accomplished—and declared finished—at Calvary, and to contemplate His promise to come again in the same manner which the disciples watched Him ascend into Heaven.
It is one thing to look at pictures, hear teaching, and read the Biblical account. It is another to go and experience the Holy Land personally. To either see for yourself—or to send one on your behalf to go, and then come back and tell you all they experienced.
Listen as one of our pilgrims from our last journey shares his pilgrimage testimony.
Here we are after a week and half in Israel in May of 2022 and what a busy week and a half it’s been. And I’m with my new good friend Jay Cash. Jay you and Jane have been here with us for a week and a half, what was your take away from your time in Israel?
Jay Cash: Well, I think Tim that the biggest take away for me was to be able now to see the Bible in a completely different way. Beforehand it was a book that I was reading, but things were black and white. Places were just places. But now I’ve been to those places, and I’ve been able to spend time where Jesus spent time, and walk where He walked. So, it now brings a whole new experience to how I read the Bible.
Tim Moore: To demonstrate the power of sending a young person—to be your feet and eyes and ears, and to come home motivated to share a newfound passion for the Word of God and His prophetic promises, and an eager anticipation of Jesus’ soon return—listen to Sarah Miriam testify about what a pilgrimage meant to her.
Miriam why did you want to come to Israel?
Miriam Moore: It’s been on my bucket list for a very long time to come. It’s something I wanted to do all throughout high school just to see where Jesus walked, and to bring the Bible to life and see the actual sites. Yeah, I’ve wanted to do it for a very long time.
Tim Moore: What would you go home and tell another young person who says, ah, do I really need to go to Israel to experience the Bible? Can’t I just read?
Miriam Moore: I think while you can get a lot from reading, obviously, I think going and experiencing the places in real life brings what you are reading to life. Because now I’ll go home and I can actually picture these places. It’s not something that I’ve made up in my mind. I know what they look like. I know what it was like, the environment, the culture at the time. And I would definitely say it is worth it to make the trip out and go.
Tim Moore: Several years ago, a staunch supporter of Lamb & Lion Ministries was scheduled to go on a Pilgrimage along with a friend. At the last moment, health issues prevented either of them from traveling to the Holy Land.
Instead of bemoaning his inability to go, that dear man insisted that I find two young people to add to our group. They went at virtually no cost to themselves and came home full of thanksgiving and eager to share all they had seen and heard.
Based on that act of benevolence, we created the Millennial Kingdom Scholarship. Donors contribute to our MKS fund, which allows us to invite a young person or two to accompany us on each Pilgrimage trip.
If you’d like to “pay it forward”-investing to help raise up young fruit bearers to serve the Lord—consider contributing to our MKS fund. You can ensure that your love of the Lord, His chosen people, and the Promised Land will be extended to yet another generation.
Or, if you have the wherewithal, send a young person close to you to Israel on your behalf. Then watch and listen as the Lord fills their heart to overflowing.
We’ll end this episode of Christ in Prophecy at the place Jews consider to be the holiest site in Jerusalem, and Israel, and therefore the world: the Western Wall. Officially designated as an outdoor synagogue, the Western Wall represents the hopes and dreams of the Jewish people. Faraway and impossible to visit for thousands of years by most of the Diaspora, it was off-limits to Jews from the War of Independence until the miraculous liberation of Jerusalem’s Old City in the Six Day War. Today, it is a favorite meeting place for Jews and Gentiles alike who want to honor the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Well, I’ve come here to the Western Wall Plaza on this beautiful day in May to join the many Jewish worshippers who gather here at this out door synagogue. They come to be closest to the presence they think of the Shekinah Glory of God as it was manifest back during the period of the Temple. But, we come here not because we think this is a special place, but because we know the Shekinah Glory of God has already been manifest in the person of Jesus Christ. And yet, we respect this Jewish tradition. We love to come to this place. Indeed I love to come to Israel and Jerusalem. If you’ve not already considered making a pilgrimage to this place, to the Holy Land to see all that God has done in the past, all that He is doing even in the present, how He is fulfilling Bible prophecy before our very eyes. Then I invite you to join me to walk where Jesus walked and to draw closer to the One who is the manifest person of the Lord God Almighty, come and join us here in Israel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief snapshot of a Lamb & Lion Pilgrimage to Israel. It is impossible to convey all the sights, and sounds, and smells that fill your senses in Israel. It is also impossible to describe the unique closeness pilgrims develop as they experience this spiritual adventure together.
We have condensed a week-and-a-half journey into less than 30 minutes. But hopefully we’ve whet your appetite to go to Israel—or to send someone on your behalf.
Come and walk where Jesus walked. See His prophetic promises to the Jewish people being fulfilled in the resurrected nation of Israel. Gaze across the valley where the Antichrist and the armies of the world will make their stand against the Messiah. And stand where Jesus’ feet will touch as He returns to the Mount of Olives.
There is an old farewell that Jews would utter as they parted ways—a deep longing of the heart that was uttered as a hope-filled prayer: Next Year in Jerusalem. You don’t have to wait until next year! You can join us this year in Jerusalem! Shalom!!
End of Program