Saturday, March 16, 2019

Four Gardens

There are four main gardens in scripture. First we
see the Garden of Eden where Satan deceived the
woman and from that point on, all were born sinners.
The second garden was Gethsemane where Jesus
made the decision to go to the cross to become the
second Adam. The second Adam took care of the
sin problem so that all could now fellowship with
the living God if they so chose. The third garden,
oh, the third garden, contains an empty tomb today.
Paul said that if Jesus did not rise from the dead then
we are the most miserable among men. Our Savior
conquered death in that third garden. Now the fourth
garden, drum roll, will arrive when the Tree of Life
comes down from heaven upon the new earth:

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, 
clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of
God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street
and on either side of the river was the tree of life
which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its
fruit every month. The leaves of which were for
the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:1,2

Reader, I started to ponder the gardens in the Bible
when we were in the Garden of Gethsemane. It
would seem that the first and fourth gardens are
the same garden. Remember Adam and Eve lived
there before they sinned and afterward the garden
was taken up to heaven. Read the last chapter of
Revelation and see if you don't get very excited!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Garden

It is an awesome thing to walk into the Garden where an
empty tomb is found. We were taken first to a place where
a Scottish gentleman introduced us to what had happened
here 2,000 years ago. Why is it believed that this is the
tomb where it all happened? Well, first of all it is outside
the city; secondly it is near a road that is believed to be the
road where Jesus was crucified and the cross had to be near
the garden where Jesus was buried; thirdly, the skull is still
visible today. This is also the place where Abraham offered
up his son, Isaac, where Abraham said to Isaac, "God will 
provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering."
Then Abraham called the name of the place, "The-Lord-
Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the mount of 
the Lord it shall be provided." (Genesis 22:8,14.) It was
amazing to me that we were in the place where these events
are connected. Shadows and patterns are found all through

We walked through this beautifully kept garden to the tomb.
When you walk in, there is a vestibule where the body would
be prepared for burial with spices and then wrapped. We
know that the job was not finished for the women came the
third day with the spices--and found an empty tomb! Then
we went into the inner room where the body of Jesus had
been laid. In every other religion there is a tomb and a body.
We worship a risen Lord who gives life to the dead!

Our time there was ended with a sermon and communion
which was so precious as we had become a close group.

I will post some pictures on my FB page. One of the pictures
will be a picture taken at the tomb in the late19th century. I
found it in the bookshop.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Old City

We continued to explore the old city of Jerusalem. The
overview of the city and the Temple Mount is at the top
of the Mount of Olives and it was from there that we
walked down the path that Jesus took when he came into
Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. When we were
at the top, Glen and I both saw a camel lying down. He
looked stuffed, but then I saw him blink. Glen is so thank-
ful he didn't kick him! We were looking at the city from
the east and between us and the city was a large number
of graves--all of them facing east in order to be the first
to resurrect when the Messiah arrived. Unfortunately, they
all missed Him...

On our way down we came to the gate of a garden called
Gethsemane. The olive trees are old. The Romans had cut
down all the trees in AD 70, but Olive trees grow from the
roots left and so the trees we saw were 2,000 years old. It is
interesting to me that within the Garden was an olive press
where the olives are crushed to make the oil. Our Savior
was crushed also, to give us life, eternal life. It was in this
garden that Jesus said to His Father,
"Not my will but Yours be done." 
The battle was won in that moment.

We spent some time overlooking a wall built by the Cru-
saders which is16 large stones above the foundation stones
of the temple wall. Jesus told his disciples that not one stone
of the Temple would be left intact. I have a picture of giant
stones, disconnected, and lying in a heap. You see, all of the
200 prophecies in the Old Testament regarding Jesus' first
coming were fulfilled, and so everything that Jesus spoke
about His Second Coming in Matt 24, will also be fulfilled.

Our last stop that day was at the steps where the Jews en-
tered with their lambs and goats, in their arms to be sacri-
ficed in a designated area of the Temple. It is on these steps
that the teachers of the law would sit so that people could
ask them questions. It is thought that this is where His par-
ents found Jesus at the age of twelve. These teachers
marveled at His wisdom. Great story in Luke 2:41-50!

Reader, in the next blog I will go into the Resurrection.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

From the Mountains to The Mountain

We left  the Golan Heights and traveled to Jerusalem through
the Decapolis to the largest of the ten cities where the man
who had been full of demons, brought many to Christ. The
ruins of Scythopolis were Roman. A 9.1 earthquake brought
the city down many years ago. It was quite a large city with
shops, falling water, pillars, and both a theater and an amphi-
theater. The hill behind it was a "Tell," which means there
were treasures under there and the time was probably during
the days of David and Solomon. Evidently Jewish Antiquities
did not want to disturb the hill....

We entered Jerusalem at dusk and my first impression was
the many very tall modern apartment buildings on the hills
around us. Perhaps it was the ruins we had witnessed which
made me think of the predicted earthquake in Revelation in
which a tenth of the city will collapse! (Rev 11:13).

The old city is seems small and is about 30 feet above where
it was in 33AD, as Jerusalem has been leveled many times
in the last 2,000 years. The walls now standing are from the
Crusaders who built so many of the structures in Israel, which
have recently been uncovered. The city is divided into 4 parts--
Christians, Muslims, Armenians, and then the Jewish quarter.
We came into the Armenian quarter and then into the Jewish
quarter where we had lunch. I have to say that we found joy in
the adults we met and enjoyed the laughter of children playing
in the streets of Jerusalem. We came to a large Menorah that
was made in the image of the Menorah which Moses construc-
ted and which was taken to Rome by Titus. It can be seen in the
Arch of Triumph in Rome and it now is thought to reside in the
Vatican archives. The Menorah we saw will be placed in the
Third Temple--the tribulation Temple--which is almost ready to
be set up. It just needs a place. So, you see, in a very small part
of Jerusalem, we saw the past, present and future--all in one day!

Reader, I think I will stop here. There is much more to say about
this beautiful city--where our tall modern hotel was built next to
the wall of the old city. We were very well fed everywhere we
landed--including all of our lunches. And, I did not gain a pound!

Friday, March 1, 2019

From the Sea to the Mountains

We headed up to the Golan Heights and found our-
selves 35 miles from Damascus. It was another beau-
tiful day, though chilly, as we walked out to look at
the valley where Israel meets the Syrian border, as
well as the border of Lebanon and Israel. Everything
is so compact. We warmed up in the cafe sipping on
Latte's and enjoyed the warmth. Hard to believe that
a conflict exists. We felt perfectly safe that day. Such
a beautiful view of the snowy peak of Mt Hermon.

From there we drove to the bottom of Mt Hermon
where spring flowers were in bloom and where three
rivers form from the mountain snows. Each of them
goes underground for 3 or 4 years and then springs
forth from the ground, each flowing into the Jordan
River. We saw the remains of the city of Dan and then
the Gate of the Kings, put there by one of the Northern
Kings of Israel. The most interesting thing was that
in Genesis 14:14 the scripture says that Abraham
came there when he was chasing the five kings to
get Lot back! It was a long way on foot!

At the foot of Mt Hermon is a cave and was a place of
worship to Pan which is connected to goats. The path
we took passes live goats so maybe it is still a place of
worship to this false god. Water was gushing and early
spring flowers were out. When I think back to this part
of the trip it is a time drenched in sunshine and every-
thing is bright green with flowers dotted here and there.

At one point we were a half mile from the Lebanon border
and saw Apache Helicopters that were re-turning from
Lebanon--just "doing business" says our guide. One thing
I had not realized was that the River JorDAN is connected
to the tribe of Dan.

Last year Israel hosted 4 million tourists and it is expec-
ted to be 5 million this year. I actually felt safer walking
around Israel than I felt living in Washington DC!