Insights, Israel / Middle East

Ahoy Jerusalem

Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim! May those who love her prosper“.
Here are my thoughts regarding my recent sabbatical in Yerushalayim/Jerusalem. To say I was not prepared for the abounding spiritual darkness is an understatement. I came home physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained.

Walking in Darkness
Job 12:25 – “They grope about in darkness without light . . .”
The hotel I stayed in was located just north of Herod’s Gate in the heart of a Muslim neighborhood. The hotel was very clean and the staff friendly and knowlegable.  The complimentary breakfast was superb!

But stepping outside the doors was like stepping into the land of darkness. The streets are littered with trash and garbage. Few return a smile. Few return a greeting. Few are walking in joy. The burdens their god places on their lives is crushing these people. They need Yeshua pray – for their salvation!

The ultra-Orthodox and Hassidim Jews are also lacking in joy. They also fail to smile or return a greeting. Man-made dogma and tradition permeates their lives and the burden seems too heavy for most of them. Their focus today is on a stone wall and a rebuilt Temple, not a living Mashiach/Messiah. They need Yeshua too – pray for their salvation!

The Kotel
Job 30:26 – “But when I hoped for good, trouble came; when I expected light, then darkness came“.
My first jaunt in Yerushalayim was to go to the Kotel, the Western Wall. No sooner did I arrive than a series of loud booms exploded in the air. You guessed it. It was August 10th (the 9th of Av on the Biblical Calendar) and the riots were in full swing on the Temple Mount and also nearby the Western Wall. The IDF soldiers quickly scooted us out of the area for our safety. Yikes!

The Jerusalem Deceptions
1 John 3:7 – “Little children, let no one deceive you“.
So many of the tourist sites are mere deceptions. The streets one walks on that are purported to be where Yeshua walked are actually thirty to fifty feet above the streets he walked on! The only actual place one can walk where he walked is on the steps at the south end of the Temple Mount wall.

The Church of the [Holy] Sepulcher is a total deception and so pervaded by evil that a woman I met at the Garden Tomb, when I called it the Church of the Satanic Sepulcher, shouted “You nailed it – that is precisely what it is” and then stated “I had to run out of there immediately after entering; the demonic evil spirits within were too much for me to withstand“.  I am glad I had previously decided not to visit this site.  Her comments completely sealed my decision to avoid this site entirely.

The Garden Tomb, while very peaceful, is filled with delusion and deception. The tomb does not have a bench or raised seat on which the angels would have sat (Mark 16:5, John 20:12). The press is a wine press from the Roman period, not an olive press from Yeshua’s time — Gethsemane means Olive Press (Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32). [Pray tell, what would a grape press be doing at an olive orchard/ garden/tomb site, eh?] The Place of the Skull is not a rock face, but is the place where David placed the severed skull of Goliath when he brought it to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 17:54)!

The Garden of Gethsemane is inside a Catholic Shrine and is inundated by vendors and hawkers trying to pry one away and off to Bethany or Bethlehem or some other Catholic site – it was neither particularly peaceful nor spiritually uplifting.

Psalms 18:28 – “Indeed you light my lamp, Yahweh. Elohim illuminates the darkness around me“.
We who live in the United States and worship Yahweh/Yeshua have very little concept of how fully we walk in the Light. We do not pray to a stone wall — we pray to the Living God, Yeshua. We do not need tourist traps as signs that Yeshua lived and walked in Yerushalayim.

The world needs Yeshua. Yerushalayim needs Yeshua. Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim, the Jewish people, and the Muslim people as well.  Maranatha.