A Heart for Israel

I went to Israel without any expectations, only a desire to know God's will and purpose, to seek God's heart in my life. My agenda was narrow, His was on a far wider scale.

We went with Mt. Carmel School of Ministry, an intensive 2 weeks course that combined teachings and studies together with on site visitations. SOM revealed Israel in ways I feel was very unique and engaging. An excellent way to be introduced to Israel and God's plans. So inspirational are the messages that the sights almost seem secondary. It is quite a revelation to sit in a boat on the Sea of Galilee or gaze upon the plain of Megiddo and hear the teachings of Yeshua through the lips of Peter Tsukahira, David Davis and the other teachers, as well as to see the works and ministries that have been planted in the land through the messianic congregation of Jews at Kehilat HaCarmel.

We were introduced to the House of Victory, a rehabilitation center for addicts that have seen a remarkable transformation among its graduates. We worshiped with Arabs! in the New Covenant Church in Haifa. We heard the Sermon on the Mount on the Mt of Beatitudes and communed together at the Garden Tomb.

We visited Capernaum and Caesarea Philippi and prayed on the Golan Heights and on the Mt. of Olives. We listened to sermons under an oak tree in Tel Dan and under an olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Roman city of Caesarea and the fortress of Masada were revealed. Yad VaShem sobered while the Dead Sea refreshed us. We saw the caves of Qumran and the landscape of En Gedi. Jerusalem unveiled the Southern Steps of the Temple Mt. and the City of David.

Throughout the trip the song: "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercies last forever", sang in our hearts. "Hodu ladonai ki tov, ki leolam, leolam chasdo!" God has a purpose and a plan! and His heart is for Israel and the nations.

Baruch Haba Beshem Adonai!

Day 1
We have arrived in Israel! View of Mt. Carmel and the Mediterranean sea from Beit Yedidia, our guest house.

Around Mt. Carmel

The 1st sunset and sunrise at Beit Yedidia. There was a lion, a tiger, 3 roosters and a variety of birds that greeted the dawn at oh...i reckon 4am.

This little (noisy?) bird was innocently perched on the tree the night before. When I awoke the next day, it was still perched on the same tree! Hello!

Day 2
Worship at Kehilat HaCarmel, messianic congregation of Jews on the Shabbat.

Overlooking the plain of Megiddo or Armageddon – the Jezreel Valley. Somewhere here, Elijah rested and was fed by ravens. 1 Kings 17:1-6 It is here that 'all Isreal' could have gathered to witness the battle between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal. 1 Kings 18:16-46 Perhaps Elijah's servant climbed up here several times and saw a cloud, the size of a hand, rising out of the Mediterranean sea. 1 Kings 18:42-44

That's the Mediterranean sea in the distance, reflecting golden sunlight.

Sermon on Elijah's alter in the monastery's garden by Peter Tsukahira. 1 Kings 18:17-39 The false alter vs God's alter. The false alter is superficial 'cuts', for show. God's alter is a finality, You bring a non-returnable, living offering that represents the best. You build up the alter and God will meet you, His fire falls purposefully. This is revival.

Sunset back at Beit Yedidia.

House of Victory
We visited the House of Victory, Israel's first Bible-based rehabilitation center, where both Jews and Arabs have lived up to its name and emerged with victorious lives.

For more information about House of Victory, please e-mail Eric Benson at houseofv@netvision.net.il or write to House of Victory, P.O. Box 45384, Haifa, Israel.

Day 3
A new dawn on Beit Yedidia and oh wait! The little bird is still there! Is it real?

Teaching at Kehilat HaCarmel. Session 1. Peter Tsukahira teaches on Prophesy with a big 'P' – Today the Messiah has come! God will gather all Israel from all countries and bring them back to the promised land. Ezekiel 36:22-28 We need revelation – understanding and entering God's truth. What time is it? It is Israel time!

Very yummy Druze lunch lovingly introduced and described by Pam Singer.

Session 2. Don't 'blink' after Romans 8. Romans 9-11 is where the importance is! Romans 11:11-12 For if the fall of the Jews could bless the world, how much more a blessing when they accept the Messiah! Solve the biblical division between the Jew and Gentile and we will have the greatest global revival. All Israel will be saved!

Session 3. Preparing the Way by Dani Sayag, messianic Jewish Pastor. Isaiah 62 Get involved in what God wants to do in Israel. Prepare a way for the people of Israel to come back to God. Ezekiel 37 Israel is a valley of dry bones. Prophecy Israel to life. Pray!

Session 4. David Davis on The Elijah Spirit. Malachi 4:5-6 Move in the anointing of Elijah. Communion. Consecration. Community. Prayer. Confrontation. Commitment. Cave – alone with God. Cloak – glory. Make disciples! Go all the way. A double portion.

Day 4
Another sunrise over Beit Yedidia.

Teaching part 1. The Identity of Islam by Peter Tsukahira. Ishmael and Esau, brothers of Issac and Jacob. A transformed Esau. The Arab revival will precede Israel!

Teaching part 2. God's Tsunami. Israel & the nations. Two great end time fulfillments. Matthew 24:14 When the gospel is preached to all nations. Matthew 23:37-39 When Israel says: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."

Or HaCarmel Ministry Center has a vison for humanitarian aid, spiritual leadership training and intercessory prayer. They also house a refuge for women and their children – in recent years Sudanese Refugees. Being the first to open the doors to help these people, Rita Tsukahira explains here.

Views from the roof of Kehilat HaCarmel.

Day 5
Dawn over Haifa. It was windy and very cold...but you would still say a prayer over the city.

On the way to a teaching tour of Galilee.

Sermon on the Mt of Beatitudes by Peter Tsukahira. The Sermon on the Mount is considered the greatest teaching of Jesus. The blessing, the power and the glory is at the bottom, not the top. The kingdom of God is with the poor, the hopeless and the depressed. To find your ministry and anointing, look down!

The first view of the Sea of Galilee. The Galilee region was the home of Jesus during at least thirty years of his life. The first three Gospels of the New Testament are mainly an account of Jesus' public ministry in this province, particularly in the towns of Nazareth and Capernaum. It is also on this sea that Jesus walked on water!

Capernaum – the village of comfort – is situated on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the sabbath days and much of Jesus' public ministry happened here.

Teaching on Matthew 13:1-23, "The Parable of the Sower" by Peter Tsukahira. What is important in your life? Are you there only to listen and not follow? To merely hear and then return to your own life? These are the seeds that don't fall on good soil. We are called to listen AND follow, and to go out and change the world.

There is a large variety of birds on the Sea of Galilee.

Sermon on the Sea of Galilee by Phil Israelson. The kingdom of God = Power. God wants us to demonstrate this but it starts with purity. Time spent with God.

Day 6
The second day of the teaching tour of Galilee.

A Muslim village

Scenery on the way

A very very very old olive tree. When they were building the road, they didn't have a heart to cut it down, so they left it on the shoulder.

Caesarea Philippi is named after the pagan god Pan. A shrine stands here carved out of rock and the entrance is referred to as the "gates of Hades". Jesus refers to this when He tells Peter: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:13-23.

Peter Tsukahira speaks on Matthew 16:13-23. Jesus prophesied over Peter a different character to what he was. He gave Peter a revelation on who Peter was and his destiny. Despite all Peter's short comings, he became the man he was designed to be.

Tel Dan, the Biblical city of Dan, where Jeroboam builds golden calves to act as Israel's gods. 1 Kings 12:25-33

A track through the nature reserve to a ritual site attributed to the days of Jeroboam.

Peter Tsukahira together with our guide Inga

A teaching at Tel Dan by Phil Israelson. Deuteronomy 30: 11-20 and Deuteronomy 12 Do not delay, OBEY. Daily choose life and know the voice of the Holy Spirit. Your spiritual life is not automatic. It takes a decision to obey. Seek God with your all and ask Him to transform you and bring revelation.

Overlooking the border of Israel and Lebanon. Pray over Lebanon. Isaiah 29:17-18

On route to the Golan Heights.

A remembrance of the Yom Kippur War and praying over Syria on the Golan Heights.

Visit to an abandoned look-out post overlooking the borders of Syria and Lebanon.

Sculpture made out of recycled scrap metal.

Day 7
Teaching on "Restoration of One New Man". Zechariah 4. Israel and the Gentiles made one in Christ. One body, One spirit, One new man. By speaker David Davis, senior Pastor and founder of Kehilat HaCarmel and Beit Nitzachon, House of Victory.

Praying the "one new man" over the city of Haifa and over Lebanon (borders in the distance).

Phil Israelson

Visit to New Covenant Church, a body of Arab believers led by Pastor Yousef who also hosts his own Arabic Christian internet radio. See also "One New Man Conference".

Arabs, Jews and 10 Nations worshiping together in both Arabic and English. How cool is that!

Dinner at Maxim's, where we spoke to and prayed over the surviving waiter. Maxim was targeted by a suicide bomber for being a symbol of co-existence of Arabs and Jews. The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing however, failed to destroy the desire for peace and the restaurant was quickly rebuilt and opened within several months. The coffee here, by the way, is excellent!

Day 8
Our last sunrise at Beit Yedidia. Onwards to Jerusalem! In Hebrew, Yerushaláyim is in plural, meaning the two Jerusalem's. Perhaps referring to the New Jerusalem that is to come? Or maybe echoing the "one new man" concept of Jews and Gentiles.

We stopped by the Roman city of Caesarea on the way. A pagan city under Herod the Great.

Peter Tsukahira speaks on Acts 10, "Peter's Vision". Because of Peter's revelation, Caesarea became the first place the gospel went to the Gentiles.

Pomegranate juice...mmmmm...

A first glimps of Jeruselem!

Sobering visit to Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

The Jerusalem Menorah, a symbol of the nation of Israel and the mission to be "a light unto the nations." Isaiah 42:6. The seven-branched candelabrum – 7 symbolising "fullness" or "completion" – represents the Spirit of God.

The Haas Promenade boosting spectacular views of Jerusalem.

Day 9
Dawn over Jerusalem.

Tour of the Judean desert.

The fortress of Masada.

Overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada was fortified by Herod the Great. It is known for the first Jewish-Roman war, where 960 Jews choose suicide over surrender.

Such a pretty nun!

En Gedi.

Caves of Qumran. The caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include some of the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents made before 100 AD. In other words, the only surviving historical text that proves the Bible to be the most accurate piece of literature around...not that we need any proof!

A visit to the Pavilion Prayer Tower set up by King of Kings Community Jerusalem. It boosts 360 degree views of Jerusalem and is a place of devoted Prayer for the salvation of Israel.

Day 10
The Old City of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount

The site of the Pool of Bethesda

The streets of old Jerusalem

The Western Wall or the Wailing Wall, is an important Jewish religious site, part of which dates from the end of the Second Temple period.

Young prayers

Older prayers

The Southern Steps of the Temple Mt. Here it can truly be said Jesus walked upon and taught His disciples. It is here that the disciples emerged from the upper room filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Acts 2. Peter Tsukahira teaches from this chapter. Everyone who calls on His name, Jesus, Yeshua, will be saved. He is the Jewish Messiah. And Jews also need to be saved by Yeshua.

The Southern Steps with the Mt. of Olives in the distance

The southern wall of Temple Mount where some of the original stones from the time of Jesus can be found, still lying on the pavement where they had fallen. Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus predicts the destruction of the Second Temple.

A view of the Mt. of Olives

Down to the time of the City of David

Funky Kippas!

Views of the Temple Mt. from the Mt. of Olives.

The Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-45. Luke 22: 39-46. The Prayer in the Garden. "...nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” We need to come o the place where we can say: "Lord, whatever."

The Golden Gate.

Back in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Witnessing Bat Mitzvah. The coming of age of a Jewish boy or girl when they become responsible for their actions and bear their own responsibility for all areas of Jewish life.

Through the streets of Jerusalem.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

He sold me a memory card and asked me to take his photo...so, this is the guy who sold me a 4G CF card in a shop in old Jerusalem!

Jewish children at play.

The Garden Tomb. Golgotha, the "place of the skull".

Phil Israelson takes the final sermon. How great a salvation! To come under grace and truth, through Jesus who brought a new covenant.

We partook of bread and wine together in that Garden Tomb. In remembrance of Jesus, Yeshua, who loved us so much, He willingly went to the cross and died for us. That we might choose to receive this precious gift of salvation and enter into an intimate relationship with the God of Abraham, Issac and Israel.