On June 20, 2019, God inspired me to book another trip to Israel from September 23 - October 10, 2019. As I have discovered with previous trips, it is not always about going, but rather the story that God creates around the idea of going! It is on this basis that I issued an 'Elijah Challenge' to someone who doesn't believe that these trips are inspired by God. What is an "Elijah Challenge"?
In 1 Kings 18:19-40, Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a competition in which he says, "And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God." - 1 Kings 18:24. I did this to prove that God is the inspiration behind this trip to Israel. He doesn't have to answer by fire, only in that He creates some sort of a story behind this trip to prove that He was the inspiration behind it!
On June 20, 2019, God again put it in my heart to book a trip to Israel. Whether or not I end up going on that trip is up to God, as I currently don't have the money to be able to go!
As with previous trips, God has always created a story around the idea of going, whether or not I ended up going on that trip or not! So, I assume this trip will be no different.
I have chronicled my previous trips to Israel in my new book, "Proving God with Numbers - Second Edition", and I am currently writing the third edition! I had no idea I would be writing a second edition, let alone a third! Nevertheless, it was God who prompted me to write the original edition of this book, and it was Him who prompted me to write the second and third editions as well! So, as long as God keeps writing new material for me, I will keep having things to write about in future editions of my book! That is one thing that I have realised through writing this book, that God never stops working for us, anywhere, anytime! So, I assume that will continue, as long as I am alive.
So, getting back to the original topic of this article, on June 20, 2019, just after 4 P.M., God inspired me to book the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. This is one of the most prestigious hotels in all of Israel, and where many global leaders choose to stay when they visit Israel. It has a long and storied history, stretching back to 1931 when it opened. I have stayed there twice before, once in 2010 on my first trip to Israel, and again in 2016 on my third trip. However, it is not cheap. The cheapest room starts at around US$500 per night, on up into the thousands of dollars per night for the most expensive rooms. So, if God wants me to go on this trip, He will have to find a way for me to pay for it!
So, we shall see if He eventually provides for this trip, or whether it is just about the story that He creates around the idea of going! Time will tell. The trip is due to depart N.Z. on September 22, and return on October 10, from Israel. An eighteen-day journey. I suspect the total cost of the trip will be around US$14,000, plus another US$3,000 for the trip to Auschwitz in Poland.
Here's a couple of things that I have already noticed about this trip to Israel:
My flight is due to arrive on September 23, exactly six months to the day that God prompted me to publish the second edition of my book! I published it on March 23, even before I was ready to!
The trip covers two important feast days in the Jewish Calendar - The Jewish New Year / Feast of Trumpets on September 30, and Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement on October 9. These two feast days are laid out in Leviticus 23:23, through to Leviticus 23:32. The fact that I arrive on September 23, and that these two feasts are laid out in Leviticus chapter 23, did not escape my attention!
On day 23 since God inspired me to book this trip to Israel, (June 20 = day 1, July 12 = day 23), He started giving me locations to visit/write down. These are listed at the bottom of this article.
On August 12, exactly one month to the day that God gave me the first location to write down, He gave me a second one to write down.
September 12 will be exactly 12 weeks to the day that God inspired me to book this trip, and it is also the 12th day of the 12th month in the Jewish calendar. (12th of Elul). This would be the sixth time that God has used the time period of "12 weeks" to mark three separate trips to Israel, starting in May 2018. See "12 Weeks" for more.
On August 10, I decided that if God provides for this trip, I would visit the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland, on the 12th of October.
So, whether there is a story around that, remains to be seen!
Incidentally, I issued a challenge to someone I know who doesn't believe that these trips are inspired by God! Here's what I said:
"How about we let God decide who is wrong and who is right over the next 3 months between now and September 22?
Since you don’t believe me, and I don’t believe you, we’ll let God decide who is right or not!
If He creates a story around this trip, whether I go or not, that will be proof enough for me, based on what He has done before. I don’t believe that these trips are about going or not, they are more about the story that God creates around them!"
That challenge was issued on June 26, 2019. So, for me, whether I go on this trip or not is besides the point. It is the story that God creates around it that is the point of these trips! Not whether I go or not.
So, we shall see what happens between now and my proposed departure date. If He does nothing, then so be it, I will look a little stupid. If, however, He creates some sort of story around this trip that backs up my claim that these trips are inspired by God, then that will be my proof that God was behind it! So, we shall see. Time will tell!
This article was originally published on June 28, 2019, and updated on the 5th and 6th of July. Additional updates will be made, as and when required.
Update: 27 July, 2019: On July 26, exactly one month to the day that I issued this challenge, this is what I discovered:
On 14 August, 2019, it will be exactly 7 weeks to the day that I issued this "challenge". The day that I issued this challenge (June 26), was the departure date from Israel, for a previous trip that God had inspired.
August 14, 2019, will also be exactly 7 months to the day that God gave me the last "thought for today" to put up on my website. That quote related directly to Elijah! Not only that, but the quote referred to the number seven, twice! Here is the actual quote:
"And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not." - 1 Kings 18:43-44
Here is the link to the page where it is located: January 14, 2019. It was posted on January 14, 2019, which, as it happens, was the departure date to Israel for another trip that God had inspired!
Update: 25 August, 2019:
On August 9, the idea came into my head to book a tour of the Western Wall tunnels in Jerusalem. I decided I would visit it on the 26th of September, 2019, however, it didn't seem that God wanted me to book it. That was, until August 25th, 2019. At exactly 7:50AM New Zealand time, I booked the earliest tour I could on the 26th of September, for 12:50PM. The only other options were 5:20PM, 6PM and 7:20PM; all rather late in the day! So, I booked the 12:50PM tour instead. (Earlier tours on the same day were added at a later stage.)
Interestingly, that number, "12:50", is an important one for me. It is the number that God told me my old website business was worth to a company that should have bought it back in December 2009. $1250K or US$1.25 million. It is the reason why I have no money today! That conversation with God is still the one and only time that I have had a direct conversation with God, where I have had immediate responses to my questioning! If you would like to read the full article, I have written about it here: Talking with God. As a result of not taking their offer, I ended up practically bankrupt nearly 10 years later!
So, that conversation with God was essentially to tell me that I was right to reject their lower offer for my website, which was well below God's valuation of US$1.25 million! In any case, in a further interesting twist, the time that I booked that tour at 7:50AM, is exactly 12:50PM in Los Angeles where the company that should have bought my website is based!
And, as it happens, the 26th of September is exactly 3 months to the day that I issued this challenge to someone above! Whether or not this has any significance, only time will tell!
Update: 26 August, 2019:
Incidentally, on September 26, 2013, God got me to send an email to the company above, which I besought Him 2-3 times because I didn't want to send it, however, I sent it anyway! I won't disclose the contents of that email at this point, as I don't know if it has any significance or not, but given the latest events of yesterday, there may be more to it! The title of that email was "destruction", hence my unwillingness to send it. September 26, 2019, will be six years to the day that God prompted me to send that email.
Exactly one week after I sent that email, I was approached to sell my business website, and it was sold the following day on October 4, 2013 - four years after it should have been in December 2009.
Update: 23 September, 2019:
Incidentally, the day that I was due to arrive in Israel, is also the start of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The Autumnal equinox occurs at 12:50 AM Los Angeles time, 7:50 PM N.Z. time (Vernal equinox), and 10:50 AM Israeli time on the 23rd of September, 2019. The flight that I had originally booked and then cancelled, arrived at approximately 7:50 AM Israeli time from Hong Kong, where it was approximately 12:50 PM when it landed.
Incidentally, the length of time from when God prompted me to book the Western Wall tour at 7:50 AM on the 25th of August, until the Spring equinox in New Zealand at 7:50 PM, is exactly 29.5 days - the exact length of an average lunar month which the Hebrew calendar is based on. The long-term average lunar month is 29.53 days.
On the 13th of October, 2019, I also discovered that it was exactly 70 days from August 14 to October 23, which would mark 7 months to the day since God prompted me to publish the second edition of my book.
(Click to enlarge)
On day 23 (July 12) since God inspired me to book this trip, He started giving me locations to visit/write down. The first one was the "Wadi Qelt" in Jericho.
Wadi Qelt, Jericho
Yardenit, Jordan River
Mt. of the Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee
In early August, for whatever reason, the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland came to mind. So, I decided that if God provided for this trip, I would like to visit it, and tacked it on to the end of this trip. So, we shall see if He provides for this trip, or not!
6. Second Trip
On October 21, the "eighth day of assembly" in the Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:36), immediately following the seven-day "Feast of Tabernacles", God again brought Auschwitz back to mind, exactly 11 weeks or 77 days since He first brought it to mind on August 5th. So, I went back to the Auschwitz website and had a look at another date for a potential visit.
I felt drawn to January 11, 2020, so I booked a tour on that date.
Three days later on October 24, God brought the "Dead Sea" to mind, so I ended up booking a hotel in Israel from the 9th-10th of January, 2020; the last day before heading to Poland and Auschwitz, should I end up going.
Interestingly, if you take a look at the timeline above, this next trip to Israel was inspired exactly one day after the end of the "70-day" and "7 months" periods above, ending October 23!
Later that night, I also chose a departure date from New Zealand back to Israel, and I felt drawn to December 28, 2019 as the departure date from New Zealand. Four days later, I worked out that it was exactly 18 weeks to the day since God inspired the first trip on June 20, to October 24, when He inspired this second one. The first trip to Israel was due to last 18 days. Two days later on October 30, exactly 18 weeks to the day that I set the 'Elijah challenge', I discovered that Elijah stopped the rain for three-and-a-half years. More on that below!
The number '18' has an interesting place in Judaism, with many Jews donating money in multiples of 18, because the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word "Chai" - meaning "life" - adds up to 18.
Interestingly, from September 18, 2016 to February 18, 2017, God gave me a new Bible verse to put up on this website, on the 18th of the month, for six months in a row! You can see them here:
Aptly, each quote after the first one began with an "And", as if to signal a continuation from the previous one! Even more interesting is that the quote He gave me in December 2016, has the exact date of my departure in the verse! And it was given in the same month! The date of my departure is 28/12, and the verse He gave me in December 2016 was Genesis 28:12, referring to "Jacob's ladder". For the full quote, click on the link above.
Later that night on October 24, I discovered the following things:
The trip is due to arrive on the 7th day of Hanukkah; an 8-day Jewish festival that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The trip arrives in Israel, exactly 6 years to the day that my second trip departed on December 29, 2013. My first and third trips were also separated by exactly 6 years!
The trip is due to arrive home on the 14th of January - exactly one year to the day that I posted that Elijah quote to my website on January 14, 2019, above. It is also exactly one year to the day that another trip to Israel was due to depart, marked by "12 weeks".
The following morning, I worked out something even more interesting!
This trip is due to depart exactly three-and-a-half years to the day since departing Israel on the last trip that I actually went on in June 2016! (June 28, 2016 - December 28, 2019) The reason that is interesting is two-fold. Jesus' ministry was said to last around three-and-a-half years, but it is also the exact length of time that the Antichrist is said to have complete reign for during the Great Tribulation!
The length of time of the Great Tribulation is variously described as "a time and times and the dividing of time" (Daniel 7:25), 42 months, or 1,260 days. (Revelation 11:2; 12:6; 13:5) All time periods equal the same amount; three-and-a-half years (using a prophetic year of 360 days).
Another interesting use of the time period of three-and-a-half years, is the length of time that Elijah stopped the rain for in the Bible. In Luke 4:25, Jesus said that Elijah stopped the rain for three-and-a-half years:
"But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;" - Luke 4:25
The quote that God got me to put up on this website on January 14, 2019, where Elijah's servant climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel seven times, marked the end of the three-and-a-half year period of no rain. I find it fascinating that God would use this quote and tie it in with the first trip, and then use a three-and-a-half year period to tie it in with the second trip! That is not something that I could do! Only God could come up with that sort of timing and design!
If God does provide the money for this next trip in December, it would mark the end of a three-and-a-half year 'drought' of me not going to Israel! Just like the quote that God got me to put up on January 14, 2019, of the cloud that marked the end of the three-and-a-half year drought in Israel. Interesting symbolism if that is the case!
Another interesting fact about Hanukkah, is that it celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple after it was defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes - a king of the Seleucid empire in the 2nd Century B.C. Antiochus is viewed as a forerunner of the Antichrist, in that he defiled the temple, and Hanukkah celebrates the purification and rededication of the temple after that event. So, for me to be departing exactly three-and-a-half years since leaving Israel on my last trip in 2016, and arriving on the seventh day of Hanukkah, is quite an interesting tie-up of events; especially given that Antiochus, the Antichrist, and the 'three-and-a-half years', are all intimately connected! It appears to me that God is trying to validate what is written in the Bible as true, using the dates and times of my previous trips to Israel!
How that is connected to Auschwitz, though, I do not know! I guess only time will tell!
Jesus Himself attended the Festival of Hanukkah in the Bible, in John 10:22-23. This is the only place in the Bible, either Old Testament or New Testament where it is mentioned.
One of the most well-known facts about the Antichrist is that his number will be 666. Here is a fun little fact. In 1997, in my third-year at University, I lived at an address called "666 Great King Street"! The Antichrist himself will be a 'great king' or leader.
Another interesting prophecy worth noting here, is that of the 1,335 days as mentioned in Daniel 12:12. One thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days is exactly 75 days after the 1,260 days that the Great Tribulation and the Antichrist are said to last for.
"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." - Daniel 12:12
Hanukkah generally falls around 75 days after Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, Judaism's holiest day, and so it is possible that the rededication of the Jewish Temple could take place on Hanukkah, 75 days after the end of the Great Tribulation. This is, of course, speculation, however, it is interesting given the number of days between the two feasts/festivals, and what they each represent.
If you use a prophetic year of 360 days, where each month lasts 30 days, Hanukkah will always fall 75 days after the Day of Atonement.
Hanukkah begins on the 23rd of December, 2019 (technically sunset on December 22nd), and runs through until December 30. I am due to depart on the sixth day of Hanukkah, on the 28th of December, 2019.
Tel Dan, Galilee
Ein Tabgha, Sea of Galilee
Masada, Dead Sea
Pool of Siloam, Jerusalem
Mt. of the Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee
Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Sea of Galilee
Western Wall, Jerusalem
Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem
Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth
Banias, Upper Galilee
Mt. Precipice, Nazareth
Jaffa, Tel Aviv
Update: December 28, 2019: Ultimately, God once again did not provide the money for me to be able to go on this trip, so I will have to wait for an ultimate conclusion to this story. Stay tuned!
7. Third Trip
On November 4, 2019, a rather unusual thing happened. I felt God prompt me to book the first hotel that me, my dad and my little brother, Tim, first stayed at in London, England in May 1993. This was mine and Tim's first overseas trip when I was 16 years old.
So, I went ahead and booked the hotel. I felt drawn to the month of April, and then to April 9, 2020, and booked it for four nights, checking out on April 13. Shortly after booking it, I realised that the 9th of April was 7 years to the day that I launched this website in 2013!
Three days later on November 7, another unusual thing happened. I felt God prompt me to book the first hotel that we same three first stayed in on our trip to Germany in 1995! So, I went ahead and booked that one as well, checking in on April 13, and checking out the next day on April 14. This was a very strange thing to occur, however, the inspiration was strong, and I knew that this is what God was wanting me to do. Later that day, I decided to pick a departure date from New Zealand to England, leaving on the 8th of April and arriving one day later on the 9th.
The very next day on November 8, I made an interesting discovery.
I suddenly remembered that the Jewish feast of Passover normally falls in March/April of any one year. So, I decided to check up on what date Passover falls in 2020. To my surprise, it falls on April 8 - the exact date of my departure to England that I had chosen one day earlier! That would mean that my arrival date was on the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. That was quite an interesting coincidence, I thought. Modern Israel actually refers to the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread as "Passover", however, Passover is only one day, and occurs on the 14th day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, one day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th of Nisan. That's why you'll see "Passover" beginning on the 15th of Nisan in Israel, not the 14th.
However, that's not the only interesting thing I discovered. On the day I discovered this - the 8th of November - it was exactly 5 months to the day to Passover on April 8, 2020 - my departure date! There are only a few instances of where the time period of '5 months' occurs in the Bible, and the most prominent one is this:
From the day that it started to rain and the "fountains of the great deep" were opened in Noah's Flood (Genesis 7:11), it was exactly 5 months to the day that the Ark came to rest on the "mountains of Ararat" in Genesis 8:3-4.
"And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated." - Genesis 8:3
One-hundred-and-fifty days actually equals 5 exact months in an ancient calendar year of 360 days, where a year consisted of twelve, thirty-day months.
Furthermore, the day that God prompted me to book the hotel in London, was exactly 5 months to the day to the 10th of Nisan, where the Jews are required to take an unblemished lamb and keep it for four days before slaughtering it on Passover on the 14th of Nisan!
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:" - Exodus 12:3
This was the first Passover celebration.
Interestingly, the weekly Torah portion for the sabbath just been was called "Parashat Noach", or "Noah"! Furthermore, the day that I discovered the five month gap between these two events, fell on the 10th of Cheshvan - the very day that God told Noah to enter the Ark! (Genesis 7:4) Seven days later, the rain started to fall on the 17th of Cheshvan in the Hebrew calendar:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." - Genesis 7:11
There are way to many "coincidences" here for that to be an accident!
After the 150 days, or five months, the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month. Given that God had not yet changed the seventh month to the first month in Exodus 12:2, the Ark came to rest on the 17th of Nisan in the civil calendar. This is now the first month in the Hebrew religious calendar.
It is interesting that the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month, as that is the date that some people believe that Christ was resurrected from the grave on the 17th of Nisan, after Passover on the 14th.
Three days after booking the hotel in Frankfurt, Germany, another strange thing happened.
On November 10, God brought "Neuschwanstein Castle" into mind in Southern Germany, so I booked a hotel in the largest city closest to it, which is Munich. I then booked a rental car for four days, returning it on the 17th of April.
Later that same day, God brought "Rome" into mind, in Italy, so I ended up booking a hotel for four nights in Rome from the 19th-23rd of April, 2020. That left two days between leaving Germany and arriving in Rome, which I have yet to discover where those two days will be spent. Time will tell!
Another three days later, on November 13, God prompted me to book a hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small Bavarian town in Southern Germany where we previously visited.
That left one night in Germany still to book.
Three days after that, on November 16, I felt inspired to book a hotel in Venice, Italy, in the two days between leaving Germany and arriving in Rome. I couldn't book the hotel I selected, as they required a full upfront payment, so I made a note of it, and decided I would book it later if God provided for this trip.
The next day on November 17, I felt God prompt me to book a different hotel instead. So I did. Three days after that, on November 20, He prompted me to book a hotel close to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany; what would be my last night in Germany on this trip.
By now, it had become obvious to me that God was prompting me to book a hotel in a new city or country every three days, but why? The only reason I can suggest is this. Before Jesus was crucified, He said that He would spend "three days and three nights" in the heart of the earth:
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." - Matthew 12:40
The conclusion to this story will be written in the forthcoming third edition of my book, "Proving God with Numbers". It is too long and complex to write about here.