In this article I would like to talk about a couple of experiences I have had in relation to God, Israel and the number seven!
It would appear to me that God is trying to prove Himself to me and anyone else reading this article that the Word of God as written in the Bible is true!
As of the time of writing this article (Feb 17, 2017), I have currently visited Israel three times. Each time, it has been God who has inspired me to go.
On the first of those occasions in June 2010, He left a rather unique calling card to let me know that it was indeed Him who was behind the idea to go! He did that by using the number seven. Anyone who has read either the Old Testament Jewish writings, or the New Testament Christian writings of the Bible will automatically know what I am talking about here.
The Bible has possibly hundreds of references to the number seven or multiples of it. The very first reference of course comes in the story of creation (Genesis 2:2) where God creates the earth in six days and rests on the seventh, thereby completing one full week.
From there on, there are numerous references to the number seven throughout the Holy scriptures in both Jewish and Christian writings. I won't go in to them all here because that is outside the scope of this article, but a good reference point is the book of Revelation which draws heavily upon the number seven in its apocalyptic prophecies.
Another important book of the Bible which draws upon the number seven is the book of Daniel and his 70 week prophecy as it relates to Israel in chapter nine.
Noah's ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, and then God changed the seventh month to the first month before the first Passover celebration in Exodus 12:2.
Now I would like to share something interesting with you that I have this very moment just discovered. While researching the information about the previous paragraph, I came across a scripture which stopped me in my tracks. As if to back up everything that I am trying to say here, that the Word of God is true, this is the scripture that I have just read:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened." - Genesis 7:11
The emphasis on the dates was the original writer's.
And then it hit me. What is the date that I started writing this article? "the seventeenth day of the second month" - February 17, 2017. How is that for some divine alignment?! And that really is the point of this entire article which I will get to in a minute - proving that the Word of God is true in the Bible.
Before I started writing this article, I said a prayer to God to help me write it, because it was Him who inspired me to do so, and I wasn't sure if He really wanted me to write it. Now I guess I have my proof!
The dates of course in the Jewish calendar don't match up to the Gregorian calendar which we mostly use, but the impact is clear. God wanted me to write this article, and so I am!
Going back to my original point about God, Israel, the Bible and the number seven, and how He inspired all three of my trips to Israel, I will now show you how He left his calling card on two out of these three trips.
First Trip - 7 Weeks
Back in 2010 I was sitting in my motel room in Napier, New Zealand, staring blankly into the kitchen when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the idea suddenly came to me to visit Israel for the first time! I had never been to Israel, and this idea had never really occurred to me before. It was as far from my mind as anything else! Of course I now know that this was direct inspiration from God, and He would prove that to me in the years following my arrival home from Israel.
So, on May 29, 2010, I departed New Zealand for Israel for an approximate two week trip, arriving back home on the 17th of June. It wasn't until January of 2013 that I discovered something interesting about my trip! It was EXACTLY 7 weeks to the day from getting the idea to visit Israel on April 10, 2010 to the day I departed for Israel on May 29, 2010! I was amazed! The hand of God was at work and I didn't even know it!
(Edit: May 18, 2018: Yesterday I discovered something rather more interesting about this first trip to Israel! While I was sitting in a chair watching TV, I suddenly felt that I should buy a book on the 'Feasts of Israel' on Amazon.com. I ended up buying a book called "The Feasts of Israel" by Dr. Chuck Missler and Dan Stolebarger. I will provide a link to the book at the end of this article.
While reading the book I discovered something interesting! In chapter 5 on the Feast of Passover, the authors provide a chart showing the date of Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, where He proclaims Himself to be the King of Israel or the Messiah of the Jews. The date that they came up with was April 6, 32 A.D.
In Judaism, four days before Passover on the 10th day of the month of Nisan, Jews are required to present an unblemished lamb to the temple for inspection. Four days later on the 14th of Nisan, they have to slaughter it. This is a model of what was to happen to Jesus Christ as He rode into Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan, and then four days later to be crucified on the Cross on the 14th of Nisan or Passover. There is much conjecture among Christian scholars about whether Jesus was crucified on Passover or the eve of Passover, however, to keep things simple, I will assume that He was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, or Passover.
Three days later on the 17th of Nisan, He was raised from the dead. That is, the 17th day of the 1st month in the Jewish religious calendar. This is the same day that Noah's ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, although at the time, Nisan was the seventh month in the calendar, so it reads in Genesis 8:4 as "the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month". So we have two new beginnings occurring on the same day. New life after the flood on the 17th of Nisan, and a new future after the resurrection of Christ on the 17th of Nisan. That's no accident! That's God's foreordained plan in action!
If the dates provided in Dr. Missler's book are correct, that would mean that Jesus Christ was crucified on April 10, 32 A.D. If you haven't guessed, that is the VERY day that God inspired me to visit Israel for the first time! In fact it would be exactly 1,978 years to the day if those numbers are accurate! Another interesting little side note to this trip is that I was 33 years old at the time God inspired the trip to Israel and while I was there! That was the age that Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross almost 2,000 years ago!)
(Edit: May 19, 2018: Another small thing that struck me while I was in the shower this morning; I was born on March 8, 1977, so on the very day that God inspired me to go to Israel for the first time, I was exactly 33 years and 33 days old!)
That was the first example of God proving Himself to me that He was indeed behind this first trip. I wrote a more fuller explanation of this trip under the heading, "God's Fingerprints".
I always viewed this trip as a "bonus" trip. You see, back in late 2009, I was trying to sell my forex website to a company listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in America. Unfortunately the sale and acquisition fell through, and it took me another four years to finally sell the website on October 4, 2013.
Two months later while sitting in my hotel room, I suddenly felt the inspiration to go to Israel again! I knew it was God pressing me to do so. So on the 5th of December, I went ahead and booked tickets to Israel. I would leave on December 19 and return on December 31, 2013. I would spend Christmas in Israel!
I never really knew what the point of this trip was until today (I am writing about this second trip on the 8th of May, 2018), over four years later!
I wrote a small entry about this trip here: "Christmas, 2013".
If you want to know what was so important about this trip, keep reading to the end of the article where I will demonstrate its importance!
Third Trip - 7 Months
My third and most recent trip to Israel came in June of 2016, and once again, this was inspired by God.
It is important here to explain the circumstances behind this trip. Back in October, 2013, I agreed to sell my business to a company in the Czech Republic. After paying off some debts, replacing my car, going on holiday, including my second trip to Israel, I eventually ran out of money in about January of 2015!
At that point I would have got a job - any job - to have an income again. However, every time I would make movements to try and get one, it seemed as if that is not what God wanted me to do! It was, and is, quite an unusual situation!
My only course of action then, was to start living off my credit card.
Then, one day in early May 2016, I started getting promptings in my spirit to go back to Israel. This seemed somewhat absurd given that I had no money, no income, no assets, living off my credit card, and God wanted me to go back to Israel! Still, the promptings kept coming, and so I began preparing my trip to Israel for June, 2016, leaving on the 14th of June and returning on the 30th.
I wrote a full exposition of this trip in my earlier article, "Knowing God's Will".
What was interesting about this trip, perhaps more obvious than my earlier two, was that God was actually designing nearly every aspect of this trip, from the flights, to the hotels, the destinations, and even the very sites I should visit! It was quite unusual, but I allowed Him to guide me on every aspect of my journey. I started booking my first destination on May 8, only a few days after being prompted to start looking at going back to Israel for a third time.
By early June, the majority of my trip had been designed, however, I still didn't know whether I would actually be going or not, because it didn't seem right for me to be heading off on holiday to Israel when I had no money!
Then, on the evening of the 3rd of June, I suddenly felt compelled to tell my Dad that it was probably more likely than not that I would be heading to Israel. The very next morning on June 4, I received a very interesting email! It was from the owner of a music shop in Whangarei where I had left my piano in to be sold on my behalf. It read:
I had some people in late yesterday who'd like to buy your piano.
They've offered $6500.
It's been here a while now, would be good to move it on."
The timing couldn't have been more perfect! The funds from this sale would provide the majority of my expenses for my trip to Israel!
However, that was not the most interesting part. When I went back and looked at the contract I had signed with the music shop to sell the piano on my behalf, I noted that the date that I had brought the piano into the shop and signed the contract was November 3, 2015 - Exactly 7 months to the day that the buyers came into the shop to buy it!
That was all the confirmation I needed. God had provided the means for me to be able to go, and was the one behind every aspect of this trip.
Ten days later, I departed for Israel!
Fourth Trip - 7 Years
In late March, 2017, I suddenly got the idea to visit Israel again for the fourth time. I still had no money, so it would be unlikely that I would actually end up going. Still, I sat down at the computer and went to the El Al website to pick out some departure dates from New Zealand to Israel and return.
When I pick out dates for any trip, I let the Spirit guide me as to what dates to choose. In the end, I settled on the month of May for a departure date, leaving on the 8th of May and returning on the 27th. The promptings that I received in my spirit to book this trip were no different than the ones I received a year earlier when I did end up going to Israel, confirmed by the fact that my piano sold exactly 7 months to the day that I brought it into the shop to sell it!
I went through the entire booking process, but couldn't obviously purchase the tickets because I had no money, so I had to discard the booking process. Not long after, I started wondering exactly what date the flight would get back to New Zealand. So, I went back through the entire booking process and discovered that it would arrive back on May the 29th - EXACTLY 7 years to the day that I left on my first trip to Israel in 2010!
Though God did not provide the money for me to go on this trip, I have no doubt that it was God who was behind the promptings to get me to plan out a fourth trip to Israel, even though I didn't end up going!
These three trips, all marked by the number seven (7 weeks, 7 months and 7 years) which began in 2010, would have ended in the Hebrew year 5777! To me there is a message in that. This is God's way of confirming that it was indeed Him behind these trips, and this was his way of confirming it to me and anyone else reading this article, that He is real, the Bible can be trusted, and that Israel has a very important role in God's plans.
Fourth Trip? - 70 Years
Back in February 2018, I suddenly received very strong inspiration to visit Israel again. The first thing that came to me was to book the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. I have stayed there twice before in 2010 and 2016. It is probably the most well-known hotel in Israel, and one of the most expensive! Many world leaders and dignitaries choose to stay here on their visits to Israel.
At this point there was no way for me to be able to go, as I still had no money! The first date that came to mind when this idea came to me was May the 14th. That is the date of Israel's 70th anniversary since their founding in 1948! So, if God enabled me to go, that would mean He inspired trips that He marked with the number '7 weeks', '7 months', '7 years' and '70 years'!
It was only the day before that I had defaulted on my credit card repayment to the bank who required me to pay back the entire amount of NZ$33,000 (Click to View) (US$24,000) or otherwise it would be sent to the debt collector's who would add a further 35% to the balance as their cost of doing business! So, the likelihood of going to Israel, and indeed the logic of going to Israel was completely preposterous! Nonetheless, the inspiration was very strong, and I tested it to see if it really was God moving me to book the hotel in Jerusalem.
The very next day, God started giving me places to visit in Israel while I was there. I decided to record these on an email sent to myself, as a way of recording the times and dates that these locations were given to me to visit. Over the next nearly 5 weeks, I was given a list of eight different places to visit. I will list them in the table below. The "days" column represents the number of days since the last location was given to me.
|Armageddon||Feb 6, 2018||0|
|Masada||Feb 6, 2018||0|
|City of David||Feb 7, 2018||1|
|King Herod’s Palace, Jericho||Feb 8, 2018||1|
|Wadi Qelt||Feb 9, 2018||1|
|Jaffa||Feb 16, 2018||7|
|Mt. Carmel, Haifa||Feb 23, 2018||7|
|Church of the Holy Sepulchre||Mar 12, 2018||17|
As you can see, the last place given to me to visit was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on March 12.
After that, everything went quiet. No more places to visit, no more word from God as to what to see while I was there. I started to wonder whether maybe this trip wasn't going to eventuate, as no more places to see were given to me.
That was until May 1!
I was sitting on the recliner watching TV when all of a sudden I received the inspiration to visit the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem! So, I went and recorded it on the email I was keeping of places and locations God gave to me to visit while I would be in Israel.
That's when I saw that the last time He had given me a location to visit was on March the 12th! That immediately got me wondering exactly how long it was since the last time He gave me a place to visit. So I quickly went online and did a time duration calculation (Time and Date has a great set of services for this purpose!) and discovered that it was EXACTLY 50 days since He had given me my last location to visit!
I knew from my basic understanding of Jewish practices that the number 50 is an important number in Judaism! So, I went online again and through a quick search, discovered that in Leviticus 23, verses 15-16, the Jews were instructed to count 50 days from the Feast of Firstfruits, and that would be a Holy Day for them, known as the Feast of Weeks or "Shavuot" in Judaism. It is also known as Pentecost in Christianity.
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. - Leviticus 23:15-16
The old Jewish feasts and festivals were a shadow or forerunner of what was to be fulfilled in the man of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross!
Jesus Himself is known as the "firstfruits" from the dead according to 1 Corinthians 15:20:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
(Edit: 25/5/18: On the 17th of May, 2018, God prompted me to buy a book on "The Feasts of Israel" from Amazon.com. I ended up buying a book by Chuck Missler which I referred to earlier in this article. It was the second book on the list when I searched for "feasts of Israel" on Amazon.com.
Chuck had died on May 1, 2018 only 16 days earlier, in a small town called Reporoa in New Zealand where he and his wife had shifted to back in 2010. He died at "The River Lodge" which they purchased in April 2010 in the North Island. A lot of my understanding of the Jewish Feasts has come from reading Chuck's book.
What was interesting to me was that Chuck had died on the very day that the 50-day period between the last place that God had given me had ended on May 1! Not sure if there is a tie-up there, but I thought I would mention it here anyway!)
And that's when I realised the significance of the two locations that God had last given me.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is considered by some to be the Holiest place in Christianity, as it is believed to be (by some), to be the place of Jesus's death, burial and resurrection. Likewise, the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem is also considered to be a potential location for Jesus's burial and resurrection. In either case, it is from where He was resurrected that He became the "firstfruits" of the dead to God. All else came after Him. And that is what the "Feast of Firstfruits" is all about.
It is a shadow or forerunner of what was to come and be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ in His resurrection from the dead!
So the fact that these two locations were separated by exactly 50 days, referring to the Feast of Firstfruits, from where Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, is NO coincidence! This is the Hand of God at work! And proof, if I needed it, that God is indeed behind the inspiration for this trip to Israel!
One other interesting observation is that there were 17 days between the 7th and 8th location given to me to write down. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was given to me to visit exactly 17 days after Mt. Carmel in Haifa. It is said that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the 17th day of Nisan - potentially from the tomb inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre! So perhaps God was giving me another sign here.
One other thing I discovered is that in Jewish tradition, King David was said to have been born and died on Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), exactly 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits, so it is interesting to me that the first thing that God got me to do with this trip was to book the King David Hotel in Jerusalem!
So what did the 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits (resurrection of Jesus Christ) represent? In Acts 1:3, the author says that Jesus appeared to many people for 40 days following his resurrection, before He ascended to heaven. Ten days later on the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot/Pentecost), 50 days after Jesus's resurrection, the Feast of Weeks was fulfilled in the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).
Now, it doesn't mean that I will end up going, but it appears that the reason that God gave me such a long period of warning from February 5, 2018 to the date of Israel's 70th anniversary on May 14, 2018, is to show you a sign that God is indeed the inspiration behind what I am telling you here! In fact, as it turns out, it is exactly 14 weeks to the day from the time that God inspired me to book the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, to Israel's 70th anniversary on May 14! That is the longest lead-in time that He has ever given me before I actually departed for Israel. The previous longest was exactly 7 weeks to the day, on my first trip to Israel in 2010.
When God first gave me the inspiration to go to Israel for the first time back in 2010, there was no way for me to have known that it would be the beginning of a series of trips to Israel, and that He would be marking it with the number seven! In fact, the last three trips that He inspired have come in consecutive years: 2016, 2017 & 2018. Only God could have created that pattern and timed it to coincide with the Hebrew years 5770 to 5777, ending with the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence in 2018 (5778). There may have not been another time in history when that pattern could have been created! Until now.
Update: On May 5, 2018, exactly 3 months to the day that God inspired me to book the trip, I cancelled it - at God's prompting. That now explains why I didn't go on the trip last year. It was all about finishing the story He had started back in 2010. Though He could have provided the means for me to fund the last two trips He inspired to Israel - that was never the point. The point was to provide a story that would back up the claims I am making here. That He is the one behind these trips to Israel, and He used dates, numbers and locations to prove it! Whether you accept that or not will come down to your heart, your beliefs, and what you want to believe! For me, I have the benefit of knowing how these ideas were given to me, and I know that they came from God. However, that is not something that is easily translatable to another person, and so the only effective real way to do that is by using hard facts and numbers that can't be fudged!
As an interesting footnote to this article, I see that if I add up all the days I have spent in Israel, including my second trip in December 2013, together with the 7 week, 7 month, 7 year and 70 year trips, they all add up to exactly 70 days!
Note: I am using full days or partly full days here. i.e. If the flight was scheduled to land at 11PM, I count the next day as the first full day in Israel. If it landed in Israel at 1am in the morning, I include that as my first full day in Israel. Likewise, if my flight departed Israel at 4PM or 10PM, I include that as a full day in Israel.
|"7 Weeks"||31 May - 15 Jun, 2010||16|
|2nd Trip||21 Dec - 29 Dec, 2013||9|
|"7 Months"||16 Jun - 28 Jun, 2016||13|
|"7 Years"||10 May - 27 May, 2017||18|
|"70 Years"||14 May - 27 May, 2018||14|
Edit: June 8, 2018: On March 8, 2018 (My 41st Birthday), my bank closed my bank accounts due to non-repayment of my credit card in full of NZ$33,000. They were meant to be closed a month earlier on February 7, but due to extensions and other unknown reasons and delays, they ended up being closed right on my Birthday!
Exactly 3 months later to the day, I received NZ$33,000 from my brother to repay my debt to the bank!
There is a parallel here. God gave me the idea to go to Israel on February 5, 2018, and then He got me to cancel the trip exactly 3 months later to the day on May 5, 2018.
Why is God being so specific with numbers here? None of this was pre-planned or orchestrated by me; a.) I'm not smart enough, and b.) I don't go around thinking about how I can make a good story. The only reason I can suggest here is that God is trying to prove Himself through the specificity of numbers, and to show me and you that He is in complete control of a situation, even when it seems that He may not be!
What I haven't told you yet is how I got into debt in the first place! After belatedly selling my forex website business in 2013, I eventually ran out of money in January 2015. At that point I was fully intending to get a job to generate an income again, however, it seemed that God had other plans!
After maxing out my credit card limit of $30,000 the first time and having to borrow $30,000 off my Dad to repay my credit card, I hit my limit again in mid-2017. It may sound strange, but I think this was all part of God's plan! You see, the majority of that $33,000 debt owed the second time was largely the result of God prompting me to advertise this website on Google, even though I had no means to be able to pay it off.
So if you got to this website via a Google ad, that is why! God built up that debt on purpose in order to tell a story and fulfil his will. That's why I don't believe that it is a coincidence that I defaulted owing $33,000 on my credit card!
Just like I was 33 years and 33 days old when He gave me the idea to visit Israel for the first time in 2010, exactly 1978 years to the day since Christ was crucified, it now seems that God is using the number 3 and 33 to get my attention here! Some say Christ was 33 years old when He died, and that is the number that I have believed He was when He died for as long as I can remember. Whether or not that is true or not is another story! The fact that I defaulted on my credit card owing approximately NZ$33,000, wasn't, I don't believe, a coincidence!
I think that the Lord is trying to tell a story here, and that story is the fact that He is real, and He is in complete control of all our lives, whether we recognise it or not!
(End of Edit)
Just as a footnote to finish this article, God gave me an additional three locations to visit, even after having me cancel the trip. So for the record, here they are:
|Garden Tomb, Jerusalem||May 1, 2018||50|
|Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth||May 2, 2018||1|
|Yardenit, Jordan River||May 7, 2018||5|
|Sea of Galilee||May 26, 2018||19|
That makes in total, 12 locations God gave me to visit/write down for this trip.
Footnote: 13/7/18: I would just like to finish this article with a neat little anecdote about something that happened a couple of days ago.
On the 23rd of December 2017, I purchased a book called "The Holy Land for Christian Travelers" by John A. Beck. I never got around to reading this book, so it just sat in my pile of books to read! Then, a couple of days ago on July 10, 2018, I felt that God wanted me to add that book to this page, so I did. The next day I felt God prompting me to pick up the book and have a look through it, although I didn't know what I was supposed to be looking for.
As I was about to put the book down, I came across the author's 'suggested itineraries' at the front of the book. He offers three suggested itineraries for 3, 5 and 12 day visits to Israel. I was amazed to discover that each itinerary begins with a trip to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by a visit to the Garden Tomb!
I think that must be the reason why He wanted me to add that book to this page!
(End of Footnote)
I hope that through this article, I have demonstrated to you the fact that God is real, He does interact with people and give them inspiration, knowledge and wisdom, and that that free gift is available to you too, if you choose to accept it!
God Bless you.
Click to Enlarge Any Item:
Israel via HK
Business class to Israel via Hong Kong!
Riding a Donkey
Me on a Donkey near Jericho
King David Hotel, Jerusalem
My Hotel in Jerusalem in 2010 & 2016
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Garden Tomb
A potential location for the resurrection of Jesus Christ
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