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 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."
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 was indeed behind the inspiration for this trip to Israel!
As it turns out, the Garden Tomb was given to me exactly 12 weeks to the day since the first location was given to me on February 6, 2018.
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).
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.
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. Though He could have provided the means for me to fund this trip - that was never the point. It was about God finishing a story that He had started to write back in 2010.
God inspired several 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!
However, that's not the end of the story.
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. My accounts 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!
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.
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! The point is to trust Him when it doesn't seem logical to do so, and God will work things out in His own way and in His own time.
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! (View Pic)
I think that must be the reason why He wanted me to add that book to this page!
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD." - Isaiah 55:8
God Bless you.
June 9, 2018
Note: This article is an excerpt from a larger article called "Israel & The Number 7" by the same author.
Click to Enlarge Any Item:
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