Group Bible Study and ECM Ministries presents…
Day 1: Departure from US (Thursday, April 27)
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive Israel (Friday, April 28)
We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where we will be met by an Israeli transport who takes us into Jaffa. We spend time in the old section exploring. Later this afternoon we travel northward to our hotel for one night in the coastal area near Netanya. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of this land, and a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Caesarea, Megiddo & Mt Tabor (Saturday, April 29)
After breakfast, we meet our guide who will accompany us during our entire stay in Israel. We travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, visiting a strategic mountain top known during the time of Deborah, Mt. Tabor. We have a possible side trip to Mount Arbel (if there is time) where there is a vista of the Sea of Galilee—a great place to spend some devotional time looking down on the Sea. It is mentioned that Jesus went up in the early morning to the top of a hill in or order to pray. Here, we overlook the Kinneret (Galilee) and have our personal devotion declaring in our hearts, Lord, here we are. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Mount of Beatitudes (Sunday, April 30)
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God’s blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. (Subject to Time) We have a side trip to Kibbutz El-Rom to attend the audio-visual presentation that tells the story of the battle at the nearby “Vale of Tears” where a few Israeli tanks fended off waves of Syrian forces during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In order to save valuable time, a box lunch will be provided. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes for a devotional time under the trees, followed by a visit to the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples concluding a wonderful day.
Day 5: Jordan River Baptism Site, Gideon Spring, Qumran, Dead Sea (Monday, May 1)
We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next we travel to the site of Gideon’s Spring where he lessened his forces to 300 men for the fight against the Midianites. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbutz system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before arriving at the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We continue south to our Spa Hotel along the shores of the Dead Sea. Enjoy a float in the lowest place on earth.
Day 6: Masada, Ein Gedi, Jerusalem (Tuesday, May 2)
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat,” an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. We make our way west into the mountains this afternoon to the “Golden City,” Jerusalem. Upon arrival we have free time in the Mahane Yehuda market before checking into our hotel. You are then free to walk the Old City for views of the Wester Wall.
Day 7: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum (Wednesday, May 3)
An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem. Next we visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the “Upper Room” just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, “my Lord & my God.” We enter the Western Wall Plaza for a visit to the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. Later this afternoon we travel for a visit to the King of Kings congregation for a worship service.
Day 8: Pentecost, City of David, Abraham’s Tent
(Thursday, May 4)
This morning we begin our touring with a visit to the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We travel just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount to the City of David. It was during the time of Solomon that the city limits extended past this part of Jerusalem. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem. A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah’s Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus’ miracle in John 9. Late this afternoon we take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham’s Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, and authentic food.
Day 9: Shiloh, Tel Azekah, Elah Valley, Philistia, Negev Desert (Friday, May 5)
This morning we travel North to the Old Testament city of Shiloh which was home for the Tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant and you may walk to the likely plateau where it was pitched and picture the cloud pillar of God’s presence rising up above the valley walls. We have a time of devotion before traveling to Tel Azekah and the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath. We pass the city of Gath, stopping at the river bed in search of smooth stones for our sling. As we turn back toward Jerusalem, the drive thru the Negev is contrasted with Bedouin tents and herds of camels, donkeys, sheep, and stories of the Exodus and Israel wandering in the Wilderness of Zin before arriving back at the hotel for dinner.
Day 10: Jesus’ Steps, the Last Days, Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb (Saturday, May 6)
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives. We walk down the Mt. stopping at Zechariah’s Tomb for a brief visit before arriving at the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus’ prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen’s Gate and St. Ann’s Church. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. Our climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. We return to the hotel for dinner and our final overnight.
Day 11: Depart for Home (Sunday, May 7)
We depart for the airport for our flight home arriving back in the U.S. later this afternoon.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.