There’s Still Room for You on My Holy Land Tour This Fall

But time is running out. Sign up before July 15!

If you’ve been putting off taking a tour to Israel, I’d like to give you another invitation to join my tour to the Holy Land this fall. The tour already has a great group! But there’s room for you.

On the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount.

(Explaining the Second Coming of Jesus on On the Mount of Olives)

We still have space on our tour, but I urge you to reserve your place today. Why? Because this is no ordinary tour to Israel.

This will be an exclusive, one-bus tour devoted entirely to following the life of Jesus . . . from His birth in Bethlehem . . . to His ministry in Galilee . . . to His death and resurrection in Jerusalem . . . and His ascension from the Mount of Olives.

Todd Bolen“Wayne Stiles has a unique gift for bringing the biblical world into our own. Some teachers are history gurus, but they can’t translate their research into how it affects us today. Wayne is superb at doing this in his books, on his blog, and at the sites. He is passionate, accurate, and faithful.

I’d encourage you to take the opportunity while you can.”

—Dr. Todd Bolen

Learn the life of Jesus by walking where He walked.

On this tour, I will help you understand the life of our Lord as we connect the Bible and its lands to your life every time we stop—and all along the way.

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The Jordan River—Your Place of Transition

What served as a border also represents a bridge to your new life.

Other rivers have more beauty. Many are much longer. Most are far cleaner. But no river has garnered as much affection as the Jordan River. There’s a good reason.

The Jordan River—A Place of Transition

(Photo: The Jordan River, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

It wasn’t the beauty of the Jordan River that inspired centuries of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to include it in their verses.

Its significance began as a simple geographic barrier, which—practically speaking—represented a border (Joshua 22:18-25). In fact, the serpentine river still represents a border between Israel and the nation of Jordan.

But in Scripture, the Jordan River’s presence on Israel’s eastern edge stood as an enduring metaphor of transitions.

These transitions point directly to your life as well.

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3 Reasons You Need to Journey to Israel

What Touring the Holy Land Gives You That's Like Nothing Else

Before we ask, “What does this verse mean to me?” we need to understand what it meant to the original readers. That requires context—something a journey to Israel can forever change.

3 Reasons You Need to Journey to Israel

(Photo: Jerusalem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Context means more than mere words on the page. It also includes the setting of the action—including its history and geography—the stage upon which the events took place. That’s why a tour to Israel is so valuable.

Experience and statistics reveal 3 benefits you will receive when you journey to Israel.

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Our Holy Land Tour is Over—It is Well with My Soul

Day 9: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

Our Israel tour has come to an end. Hard to believe! It’s been a fabulous tour connecting the Bible and its lands to life. One place in Israel that’s special is the lobby of the American Colony Hotel. That’s right, the lobby.

American Colony Hotel

(Picture: The American Colony Hotel)

The best part of this hotel is that the lobby has framed the original manuscript to one of my two favorite hymns: “It is Well with My Soul.”

I’ve posted a picture of it here. Can you make out the words?

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At the Garden Tomb, Contemplating the Resurrection

Day 9: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

We spent the morning at the Garden Tomb, where hundreds of us gathered in the beautiful gardens that surround the ancient tomb. Chuck Swindoll led us in a communion service.

The tomb itself is not the tomb of Jesus, but the location gives the best place in Jerusalem to contemplate the resurrection of Jesus.

At the Garden Tomb, Contemplating the Resurrection

(Photo: The Garden Tomb)

In my many visits to the Garden Tomb through the years, I have only had one guide tell me the tomb was the tomb of Jesus—and that visit was back in 2000. Since then, each guide has expressed that the Association makes no official claim that the tomb represents that of the resurrection of Jesus.

“The important thing is,” they always point out, “the tomb is empty.” I couldn’t agree more.

There is no better oasis in Jerusalem than the Garden Tomb to contemplate the central truth of Christianity’s faith—the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

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The Israel Museum, the Holocaust Museum

Day 8: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

We spent the morning in Jerusalem at two magnificent museums. Both reflect a history of the chosen people that we must never forget. We toured the Israel Museum, which houses the original Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book. We also saw a number of wonderful archaeological finds we saw that connect directly with Jesus and the Bible.

Israel Museum

(Photo: The Israel Museum. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But the most moving museum was Jerusalem’s Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem, which remembers the more than six million Jews who were murdered during WWII simply because they were Jews.

The museum’s path led our group before disturbing scenes suspended on pale walls. Life-sized murals of living skeletons stared at us. Corpses lay piled after mass-executions in photo after photo. Hundreds of discarded shoes lay under a glass floor. In another area, a recording read aloud the names of children and their ages at death. Chilling . . . and so very sad.

The Hebrew phrase Yad Vashem means, “a hand and a name,” an idiom from Isaiah 56:5 that refers to a memorial. How could anyone forget such horrific events?

But the museum has its rays of light as well.

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The Jordan River, Ein Gedi, Masada, and the Dead Sea

Day 7: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

Today we descended from Jerusalem into the warmer Jordan Valley. In fact, it’s the lowest elevation on the planet! We began with a worship service beside the Jordan River, the very site where tradition says Jesus was baptized.

Jordan River

(Photo: Jordan River baptism site, where Jesus was baptized)

On the west shore of the Dead Sea, we toured several places:

  • Masada—where first-century Jewish patriots committed suicide rather than surrender to Rome.
  • Ein Gedi—where a young David hid from a jealous King Saul (1 Sam. 23:29; 24:1).
  • Several brave souls chose to float in the Dead Sea, but once was enough for me!

And we toured Qumran—by far the most “boring” site of the three . . . and yet its significance for the Bible stands far above the others.

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In Jerusalem! Where Jesus Walked (Literally)

Day 6: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

No matter how many times I come to the Holy City of Jerusalem, the first view never gets old. I’ve never lived here, but it still feels like home. That’s probably because Jerusalem repesents so much of what we Christians love about the Bible. And we’ve seen a LOT of Jerusalem in the past two days.

Finally in Jerusalem! Where Jesus Walked (Literally)

(Photo: Jerusalem’s Southern Steps Excavations)

Our Sunday morning began with a worship service on the steps of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount! How great is that?

Fewer places give the sense of the time of Jesus like the Southern Steps excavations. In fact, because it is forbidden to dig on the Temple Mount itself, this area immediately south of the mount offers important archaeology to help unpack the history of the Temple Mount during the first century.

We sat on the 200-foot wide flight of stairs that represent both original and restored steps from the Second Temple period—the time of Jesus.

Jerusalem: City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, and the Pool of Siloam

Day 5: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

When people picture the city of Jerusalem, they usually think of the historic Western Wall, or the Old City, or the Temple Mount crowned with the Golden Dome of the Rock. But people on our tour were surprised to learn that the original city of Jerusalem lay just south of the Temple Mount on a small spur of land that encompassed about only ten acres.

City of David

(Photo: City of David at right, and Kidron Valley)

Crammed with houses and punctured with archaeological digs, the original area of Jerusalem looks much different today than it did three thousand years ago when King David conquered it.

Today, this part of Jerusalem retains the name, “The City of David,” and offers a number of archeological interests that relate to the monarch. The best way to view the area is to ascend the stairs just inside the entrance to the Visitor’s Center and stand atop the observation platform.

Check it out from Google Street View. Go ahead and click around:

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Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, the Golan Heights, and the Sea of Galilee

Day 3: Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour

Today the Insight for Living Ministries’ Israel tour pointed its buses north towards the Golan Heights and several significant biblical sites. On our way north, we passed Tel Hazor and I thought of when Joshua conquered the city in his day. Our time in the Golan Heights included a visit to Caesarea Philippi.

Caesarea Philippi

(Photo: Caesarea Philippi)

The site has been identified in Scripture with the names Baal-gad (Joshua 11:17; 12:7; 13:5), Baal-hermon (Judges 3:3), and Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13).

Jesus brought His twelve disciples all the way up to the pagan region of Banias/Caesarea Philippi and asked them the question:

Who do people say that the Son of Man is? —Matthew 16:13

We also toured the amazing site of Tel Dan and saw the beautiful panorama of the Golan Heights. (Read more about these sites below.)

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