Ephraim Study Tour
By Chris Josephson
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye . . . and let us walk in the light of the LORD” (from Isaiah 2:3,5).
I was one of the tour leaders on a unique study tour in February. This was not a support group for a high (or low) profile ministry. Though there were some prominent ministers with us, none sought to assert himself nor be controlling. There was a sweet spirit of humility and desire to learn from each other as well as from the several Israeli speakers. The latter including rabbis, Jewish and Christian scholars, soldiers and settlers.
Original plans for this Ephraim Study Tour were to stay at Eshel HaShomron Hotel in Ariel, the capital of Samaria, and to tour many new cities in the area and visit with the returnees from the nations. (Actually “settlements” and “settlers” are misnomers, and give a questionable connotation, especially as reported by the secular media.)
Polly Grimes (Tours Through the Book) and her two talented daughters, Lisa and Tisha (the latter was our guide) had to plan and re-plan the itinerary because of “the situation” (as the terrorists’ uprising in Israel is called). From lovely quarters in a kibbutz on the Galilee and a new hotel in Jerusalem, we experienced not only touring but learning in a most unusual way, marked as mentioned above, with a “kinder, gentler” spirit!
Ephraim study tour to Israel stopped at a Druze village. The Druze say they are descendants of Jethro, Moses' father-in-law. They are faithful to the nation of Israel, including serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
Glory Unto Glory
There was a sense of the Glory of God, moving with a wave of unity and restoration. It seemed to me that it was a new beginning of special drawing waves of His Spirit – with one wave following another – not obliterating, nor replacing the former wave, but caught up with and expanding together in the restoration process of the Kingdom of God on earth!
In the Book of Ezekiel we see the glory of God returning to the Temple in Jerusalem. Moshe (click here to read this article) referred us to John 14 where Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” Thinks of it this way: He is saying “I am the way which is made up of Truth and Life” – i.e., His Word and His Spirit is THE WAY and is so fully manifested in the Redeemer.
Are we ready, Bible believers, to move with God in what He is doing today? With our natural reasoning, we cannot see the forest for the trees around us. But from the mountain peaks of prophecy – so beautifully symbolized in the Bible by the Judean and Samaritan mountains – we get a glimpse of “the big picture” of what He is doing. And our hearts respond with a deep desire to go with Him.
‘Mercy and Truth were kissing each other.’ A wedding is about to take place as God joins His people together from near and far. This was well expressed by Moshe Kempinski from his shop in Jerusalem that in the process of looking to heaven, we’re going to bump into each other.
Through two lovely Jewish women who spoke to us, Felicia Misrachi and Sandra Oster Baras, I sensed a flow of love and a kindred spirit. They aptly expressed this was because of the Bible and God’s Word for our time.
But strangely, my mind wandered to another experience I’d had on the plane going to Israel in the Fall of ’99. I sat by a woman who owns a shop in Tel Aviv. I felt this same drawing kindred spirit and so was expressing myself freely by speaking of the Scriptures, when she smilingly said, “But I DON’T believe. I’m an atheist.”
I couldn’t believe my ears, and I continued to talk about the land, God, His eternal promises! Finally she said, “How did you and I ever get together?” Then we looked deeply into each other’s eyes and at the exact same moment said simultaneously, “BUT I LOVE YOU.”
Twice in the Book of First John we read, “God is love” – echoing the Hebrew Scriptures. That supernatural love flowing between us was far beyond us both. And whether “we believe or not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself” (II Tim. 2:13).
So as Moshe expressed, “We bump into each other” sometimes without realizing what’s going on. Mighty links are being formed in all the colors of the rainbow of promise, and will come together like a magnet when on that day ‘which shall be known to the LORD [and] there shall be one LORD and His Name one’ (Zech. 14). -
A mosaic symbolizing each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel has been constructed and is now on display.