Do You Know the Purpose of Your Trip?
By Moshe Kempinski
(Owner of The Biblical Shop in the Old City of Jerusalem)
Editor: We met Moshe in ďThe Biblical ShopĒ in the old city. His brief but powerful words to us (which I captured on video) in my opinion says in a nutshell the whole purpose of our trip. The following words are his verbatim but for a very little editing to print.
You have a verse in your Bible that says youíll be grafted into the root. And regrettably, for 2,000 years many Christians have believed that the blossoming branch of Christianity is replacing and completing and getting rid of ďthe withering rootĒ. But people are finally beginning to realize that you canít have the blossoming branch if the root is withered. And if you want to understand what it is that sustains the branch, you need to come to grips to what it is that sustains the root.
The prophecy said this was going to become a barren wasteland, so much so that men with foreign tongues will come and testify at how barren it is. Mark Twain showed up in the 1800ís and wrote a book, a whole chapter of which is dedicated to how bad this land is. Mark Twain didnít realize he was fulfilling prophecy when he wrote those words.
The prophecy says, I will bring you home and when I bring you home all the world will know that I am God. And Ezekiel 36 says the mountains will shoot forth their branches, for His children are coming home.
Witnesses to Fulfillment
Every tree you see out there, every flower, every blade of grass Ė[testifies to fulfilled prophecy]. You walk out of my shop, go to a grocery store, buy yourself an apple or an orange and what you hold in your hand is prophecy fulfilled. If you understand that, you understand this whole country.
If you look outside there, you see children playing in the streets? Zechariah could have been standing in this shop 3,000 years ago, speaking out what he does in Zechariah 8, that there will yet be a time when old men and old women will dwell here and the children will play in the streets of Jerusalem. Theyíre out there right now. Every time I open up my front door and my kids go out to play, I am profoundly aware it is fulfilling prophecy. Thatís what itís like to live in Israel!
And if you stay here long enough you will see a group of Russian Jews walking down this road, down to the Western Wall for their first encounter [to pray there]. Thatís Jeremiah being fulfilled. ďIíll bring them back from the land of the north.Ē
Open up your newspapers: Itís front page news. Youíre going to see more and more of it: Jews set up a settlement on a hilltop near Jerusalem, and all the world sees it. You know that thereís earthquakes, murder and mayhem all over the world, but what is the most important piece of news? Why? Because deep down they know that thatís prophecy being fulfilled!
And if you people think youíre here by coincidence, you can kiss that thought goodbye, too. Nine or ten years ago, we started getting Christian groups coming in here, and I asked them, ďHow many of you never thought youíd have a heart for this place [Jerusalem & Israel]? You never thought you had time nor the money for [even] your food to come, but everything just sort of happened and here you are on this trip?Ē Ninety percent raised their hand.
I thought, ďThatís cool. Iím going to try that again.Ē And I have tried it again and again. We have been getting three or four groups a day for nine years. God is out there hand picking the people that are meant to come to this land to see this fulfillment of prophecy.
Unifying Sovereignty of God
And if you still think this is a trip about yesterday ó it may have a lot to do about yesterday ó but it has everything to do with today and tomorrow.
God is using you as Heís using us, maybe differently. The provoking is by God, and suddenly the differences that seemed to be so important between us arenít that important anymore. Because when we both stand looking up into the heavens, weíre going to find ourselves bumping into each other.
One more thing: I donít have the great commission in my Bible. Thatís in your Bible. I donít believe I have to convince you, I donít want to convince you, for I donít believe you have to be Jewish to come to God. You have to seek God with all your heart, soul and mind as I do and God promises that if you turn to me, Iíll turn to you. Right?
My purpose is to let you walk out of here with a little bit better understanding of what Jewish ears hear, and what Jewish hearts feel and what Jewish eyes see. To get to know the people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a little bit better, then you get to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a little bit better.
One final thing: there is another agenda of the shop. Iíll tell you what it is and to me itís the most important agenda, and itís not a hidden agenda because Iím telling you what it is. And that is: I want you to be able to walk out of the shop, shake your head, think about John 14:5&6, and say, ďYou know what? I donít know where this guy fits in Godís plan, but I know, God, Youíre in charge.Ē
Veil of Arrogant Pride
Turning back the sovereignty into Godís hands is the most awesome, important, the most difficult thing mankind has to do. And in fact, that is the essence of everything mankind has to do. For Isaiah 25 says all mankind is covered with a veil. And the veil everyone is covered with is the veil of pride and arrogance.
And I donít know if you agree with this, but the closer you are to God, the easier it is to fall into the trap of pride and arrogance, because you get so caught up being the blessed vessel. Youíre more proud of being the vessel of blessing that youíd rather have the blessing than the Blesser!
And you go on with searching what this verse means and what that prophecy means and what that terminology means Ė and thatís why you guys have a pre-trib and post-trib, and Calvinist and Armenian! And we have the same thing, because mankind by their nature, from Adam all the way to today, either want to speak for God, stand in for God, follow ourselves, and Ė God forbid Ė try to replace God.
There is a secret of trying to deal with arrogance. Did you ever have to deal with it in relationships or in businesses? The secret of dealing with an arrogant person is to surprise them. Because when you surprise an arrogant person, he goes, ďHuh! Yeah!Ē Then heís ready to listen.
Jeremiah 16 says exactly that in the end of days, people will put their hands to their mouth and say, ďHow come we were never told this? How come we didnít know this?Ē
I donít know what you came for, but Iím going to tell you what this whole trip is about. This whole trip is about humility. This whole trip is seeing that Godís in charge! Not doctrine and not our own understanding, but God is in charge. And once youíre ready to flip that back to God, then everything else that goes on here and elsewhere in the world fits into the plans. And until one does that, one tries to fit God into [his own] doctrine, rather than fitting the man into Godís plan. -
Nir Lavee and his family live in Har Bracha (Mt of Blessing Settlement) close to Sh'chem. He is shown here speaking to our tour group in Jerusalem, several miles away. Mrs. Lavee is carrying a military weapon for their safety in going to and from their home.