LAND OF ISRAEL

Making Something Out of Nothing

Somehow Israel always seems to find itself in the middle of a controversy. Israel’s parliament recently passed a bill called the Jewish Nation-State Law, and immediately it made headlines around the world…

The Flap Over Israel’s Nation-State Law

The Knesset recently enacted a new law that declares Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and that they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it…

The Man Who Believed in Miracles

If you hold an American passport and were born in Jerusalem, this might be the time to get your document updated. Perhaps now, 70 years after Israel gained its independence, the U.S. State Department will finally print “Jerusalem, Israel” on your passport…

Inside View Jul/Aug 2018

I recently had the privilege of spending several days in Israel with new Jewish arrivals to the land. They varied in age from teens to older adults, but the same theme defined their testimonies. They had an innate desire to return to the land…

The Divine Distribution

When God confirmed a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1), He issued a divine proclamation: He vowed to give all the land He was promising Abraham to both Abraham and his descendants forever (13:15). God bequeathed the land through…

The Best is Yet to Come

Leon Uris’s novel Exodus, about the founding of the State of Israel, captivated the world when it came out in 1958. It became an international sensation, rising quickly to number one on The New York Times best-seller list and staying there for eight months…

Sneak Preview

The land of Israel. The most hotly contested region in the world. The Jewish people say it is theirs, and the Arabs say it is theirs. Yet God tells us clearly to whom it belongs: In the last days, He says, “I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the…

The Coming Invasion

Today much of the world despises Israel. All it takes to substantiate this truth is a look at the UN’s overwhelming number of anti-Israel resolutions, the countries that have waged war against Israel in hopes of annihilating it, and the news media’s endless caricature of…

Happy Birthday, Israel!

For years I had a dream. I wanted my hometown baseball team (the Cleveland Indians) to play the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. I had adopted the Cubs when I lived in Chicago. Both teams excelled at losing…

Five Facts You Should Know About Israel

Have you ever wondered why the Jewish people have been scattered throughout the nations of the world more consistently than any other people? Why anti–Semitism persists in rearing its ugly head repeatedly throughout history? Why Nazism specifically targeted the Jewish people for genocide in the…

Preparing for War

As tensions rise along the Lebanese-Israeli border, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned that the next war between Hezbollah and Israel will include Syria. “In anything that transpires, it will be one theater,” he said. Syria and Lebanon together, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all…

Inside View Nov/Dec 2017

Earlier this year, as I was looking back at the beginning of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, I turned to the first issue of Israel My Glory, published in December 1942—only four years after the ministry began.

A Wow Moment

The beat goes on as the Arabs pick up where the Ammonites left off. Have you ever read a Scripture verse you had read many times before, but suddenly it seemed brand new to you? I have. I call it a Wow! moment. My most recent Wow! moment came after reading Judges 11: “And the…

Inside View Sep/Oct 2017

On our spring Up to Jerusalem tour, we made a stop at the headquarters of The Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem to deliver funds donated to help Jewish people in other parts of the world…

Miracle at Be’er Sheva

Few people probably associate Australia and New Zealand with the Balfour Declaration. But here is a look at a little-known miracle that helped to shape that segment of history.

Bible Museum Opens Soon in Washington

If you love God’s Word and Israel, you won’t want to miss the Museum of the Bible’s grand opening in November in Washington, DC. Located only three blocks from the United States Capitol Building and…

FOI Canada Goes Up to Jerusalem

A look at the first-ever FOI Canada Up to Jerusalem trip to Israel and some of the wonderful experiences God provided. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. Sounds simple enough. Forty years later…

What Shall We Eat?

When the ancient Israelites arrived in the Promised Land, it was “flowing with milk and honey.” But when the Jewish pioneers arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was as barren as a stone. This article, written in 1953 when the State of Israel was just 5 years old…

Inside View May/Jun 2017

Does God fight for Israel? When Israel triumphs over multiple Arab armies attacking on multiple fronts, it certainly seems that God fights for Israel. Such was the case in 1967 when Israel won a humanly improbable…

End of the Two-State Solution

U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced he will not insist on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if…

Ma’ale Adumim: It’s Not What You Think It Is

Before we arrived in the spring of 2000, I asked the 16 members of our Friends of Israel Youth Adventure team (now called ORIGINS) to describe what they thought a settlement would look like.

Six Days In June

When the 1967 Six-Day War erupted, the Jewish state had just celebrated 19 years of independence. Levi Eshkol, 71, was both prime minister and defense minister. Eshkol had replaced the legendary David Ben-Gurion in June 1963. Filling Ben-Gurion’s shoes…

Message in the Wall

Sounds of gunfire, soldiers singing “Jerusalem of Gold,” and the faint sound of a shofar were heard over the army wireless. It was June 7, 1967, and the Israel Defense Forces paratroopers had just liberated the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

Fifty Years Later

The Six-Day War begot the hackneyed catchphrase Israeli-occupied West Bank. Mindless talk of the “occupation” generally goes hand-in-hand with unvarnished ignorance or a willful disregard of the area’s strategic value.

Rehearsal for Armageddon

How important is Jerusalem to the Jewish people? Their souls have been intertwined with it for more than 3,000 years. Unfortunately, their heartache is not over. This article was written shortly after Six-Day War and ran in the…

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

A city’s significance is often measured by its commercial importance, the height of its skyscrapers, or the grandeur of its architecture. But Jerusalem is not like any other city. Jerusalem’s significance comes from the One who chose to dwell…

When Heaven Comes to Earth

It is probably the best known and most fought over city in the world. The Jewish people cherish it. The Muslims want to take it. The United Nations wants to divide it. Nations are willing to go to war over it. But the Jerusalem of today is not the…

Israel in the News May/Jun 2017

If you’re a runner and love Israel, you may be interested in signing up for the third annual Bible Run on October 6, a reenactment of the first-ever recorded marathon—the trek of a Jewish man from the tribe of Benjamin who ran from…

The Great Invalidation

“Next year in Jerusalem!” As they have since the Jewish people were scattered around the world in AD 70, these words will ring out on the evening of April 10 at the close of Passover seders everywhere. Yet, if the United Nations…

Blessings Upon Blessings Isaiah 60

Famous 20th-century preacher and theologian Harry Ironside long ago noted that the book of Isaiah evokes glad anticipation in the hearts of believers who cherish “the coming day when Immanuel, of whom this prophet speaks, will take…

Isaiah’s Good News Isaiah 61

Good news comes in all shapes and sizes, and when it arrives—particularly in the midst of trying times—it is usually like the soothing balm of Gilead. The words of Isaiah 61 may have affected the Israelites of the prophet Isaiah’s day…

Sweet Beulah Land Isaiah 62

For centuries the Jewish people have waited for their Messiah to come and set up His Kingdom in Israel. At that time, Israel will receive the Land God promised them in perpetuity. That is when redeemed Israel will experience the fulfillment of…

The End of an Era

U.S. President James Madison served alongside Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson and signed the Declaration of Independence. He was known as the “Father of the Constitution,” and his death…

Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2017

Donald Trump will be the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States, a Trump advisor told The Jerusalem Post. “The level of friendship between the U.S. and Israel is going to grow like never before…

Inside View Nov/Dec 2016

“This is the most important lesson you will learn today!” Rafi said as the Jeep came to a stop on a dirt road, about half a mile from the fence dividing Gaza from Israel. Rafi climbed out with a…

From Cornfields to Kotel

I am not a Jew. I feel I should make that clear from the beginning. I don’t keep kosher. I don’t like gefilte fish. And the first time someone called me a “mensch,” I thought he was insulting me. No, I will never be mistaken for a Jewish man…

Inside View Sep/Oct 2016

It is common to cross paths with Christians who don’t believe the Jewish people today are God’s Chosen People. They fail to see how Israel fits into God’s plan for this world…

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Claustrophobia is the fear of being confined in a tight space. It’s an anxiety disorder that can make someone feel like he is alone and suffocating. A woman who suffers from claustrophobia once told me…

The Coming Captivity Micah 1—2

Thirty miles north of Jerusalem, in what most people call the West Bank, lie the ruins of Samaria, ancient capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. Though the area today is closed to tourists for…

The Reason for Hope Micah 4

The prophet Micah’s message of doom must have troubled Judah’s leaders. After all, if Judah were destroyed, how would God fulfill the vows He made to the children of Israel in the…

The Stones Cry Out

A growth-inspiring experience of a lifetime is to walk among the artifacts of empires, civilizations, and societies that have lived and died and, in many respects, shaped our world. For those of us living in the United States, a relatively young country…

Mount Moriah or the City of David?

For years scholars have argued about the precise location of the first and second Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, almost all archaeologists agree they were…

Footsteps in the Stones

I saw Israel for the first time when I moved my family to Jerusalem in 1979 to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Even though I had a master’s degree in biblical studies, I learned quickly I was not…

The Inquisitors

At the southeastern end of the old city of Jerusalem lies an impressive series of burial caves. Most date to the time of Jesus. Archaeologists recently have taken a closer look at them and have turned up…

The Underlying Proof

Khirbet Qeiyafa is a provincial town located about 19 miles from Jerusalem in the Elah Valley, where a young David slayed the Philistine giant Goliath. Today, 30 centuries later, it is contributing the most to the…

What America Needs

When Americans tune in to the presidential debates, most of them already know what they want to hear. They’re ready for a new hope and change. That’s why CNN’s Republican debate in December was the…

Telling the Truth

When knife-wielding Arabs went on a killing spree last fall in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and other parts of Israel, they butchered innocent Israelis…

The Permanence of the Promise

Some people maintain Romans 9—11 is a digression. However, as Bible scholar Thomas R. Schreiner noted, “The idea that these chapters disrupt the argument of the epistle has all but vanished today…

From the Heart

An unusual—and unanticipated—thought came to mind recently when I was asked to describe what I miss the most about spending time in Israel, now that I no longer travel there.

Pilgrim Songs

Psalms 120 through 134 are referred to as the Songs of Ascents due to the superscription at the beginning of each psalm. The term ascent carries the notion of step or degree. The interpretation of…

Psalm 120: Our Deliverer

Sung by ancient pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem to observe the primary feasts of Israel, Psalm 120 is the first in a series known as the Psalms of Ascents. It begins with a…

Psalm 124: Our Defender

Living in danger was nothing new to my late colleague Zvi Kalisher. He lived in Israel for nearly 70 years and witnessed countless dangers. He often described his situation as…

From the Editor Jul/Aug 2015

As we all know, the Jewish people are no strangers to tragedy. They probably have endured more of it than any nationality on Earth. They even have what some call a Jewish…

Ariel: City of Visionaries

When 40 families stood atop a craggy mountain overlooking the wilderness of Samaria in 1978 and scanned the barren wasteland that would become their home…

Touring Ariel

Ariel is an amazing success story. It is a story of struggle against all odds, of immigrant absorption, international outreach, and dynamic growth. As you travel through Ariel…

Oasis of Coexistence

Every morning, Ahbed, a Palestinian Arab, drives into the Barkan Industrial Park opposite the Ariel Industrial Park to manage the warehouse of the Lipski plastics factory. It produces a host of…

Remembering Gush Katif: 10 Years Later

On Wednesday morning, August 17, 2005, some 10,000 Israeli soldiers fanned out across 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip. Their mission, following the Israeli army’s order eight days earlier, was…

Gush Katif Under the Palestinians

Gaza’s Jewish settlements were situated on about 30 percent of the Gaza Strip’s land. Former World Bank Group President James Wolfensohn intended that once the last Israeli left…

Origins of the Pullout

The concept of Israel leaving the Gaza Strip and receiving nothing in return was first floated unofficially by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in an address to an academic conference…

A Life-Changing Journey Through Samaria

The Bible simply identifies the first stop on our journey as “the pass.” Most travelers know little about the site, but it is where King Saul’s son Jonathan and his armor bearer climbed from…

Inside View May/Jun 2014

Life is filled with questions. Questions help us focus on a subject and motivate us to seek answers. Many questions are simple; others can be complex. Arguably, the…

Banias

Banias, or Panias in Greek, is situated near the ancient remains of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights in northern Israel. In the…

Caesarea Maritime

Caesarea is located on the Mediterranean coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv and was originally a Phoenician trading post called Strato’s Tower (c. 250 BC). In 25 BC…

Capernaum

Blue skies mirrored in the waters of the Sea of Galilee, the gentle breeze, the aroma of exotic vegetation under the hot sun, the dusty basalt and limestone ruins, the…

Mount Carmel

When most Jewish people hear the name Mount Carmel (“Vineyard of God”), they think of the wine used to celebrate Jewish holy days. The triangular-shaped, wooded…

The Dead Sea

The name Dead Sea does not appear in the Bible. Biblically, the body of water is called the “Salt Sea” (Gen. 14:3), “Sea of the Arabah” (Dt. 3:17; 4:49), and “eastern…

The Sea of Galilee Part One

Rabbis have said that Jehovah created seven seas, but the Sea of Galilee is His delight. Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, called it “the ambition of Nature.”

The Sea of Galilee Part Two

On one of my early trips to Israel, I stood one blustery evening on the pier of Kibbutz Nof Ginosar on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee and watched as whitecaps…

The Garden Tomb

North of the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City is a peaceful burial cave called the Garden Tomb. A peasant first discovered it in 1867. In 1874 a German missionary…

Jerusalem’s Old City

Though I’ve lived in Jerusalem almost 17 years, sometimes I still find the place bewildering. People who don’t live here probably think primarily of the Old City and its…

What and Where Is East Jerusalem?

When we bring visitors to the Sherover-Haas Promenade in our Talpiot neighborhood, with its magnificent vista of the old and new Jerusalem skyline, they often ask…

Joppa, Down by the Sea

Jaffa is the modern name for Joppa, which was and still is a major sea-port on the Mediterranean. God gave the region to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:40–46). The timbers…

Masada

Masada is spectacular. It’s a mighty fortress on a massive rock plateau. The mountain is about 1,500 feet above the shores of the Dead Sea. The fortification is about…

The Temple Tunnel

Above ground the Western Wall, or Kotel, measures around 187 feet long. But it actually runs another 1,350 feet underground, beneath homes in Old City Jerusalem. For centuries…

Valley of Jezreel

Standing atop the plateau of Tel Megiddo, the Valley of Jezreel (Megiddo Valley) stretches out like a verdant patchwork of farms, kibbutzim, and moshavim. Lying to the…

The Western Wall

Many people journey to Israel as pilgrims to visit the only place the Lord calls the “Holy Land” (Zech. 2:12). Others go there to see the reality of the Zionist dream birthed…

The Mount of Olives

One of the most spectacular places to visit in Israel is the Mount of Olives. The view from this elevation is breathtaking, and people gaze in awe at the Eastern Gate and…

Inside View Mar/Apr 2014

Communion at the Garden Tomb is always one of the highlights of our Up to Jerusalem tours to Israel. As I sat in the serene gardens on our tour last fall, preparing to celebrate…

Insult to Injury

Talk and turning up pressure on Israel have obviously replaced rational movement toward peace in the Middle East. The prevailing powers seem to prefer to reward…

A Memorial Day Unlike Any Other

I can’t move. My legs are beginning to cramp, and I can’t move. Harriet and I have been wedged in a corner standing beside Michael’s grave for more than three hours…

Eye on the Middle East Jan/Feb 2013

Going Up to Jerusalem with The Friends of Israel is never the same twice. I’ve been on our tour more than two dozen times, but our recent fall trip was unique. Here is a…

Wingate the Zionist

An aircraft suddenly plunged to earth and burst into flames. The cause for the crash near Imphal, India, on March 24, 1944, has remained a mystery. All nine men aboard…

Selling the Big Lie

Explaining why she left her job, a reporter for a major organization in Washington, DC, said recently, “I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jan/Feb 2012

The world is filled with travesties of justice, and among the worst is the demonization of Israel. Yet Israel wants peace, and almost all its neighbors want…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Nov/Dec 2011

“Thus says the Lord Gᴏᴅ: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her’” (Ezek. 5:5). Every trip to Israel is a life-impacting…

Israel in the News Sep/Oct 2011

Israeli doctors recently saved the life of 7-month-old Odai al-Kafarna of the Gaza Strip by repairing a hole in his heart. His grandmother, who brought him to the Israeli hospital…

The Jewishness of the Temple Mount

So prolific is Muslim propaganda that many Westerners today question the Temple’s historicity. So it’s time to review the evidence.

Turning Their Backs on a Jewish Israel

Eleven years ago, Israeli-born Meyrav Wurmser, then-executive director of the distinguished Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), wrote an article titled “Can Israel Survive Post-Zionism?” Israel, she said, was “in the midst…

From Bill Sutter’s Desk May/Jun 2010

On my first trip to Israel in 1989, I remember thinking how much the Israelis struggled to live in the land of God’s promise. Soaring inflation, high unemployment, and persistent…

Israel in the News Mar/Apr 2010

While the world marveled at the speed and efficiency with which Israel responded to January’s Haitian disaster, The New York Times found fault. The tiny Jewish state launched such a massive…

Israel: The Inscrutable Enigma

Mark Twain, the famous American author, humorist, narrator, and social observer, had great personal problems with the religionists of his day and many other aspects of the world he occupied…

God Is Jealous Part Three

When God established the Mosaic Covenant marriage relationship with Israel at Mount Sinai, He declared, “You shall worship no other god, for the Lᴏʀᴅ, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous…

Eye on the Middle East May/Jun 2009

As the preacher phrased it in Ecclesiastes, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (11:1). Well, there may be a twist on the truth…

The Israel to Come

The world has a plan for Israel. It thinks it knows how to bring peace to this tortured land. Yet all its attempts—the Camp David Accords, Oslo, Wye River, and the Road…

His Eye is on the Sparrow

In the spring of 1905, Civilla Martin and her husband, Pastor Walter Martin, visited their friends the Doolittles in Elmira, New York. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for 20 years…

The IYA Salvage Project

We woke up early Tuesday morning, grabbed our coffees, packed our lunches, boarded the bus, and headed for Tzurim Valley National Park located atop Mount Scopus, northeast of the Old…

He Cannot Deny Himself

A popular song from the 1960s claimed that all the world needs is love. Love, of course, is fine. However, the world needs much more, such as godly wisdom; integrity…

Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2008

Reading the dictionary can be an exhilarating experience. Not that an overwhelming number of young people might find it so. Nevertheless, it is an exercise in personal enlightenment that is well worth the time.