The Bible Comes to Life – Journey to the Holy Land: We’re joined by Omer Eshel to talk about WallBuilders’ upcoming trip to the Holy Land! This is going to be an exciting experience! Tune in now to find out what to expect and learn how you can join us!

Air Date: 09/24/2018

Guest: Omer Eshel

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

You’ve found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about today’s hottest topics in policy and faith in culture. Always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s with us, national speaker and pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

Check out WallBuildersLive.com to find out more about us and the program. You can get list of stations around the country where we can be heard and you can also listen to some of our programs from the last few weeks. And then also go to WallBuilders.com for a wealth of information and tools that you can use for yourself, your family, your community, your church, to get educated on the Constitution, on the founding of America, and biblical application in the public policy arena.

Later in the program Omer Eshel is going to be with us. In fact, that’s a good reason to go to WallBuilders.com today because he’s going to be talking about the upcoming trip. WallBuilders is going to Israel and you can go with us. You really need to check that out at WallBuilders.com. It’s going to happen last week of January first week of February and it’s a great opportunity to see the Holy Land. And a lot of people first time, David, Tim, are going to go on this trip and actually get to experience it with you guys, get to experience it with Omer Eshel who’s probably the best tour guide in Israel. It’s a great opportunity for people to go.

David:

Yeah. And by the way when people hear the last week of January in the first week of February, do not think Michigan, don’t think Minnesota, don’t think New York, it’s not that kind of cold. Think more like Texas, and think more like Alabama, and Florida, where it’s a very, very, mild, very pleasant time. So, it’s a good time of the year to go. The crowds are a lot smaller there, so you get to see a lot more things. You don’t have to fight the all the buses and all the tourists and all the other things that are there. It’s a great time to go, great people to go with it. Folks from across the nation are coming. So, it will be an excellent opportunity to be able to go and see Israel.

Not What You Thought it Was

David:

And Israel is one of those places that we know about it, we see it’s on the news, but yeah, when you get there you’re going to be shocked – it’s not what you thought it was. It is so much better. I guess the transformation is if you think of of television – you’re watching television and you have been watching it in black and white and you didn’t know that there was anything else, but once you see television in color you go, “Oh my gosh, how much was I’m missing.”

Well, that’s kind of the way it is on a trip to Israel. When you get there you say, “I thought I knew about it. I read it in the Bible, I’ve seen stuff on it, but man, when I see it now it is so much more 3D, so much more in color, it is so much more bright and full than what I thought.”

Tim:

And specifically those Bible locations, right.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

Not like going to the tourist mart and like, “Wow, I see it in color now.” Like no, okay, perspective – when you’re visiting the sites that are where the actual Bible stories took place, what you realize is so often what we’ve imagined is not accurate to the reality of the situation and you see what the place looks like.

Rick:

Well, David says you see it in the news. Tim, what you’re describing is you see it in the Bible for most people your experience of Israel is just what you’ve read in the Bible. So,  you literally are taking it from black and white, and just the words that you’ve read, and tried to imagine those things in your mind, or maybe you’ve seen some TV specials or movies trying to depict those things. You guys are talking about actually walking where it actually happened, talking about bringing it to life, color, the whole nine yards, now you really will see the Bible from a different perspective.

David’s Epiphanies

David:

Well, there were several things that really were epiphanies for me. I’ve read the Bible through a number of times, I try to read it through cover to cover once a year, I’ve done that for a number of years. And then when I actually stood on the steps at the gate Beautiful where that Peter and John in Acts were talking to the guy he was begging money and they said, “Well, we don’t have silver or gold, but we’ll give you were what we’ve got.” So, they healed the guy there and he stood up, and walked, and went leaping, just making a ruckus on how he could walk now.

I stood on those steps where that– where Peter gave that sermon. I’m going, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing.” And I’m looking out at where the crowd would have been down the steps of the temple, and I’m looking at what was around them, and it just all came to life. And then when I walked down the money changer booths where that Jesus went in and he berated the courts and chased the money changers out of the temple. Those booths were not anything like I had pictured booths being. It was just totally different. And I’m looking at it, “Man, I can see that, I can see Jesus doing that.”

Then when I got up to the Philistine city where the Philistines had killed Saul, and then they took and decapitated him, and they they hung his body up, and they hung his head up on the wall. And I was standing there at the wall where that had happened, and looking over the valley, and I could visualize and see the battle going below, and what had happened, and when Saul committed suicide. It just, it all came to life. I’ve read it, I know the story. If you start me on the story I can tell the rest of the story. But man, when I got there it was it was, literally, it was just a whole different experience.

Rick:

And I’m assuming that’s not just– because I haven’t been, it’s going to be my first time. I’m assuming it’s not just what’s happening in that moment. When you’ve come back now and read the Bible daily like I know you do, I’m assuming it’s still now you’ve got it in color, now you have the images of actually having been there. So, when you read the Bible it’s very different. That’s what I’ve always heard.

For Example – Yellowstone National Park

David:

For example. It’s one thing to read about Yellowstone National Park in history books. That was a park started by Ulysses S Grant, alright great. But when you get there and go through Yellowstone, oh my gosh, every time you hear the word Yellowstone after that you have images and pictures that come back. And that’s the way it is in Israel. It is so different and so my Bible study and reading now is so much richer and much fuller. I have a much greater understanding of some things I did not understand before.

When Psalm 23 talks about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I thought that was figurative – I didn’t know there was literally a valley of the shadow of death and that there are five of those valleys in Israel. And that when you went into those valleys you’re surrounded on the sides by robbers looking down on you. I didn’t realize it’s a real place. So, the visualization is so different now. It means something different totally.

So, it really is, it really is a good thing and Omer Eshel is the guy to do it with. Omer has worked with the Israeli government for a number of years, he was kind of a special forces guy in their military. But he ran some of the National Parks, he’s about 38-39, he’s an archaeologist, has excavated hundreds of sites in Israel, he knows the bible like no one I’ve ever been around. And he’s young, enthusiastic, energetic, and he is a blast. So, not only does Israel make the Bible come to life, but when we’re with Omer, man, he makes Israel come to life even while you’re there. It’s just– it’ll be a great tour and a great opportunity for folks.

Rick:

Well, we’re going to get a sneak peek from him right now. Stay with us. We’ll be right back. Omer Eshel our special guest today. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moments From America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, numerous court decisions demonstrate that there’s often a conflict between the courts, the law, and religion. Has this conflict always existed?

Not according to James Wilson.  James Wilson was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a law professor as well as an original justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. James Wilson saw no conflict between religion and the law. In fact, just the contrary.

He declared, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. Far from being rivals or enemies religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistance.  Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

In the views of Founding Father James Wilson religion and good civil law were inseparable. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

Rick:

Welcome back thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Omer Eshel is back with us. He’s CEO and co-founder of The Bible Comes to Life and he’s going to be taking the Barton’s, and our WallBuilders team, to Israel in January-February. It’s going to be phenomenal. Omer, thank you for coming on and just kind of giving us a preview of what it’s like to visit Israel.

Omer Eshel:

Thank you, Rick. Thank you so much for having me on board.

Rick:

Well, we appreciate your time and calling in. Why do you think that people from the U.S. should come over and visit Israel?

Why Should People Come Visit Israel

Omer Eshel:

Actually, I think that people from all over the world should come and visit Israel – not just the U.S..

Rick:

Yeah.

Omer Eshel:

Any person who appreciates the word of God, regardless of from what country we come from, should see how the Bible truly comes from life in Israel. But I will go ahead and piggyback on what you said about the U.S.. One thing that makes the U.S. different than any other nation apart from Israel and that is that both of our countries are founded on biblical values. And I think that this gives a little bit of an extra boost to Americans coming to Israel.

Rick:

Yeah, that’s a great point. Especially, if people are into history at all on the U.S. side of things, then going to Israel is going to bring to life not only this incredible biblical history, but a lot of U.S. history because they’ve read and heard the founders talk about so many things they would see on this tour with you.

Omer Eshel:

So, one of the things that is quite incredible I think, in my eyes, is I look at two figures both in our in our joint history – in the U.S. and Israel – that I consider the world about them. On your side is George Washington and on our side is David Ben-Gurion. Both of them are the founders of both of our nations. And I’ve got to say, when you read the Declaration of Independence of the U.S. and you read the Declaration of Independence of Israel, both of them rely on the promise, and the change, and they believe in the one true God. I get goosebumps just speaking about it right now.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah. That’s powerful, that’s powerful. And I can’t imagine if someone really does want to get back to their roots not wanting to go do this. This is, I talk to people all the time and say this is the trip of a lifetime to get to go to Israel. And if the Bible has any foundation in your life, if you’re trying to follow the Bible, and you read the Bible on a regular basis, when they come over there and actually walk in the same footsteps, and go through, and these stories come to life, what a difference you got. You’ve got to have one of the best jobs in the world to get to see people just light up and see these things come to life for them.

Living Where David Slew Goliath

Omer Eshel:

Yeah, I’m blessed. There’s no question, I’m blessed. And the thing is– I’m going to share this with our listeners. I’m talking to you right now from the Elah Valley. So, I leave, my home is about 800 yards away from the place where David slew Goliath.

Rick:

Wow.

Omer Eshel:

And when the group is going to come to Israel in the end of January, beginning of February to Israel, they’re going to visit my actual home. And when we go up to my roof and after we speak with the girls, with my girls, you go up to the roof and you see Abdulla, you see Bethlehem, you see Hebron, you see the Valley of Elah, you see Carmel where Abigail is from. This is truly–

Rick:

Wow.

Omer Eshel:

–the Bible is right before you. And the most amazing thing is that all these stories are true and that’s what makes it such a huge impact.

Rick:

What is your main focus whenever people come over and go through the tour with you?  What do you really want them to take away?

Omer Eshel:

I come from a very, very, deeply biblical family – very, very, very, deeply. And the Bible is a strong part of who we are and the way that we act.

“One of the things I truly want people to see…”

Omer Eshel:

And one of the things that I truly want people to see is to reassure their faith and their relationship with God. Because when they come to Israel and they see that the stories in the Bible are actually correct. Because we found archeological evidence for what the Bible is saying. And if you’re going to go to Mount Olympus and open the Greek mythology, you’re not going to find any * of Zeus out there because it doesn’t exist.

Rick:

Right.

Omer Eshel:

But you open– again, going back to the Elah Valley, when you go to open 1 Samuel 17 you can analyze the battle foot by foot, and yard by yard, inch by inch. So, my greatest focus– and that’s why the name of our ministry is The Bible Comes to Life is for people to see the truth of the Bible and see the truth of God’s word.

Rick:

When you say the Bible comes to life, what is the main– give me a couple examples of some of the stories that people would be familiar with, but that you actually take them to on the tour and they get to see where it actually happened. You mentioned David and Goliath. What are some other ones?

Omer Eshel:

For example, we’re going to go to the City of David, we’re going to be in the cellars of the palace of David, and one of the chambers above us was the trial of the babies with Solomon when he said cut the baby in half with the wicked woman and the good woman. We’re going to see that.

Rick:

Wow.

Omer Eshel:

And other places we’re going to see, the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man, we will see that. Another thing and another place that we’re going to see is the Jezreel Valley near where we’re going to see the place of Elijah against the prophets of the Bael. Where Jesus grew up, where He walked as a little boy and saw– He saw the stories of the Bible come to life in front of him.

Another Very Important Thing

Omer Eshel:

And this is another thing which is very, very, important – when we read the Bible we see how Jesus always goes back to the stories of the Old Testament. Only when you are in Israel and you see how you are surrounded by the biblical stories that the place where Jesus grew up in Nazareth you can understand why Jesus kept on going back again, and again, and again, to the scriptures because He saw them in front of His very eyes. He saw them day in day out.

Rick:

And that’s what we’re going to do.

Omer Eshel:

Yes, sir. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Rick:

I can’t wait. One of the coolest things, I think, for me is going to be– David Barton is my hero when it comes to history and I go to a lot of cool places with him and I just sit and listen to him and learn. And on these trips he sits and listens to you and learns – how cool is that?!

Omer Eshel:

I’m blessed. The last trip that we had together we had people coming to the front of the bus and people came out with a headache. They say it’s like a– listen, we’ve got me, we’ve got David, and we’ve got him Tim on the same bus.

Rick:

That’s right.

Omer Eshel:

So, it’s like a, yeah, it’s a high speed, it is.

Rick:

Have a high speed bandwidth ready in your brain is what you’re saying.

Omer Eshel:

Yeah, that’s right.

How to Support The Bible Comes to Life

Rick:

Alright, well tell me what can people do to support The Bible Comes to Life? Obviously coming over and doing one of these tours. But what you guys are doing is so important because it, like you said– part of it is just evidentiary. There’s so much moral relativism today and people questioning whether any of these things happened. So, people being able to come over and see the evidence and walk where it actually happened. It’s important culturally for the U.S.., I think, to know that those roots that we came from and that our nation was built upon are real and they are true. And that’s what you guys are doing.

Omer Eshel:

What we’re doing, which is very different than anything else in Israel, we are doing a study tour. It’s very different than a regular tour. A regular tour is on the bus, off the bus, click, click, click, shopping, go home. I always say that the shopping is a waste of time because these things are made in China anyway, so just buy them on Amazon. But to quote my wife, “No one is asking my opinion.”

So, in our tours the emphasis is on education and the emphasis is on studies. And there’s one thing you definitely want to bring with you is your Bible because we will see the Bible truly come to life.

Now, you also asked about ways to support us. We are getting our support from the tours, the tours that to come to Israel. That’s why we are our ministry, the tours that come to Israel, that’s what funds our ministry. So, the best way to support us is to come with wonderful people like you, like David, like Tim, like Christian missions who join on this tour and support us. Because when we do, the funds that come from that tour, we are making all the movies which are free to download. If you visit our website, just google The Bible Comes to Life on any Google, you will see our website. Everything is downloadable for free because we don’t charge for the word of God.

Reading the Bible Between the Lines

Omer Eshel:

And one of the most amazing blessing is that we have so many questions and so many churches around the world – not in the U.S.. In China, and in Turkey, and even in Indonesia, that are using our biblical materials to enhance their understanding of God. So, when you come to Israel together with David Barton you’re actually supporting us.

Rick:

That’s great. That’s great. Love it. Love it. Okay, before I let you go, give me a couple more your favorite places for taking people.

Omer Eshel:

Hmmmmm…

Rick:

That’s hard isn’t it?!

Omer Eshel:

It is. It definitely is. I’ve got to say David and Goliath because I always talk about it several times. But I– one of the things I love doing the most is to read the Bible between the lines. And one of the places that we take every single group is the city of Zippori, which, I’m sure that you and a lot of others and are now raising their eyebrows and saying, “I never heard of that town.”

Well, yes, it’s not in the Bible, but this city was the main city of the Galilee. And this is the place where Jesus as a boy used to go there. And when you really analyze the parables of Jesus, especially the rich man and Lazarus, and the mustard seed and the fig, only when you come to Zippori you really understand how Jesus actually was able to come up with these parables.

So, these– this is definitely one of my favorite places. And another place is, sailing on the Sea of Galilee is just, it really is one of those moments that you are– you fall down on your knees and say,”God, thank you. Thank you for letting me witness.” This is my life, really.

So, the Seal of Galilee and Zippori definitely are two of my favorite.

Your Soul Will Be Exhausted

Rick:

I need to ask you a question about people coming. Is there– a lot of times these are very fast paced. Is there any limitation if someone has, if they’re a little bit older, or they have a little bit of trouble getting around. What would you recommend? Is there a way for them to still come?

Omer Eshel:

Oh, yeah. So, again, this is a study tour. So, it’s a study tour, we’re going to see a lot of sites and you guys are going to be exhausted. Now, when I say “exhausted” it’s not because you’re going to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. People going to be exhausted because you see the truth of the Bible bombarded in your face day in, day out. That’s a huge token on your soul. I’m not talking about your legs right now – your soul will be exhausted in a good way, in a very good way.

Rick:

Yeah.

Omer Eshel:

But you’re going to be exhausted. The way we build it, we build it in a way where people are going to see a lot of sites. So, if at any given moment some person would not like to go to a certain site they can choose to stay in the hotel, they can stay in the bus, the bus has air condition and Wi-Fi free anyway, so they can stay there.

They can–we’re going to give myself on our guided trips, I’m going to get my business card. If anyone wants to say, “You know what, guys, I just want to sit down relax and this coffee shop.” They’re going to have my cell phone number. Israel is a very westernized country. There’s no problem to take a cab to meet us in a different location.

Rick:

Got you.

Close to 90 Year Old on the Tour!

Omer Eshel:

The thing is also, we try to build itineraries to minimize the walking distance. That’s why we’re not staying in one hotel. That’s why we’re actually– the hotels are moving progressively along with the itinerary. So, yes it’s exhausting, but it’s absolutely incredible.

And I got to tell you – the average age of the people who come and travel with us is about 60, that the average age. So, we have anything from 35 to, the most senior citizen we had was approaching. And he did the whole thing.

Rick:

No kidding. Alright, well, that’s good to know. I had a few questions on that so that’s why I wanted to ask you and make sure that that was that was good to go as well.

Omer Eshel:

Sure thing.

Rick:

Alright. Well, Omer, we’re so looking forward to it and just thank you. Thank you for what you do. We’ve seen the impact in people that have come and we hope to have a big group with you there the last week of January first week of February. But just appreciate your time today. God bless you. Keep up the great work.

Omer Eshel:

Thank you. God bless and *, happy new year.

Rick:

You too. God bless you.

Omer Eshel:

God bless. Thank you.

Rick:

We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Join The Bartons and Greens In Israel!

Rick:

Hey Friends! Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. The WallBuilders team is going to Israel and we’d love to have you go with us. It’s going to be January 28 through February 7th, a Holy Land tour that is the experience of a lifetime.

Just imagine sailing on the Sea of Galilee. Imagine going to the Elah Valley where David slew Goliath and even picking up pebbles from the very brook where he picked up those stones to slay Goliath. We’re going to go to Jericho, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the pool of Bethesda, and so much more. And you can go with us.

David and Tim Barton, and myself, Rick Green, you’ll just have a great time. The Fellowship’s going to be phenomenal and the Bible is going to come to life right before your eyes. Join us January 28th through February 7th, 2019. But you need to get in and make your reservations now. Check it out at WallBuildersLive.com for this very special trip to the Holy Land.

American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment in American history. In 1963 the United States Supreme Court decided that voluntary Bible reading could no longer be part of the school day.

Founding Father Benjamin Rush, known as the father of public schools under the Constitution, pointedly warned that the Bible should be read in schools in preference to all other books.

He specifically warned that if America ever ceased promoting Biblical principles in schools then we would waste so much time and money and punishing crimes. It takes so little pains to prevent them.

He was right, we now have seven million Americans in prison on probation or on parole. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Sadly, this was unnecessary, but is the result of no longer teaching the morals of the Bible in schools.

For more information about the Founding Fathers views on the positive impact of the Bible in schools go to WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Omer Eshel for joining us on the program today and then joining us in Israel in January. And David, Tim, if folks have– if they’re in a church that where people might be interested, this is a great time to go with a whole group right. You can bring people from your church. It might not just be you and your spouse, or some of your kids, or whatever, you can bring a whole group yourself.

Great Time to Bring a Whole Group!

David:

Yeah, this be a great time to put together a group of your peers and your friends and all of you experience it together. Because then when you get back you will all be talking about it together. And it is just great. So, whether it be your family, or your extended family, or your friends and folks you run with. If you’re a pastor, bring your church leadership. However you want to put it together, taking other people to experience this with you, it increases your experience as well.

So, we really would encourage others. Because the more people who know about this and know it’s there, it’s like the Constitution. The more people who study the Constitution and know it, the greater becomes the love and knowledge for the Constitution across the whole nation because your enthusiasm shows. And when you get back from Israel and having seen the Bible literally come to life it will come out of your mouth when you talk to others and it will increase the love and appreciation for the Bible like you’ve never seen.

Tim:

And this is something that probably most listeners have heard of a group going Israel, maybe some of you have gone which is awesome. It’s something that we would encourage that every Christian at some point needs to make this journey over to Israel so they can see these actual places where Jesus was, right. Where all of these Bible stories actually happen.

So, it might be something that you’re looking at I don’t know if we can afford that right now. Well, then starting a little savings account, right. Five dollars a week, or ten dollars a month, or whatever you can do, just start putting it aside. It will build up because maybe it’s going to be in five or 10 years is when you’re able to go. But this is something that is a trip worth going for, the trip of a lifetime, to actually be where the Bible took place and to see the Bible actually come to life.

The Bible Comes to Life – Journey to the Holy Land

Rick:

And right now at WallBuilders.com you can click on the link, if you go to the home page WallBuilders.com, there’s going to be a link right there for you to find out more. It just says Holy Land Tour Join David and Tim in Israel January 28 through February 7. So, this is ten days right, guys? You’re going to cover a lot of ground.

David:

Well, it’s 11 days now. There’s a travel day going over and back. But we’re going to cover a lot of ground and so many of the big things that you have heard about in the Bible. But a lot of things that are really cool stories in the Bible that you just didn’t have a good visualization on, they will come to life. So, as Omer says, this is The Bible Comes to Life. That’s the name of his organization and that’s because it happens every time people come and see this stuff.

Rick:

WallBuilders.com to find out more. Thanks so much for listening today to WallBuilders Live.