CHS/CVCS Israel Communication November 18, 2017


Just a few more days before Thanksgiving! What a wonderful time of the year.

Video of the Week: During our time at the Sea of Galilee, we will visit Capernaum, which is known as the town of Jesus. Here we can see the synagogue’s foundation that would have been used by Jesus. More stories in the Galilee region happen in Capernaum than any other place. Here we can see Peter’s mother-in-law’s home. Anyway, check out this video from my February 2017 trip. Just click on the name of the last word in this sentence: Capernaum

Final billing: Everyone is caught up and we will have the final bills mailed out in January. It will be important for everyone to pay that bill on time because, once we all have, the agency will be able to pay for the charter bus, the airlines, and hotels. Even one person not paying holds the whole process up, so keep saving and be ready in less than two months.

Visitation to SOCAL: I have come up with a more specific schedule at the end of January will be when Terri and I come for a visit and speak twice at each site.

Sat. 1/27:

10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Introduction / Q&A  / Biblical Archaeology (Upper Room)

Sat 1/27:

2:30 to 5 p.m.: Christian High School Introduction / Q&A / Biblical Archaeology (room number to be announced)

Sun 1/28:

12:15 to 2:15 p.m. (after second service): Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Dead Sea Scrolls (we’ll order pizza for lunch) (Upper Room)

Sun 1/29:

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Christian High School Dead Sea Scrolls (room number to be announced)

Mon 1/30:

TBA p.m.: Capistrano Valley Christian Introduction / Q&A  / Biblical Archaeology (room number to be announced)

Tuesday 1/31:

TBA p.m.: Capistrano Valley Christian Dead Sea Scrolls (room number to be announced)

When we get closer to these dates, I will ask for a head count of those who plan to come to these meetings. As promised, there will be a special gift for those who have watched or listened to at least 28 of the 36 episodes in The Holy Land Revealed. In addition, Terri and I will have prize give-aways. This is meant to be a fun time, a chance to get to meet each other, and a place to ask questions and get a good feel on what you should bring and what to expect on this trip. I fully understand you may not be able to come to both sessions (they are different), but hopefully you can come to one. For those who come to both sessions, I have a special gift.

The Holy Land Revealed: Here are the next episodes in the series (and whether or not I recommend them):

Episode 15: “The Sectarian Settlement of Qumran: Good overview of the Essenes. I love the Dead Sea Scrolls, and this episode is important for you to understand where the Essenes originated. Recommended.

 Episode 16: Dead Sea Scrolls: TOP PICK. If you want to know the story of why the Dead Sea Scrolls are important, this is great. I will also talk about the Dead Sea Scrolls during one of my sessions in late January. Highly recommended.

 Episode 17: Essenes: If you like to hear about the toileting habits of the people who put the Dead Sea Scrolls together, then this episode is for you! Actually, it is fascinating to see what these ancient Jews did in regards to toilets and how, for this group of people, using the bathroom was an unclean act–though it wasn’t for the Pharisees and Sadduccees. Recommended.

Episode 18: From Roman Annexation to Herod the Great: A good overview of Roman history, especially the life of Herod the Great. This man was brutal. My favorite line by Jody Magness in the episode is “Herod the Great had 9 or 10 wives, depending on how you read Josephus. It wasn’t that he had 9 or 10 wives that would have been that difficult, but the fact that he had 9 or 10 mothers-in-law.” 🙂   At the end of the episode, she says that she doubts the Slaughter of the Innocents took place. I disagree. Just because there is no historical evidence does not mean it couldn’t have happened. We must remember Bethlehem was small then (as it’s small now) and Herod did so many crazy and cruel things that I doubt everything he did was recorded. Because Bethlehem was small, some speculate only a dozen or fewer infants/children were killed. I guess we will never know. Despite my objection to her last point, this episode is recommended.

Do you not have this series? YOU SHOULD! I have just come across two used copies of the 6-set (36 episodes) DVDs (but no book). If you would like one set for $50 plus $5 shipping, email me and I can get this to you. You can either pay me with a check or PayPal. Again, I believe that this series is the best resource to help get you ready for the trip. And it’s not too late to catch up.

At this point, we are half done reviewing the episodes in this series. I plan to cover 4 episodes in each email update, with the hope that I can complete the review by the beginning of February. Although I have recommended you could skip several episodes, I don’t believe I’ll suggest skipping any more from here on out because the second half of the DVDs are my favorite.

Baptism List: The following is the list of those who have requested baptism in the Jordan River. The requirements to get baptized are:

1) You have not been baptized or got baptized at an age you don’t remember (infant)–for any exceptions to this rule, please write me and explain

2) You have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior

3) Your intention is to follow Him the rest of your days

4) You are willing to give a short (3-4 minute) testimony explaining why you want to get baptized

5) You will choose someone on the trip to come up and lay their hands on you, praying for you and this decision

Yes, the water is cold. No, there is no cost to get baptized (there actually is a fee at the baptismal facility, but Maranatha Tours pays for you out of their pocket as a service to our group). Yes, there is a changing facility. And, I promise, everyone, including all of us observing, will be blessed and this will be a Top 5 memory event for us. Guaranteed, every time, with no exceptions. And hands down, this day is the best day of the trip, with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, reciting the Sermon on the Mount on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, and other incredible experiences.

We only plan to be at the baptismal site for 90 minutes total (we have so much more to see that day), which means we are limited in how many baptisms we can/will do. Mr. Aaron Bond from CVCS will give the baptism devotional talk before we begin baptizing. If you are not on this list below and you have decided that you do want to get baptized, please let me know. We want your decision to be yours, nobody else’s, and thought/prayed out, not an emotional decision.


  1. Chris Rutz
  2. Riley Barclay
  3. Sophia Pluhar
  4. Riley Dungan
  5. Donna Dungan
  6. William Roley


  1. Alyssa Rothrock
  2. Aaron Biggs
  3. Linda Tyler
  4. Austin Miller

Trip’s Waiting List: We have only had 2 people drop from the trip  since last April when the signups took place. Most of those on the waiting list were just 1 day too late. They are patiently waiting for spots to open. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you will not be coming (i.e. health issues or you won’t have the final payment ready by January), please let me know as soon as possible so we can arrange to give those on the waiting list full ability to get their funds together. You would get all of your money back minus $125 for processing charges if you drop before the final payment date. Thanks!

Coming soon! 50-day Prayer Journal. This PDF file will be sent to you in January.

I will write again in early December.

Eric Johnson

P.S. Here is the latest Joel Kramer video that comes from Shiloh, the place where the tabernacle sat for three centuries. If we have time on one of the Joel Kramer days, we hope to go here:

  • Episode 10: Shiloh (Time 12:23)