Day 7 – Jesus and the wise men!

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Day 7

Reading Matthew 2: 7-18

v.12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

In Matthew chapter 2, continues with the account of the events during the birth of Baby Jesus.

 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the [b]wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” V.7-8

At that time Israel was occupied by Rome and as mentioned in the previous passage, King Herod was the appointed governor or ruler in Israel by the Roman government. Herod had heard about the prophecy of the coming Messiah or Deliverer of Israel. And Herod was insecure and afraid to lose his power and authority.  When he heard about the wise men who came from the East, he made plans to meet with them. Herod wanted to know more details about the coming of the Messiah.  He made plans to stop the coming of a new power. He felt threatened so he told the wise men,

“When you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also”.

The wise men told Herod about the words of prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, the One who was to Rule Israel as their King forever. Herod did not want that. So, he misled or deceived the wise men and told them, that he want to worship Him too.

The wise men continued their journey following the star they had seen in the East. They rejoiced when they found Baby Jesus, His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. They worshiped the baby Jesus as they brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. V.9-12 They rejoiced gladly that their eyes had seen the fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by the old prophets.

v.12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

The Lord God guided the three wise men, because they were truly seeking the Messiah. For many years, the wise men from the East have heard of the coming of Messiah, the Deliverer of the Earth. They had studied the ancient Scriptures and the words of God through the prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. The wise men believed in their hearts for the fulfillment of those Words spoken and written by the men and prophets of God. The wise men carefully watched for the signs in the heaven, such as the moon and the stars.  I guess God knew their hearts, so the Lord guided them throughout their journey and waiting.

Only God can know the hearts of men. King Herod spoke nice words to the wise men about finding Jesus. King Herod told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus too. And it seemed the wise men took Herod’s words. The wise men did not know the evil plan of Herod. But God knew, so God guided the wise men and spoke to them in their dreams.

Reflection: As we trust our Lord Jesus, God will guide us as we seek Him with all our hearts.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for Your Words and the assurance that You are always guiding me  and taking care of me as I seek You in my life with all my heart.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Day7 – Matthew 2:7-18 Study guide in PDF.

A road trip, east of UB.

Our second week in UB was another eventful week (November 5-21, 2018).

Road trip to visit stations in two cities, east of UB.

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We enjoyed the landscape, countryside, hills and herds on the road. There are about 3 million people in Mongolia and 60 million plus animals!

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An added bonus to see the Genghis Khan museum on the way. (G.Khan was the great emperor of Mongolia in the 12th century).

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Visiting a station.

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Another station.

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David and Tomroo fixing a transmitter.

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Third Day- Ulan Batar

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Our first day to go out on the street after arriving the city, three days ago. We arrived Wednesday night, (Nov 7th, 2018) after a very long trip from Alabama, Atlanta, Seoul and Mongolia. I didn’t keep the number of hours, it was very long from Monday night flight to Wednesday night. Neither David nor I have been in this country before. Both our first time. We were relieved to meet by our FEBC Mongolia staff at the airport. Tomroo (photo in the red shirt), is the technician that David has been working with the past few months. Now they finally met face to face.

Day 2- Thursday, we were brought to the radio station, Wind FM 104.5 and met the staff. We hit the ground running and started our work right away. David met with the engineering team, and I met with the accounting team.

Day 3 -Friday- David shared his faith journey or testimony during the staff chapel.   We had a very good time of worship and fellowship. We felt the move of the Holy Spirit. I felt the Lord was saying, the Christians in Mongolia has a “pure devotion”.  We continued to work with the staff in the afternoon. And I also met with 5 workers  who are volunteering to do Children’s outreach for the staff. We had a good planning time.

We are thankful to the Lord that the weather is okay, it’s in the 20’s and 30s F, but bearable because it is sunny and not windy. Besides, when we are inside buildings it is usually very warm. Thankful for those who are praying for us. Grateful to the Lord for sustaining us.

They shall call His name Emmanuel..

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Matthew 1:23

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us.”

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

We are still in the story of the biological parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. An angel of God spoke to Joseph in his dream about the child that Mary his fiancée was carrying in her womb. The angel told Joseph the Mary will bring forth a son, and His name will be Jesus, v.21. And it was written that the birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of the words of God through the prophets in the Old Testament, Isaiah 7:14.

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’.

Since Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, God’s presence through the Holy Spirit has been with men. When Jesus came to earth, God literally came down to earth because of His love, His compassion, and His mercy.  He chose to come and live among men, when Jesus returned to heaven physically, He sent His Holy Spirit, thus He still lives among us. Through the Holy Spirit we have the seal of salvation, a personal connection to the Father and with the Son. We have the power to overcome because God is with us.

Reflection: The Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth so that God could dwell with His people. For me, as a follower of Jesus, it is an encouragement and comfort to me to know that God is always with me because Christ lives in my heart.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for sending your Son to us so that You could be with us always and forever, Amen!

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Day 4

Day 4

Matthew 1:22

“ So,all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet”.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-24

The coming of Christ was foretold by some of the prophets in the Old Testament many years before. One of the prophets that spoke of the coming of Messiah was the Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”.

Joseph and Mary were the chosen biological parents of Jesus. At that time, before they got officially married, Mary had the baby Jesus already in her womb. Mary having a baby was not from a union with a man, but a divine intervention from heaven. Mary that time was considered a virgin, and yet she conceived a Son. God put a seed in her womb.  That became the fulfillment of the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

God did not forget what He promised to His people Israel. Even though it took many, many years, about 700 years, yet God in Hi sovereignty and power fulfilled His plan of salvation, Jesus Christ was born.  The Lord fulfilled His promise when Christ came to the world as a baby to save the people from sins.

Reflection: God keeps His promises. What He says, He will do. It is an encouragement to me that God keeps His words. God’s words say, someday Jesus will come back again, not as a baby but as the King and I will be with Him forever in eternity.

Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You are faithful and true. I praise You that I could trust You for the fulfillment of Your Word.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew Devotion Studies

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The past couple of years or so, I have spent time studying the Gospel of Matthew. With the use of only the Bible as a cross-reference, I took a few minutes most days to study the passages in Matthew. My desire and goal was to do this study daily, but due to intervening circumstances, I was not able to do it every day. But I tried.  Anyway, I would like to share with you my devotional study of the Gospel of Matthew in hopes that you will enjoy it and glean insights from it.  I started with 15 minutes, then gradually it grew to 30 minutes a day. Sometimes, I was able to have a good 40 to 50 minutes, it depends on how early I get up in the morning.  My schedule sometimes is not able to do it, but I try to be consistent. And sometimes with travel schedules, it is a bit challenge to be consistent with my daily quite time. However, with the Lord’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, He keeps me going.

If you are interested to try this, here is a simple guide for a Daily Quiet Time (DQT) or hang-out with Jesus!

Spend a few minutes day with the Lord in His Word. If you could do one hour, that would be great! Sit still and think of God’s goodness. Thank Him for one or two things that He gave you for the day – the sunshine, clean water, etc. Thank Him for the big things – a call from a friend, passing a school test or a job promotion!  And praise God for who He is – our Creator, the giver of life and the God of all. If you like singing, you could also sing a simple hymn or praise-song to the Lord!

Then take time in His Word. Read a chapter or a short passage in the Bible. I like to read systematically and chronologically, as it helps me with the sequence of events or story line. I like using the New King James version Bible as I am more comfortable with it, but you could use any version of the Bible that you are most comfortable with.

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a spirit of revelation and wisdom. Some Christians who study the Bible look for what the Lord is saying to them through the passage, that is His message for them. For me, I like to look at the character of God in every story or Bible passage. As I study and read the words of God in the Bible, I get to know more about His character and His attributes. Through the stories and passages, I see and learn that God is good, merciful, just, compassionate, tender-hearted, patient, loving, holy, righteous, sovereign and powerful.

Other guidelines that help me with my study are the use of this questions in the story: Who, What, When, Where or Why or How. Who was speaking in the passage, Who he is speaking or who is the audience. What was said, How it was said, Where is the location, or Why it was said. These questions helped to understand the context of the story or the passage in the Bible.

I also included in the study guide, a portion of writing “your thoughts” and “your prayers”.  Your thoughts could include “Application” and answer to question such as “What the study meant to you? How it would help you in your day to day life.

So, I challenge you to take the time – start with a few minutes a day spending time with the Lord Jesus and His Word and see how He will reveal Himself to you.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God has changed my life, and it is still changing me up to now. The Word of God has changed my heart, my attitude, and my character. That’s how powerful it is.  And the Word of God has changed countless others from all walks of life, from the many different nations and continents, and in every place throughout all generations.

David’s story

David’s Story Full Version!

The Creels' Catch

DAVID CREEL’S TESTIMONY (Full Version)

David Creel News Article 26APR71

(Newspaper article in Birmingham News, April 26, 1971, see page 2 below).

Greetings! My name is David Creel.  I was born in Birmingham, Alabama.  I am the son of the late Rev. George Creel and Jackie Creel who served several United Methodist churches in North Alabama.

As you can imagine, being the son of a United Methodist pastor, I grew up in church. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t in church.  Every time the church doors were open, I was there.  I really didn’t have a choice.  I might not have appreciated it at the time, but I am so grateful now for my parents’ insistence on church attendance.  I am also eternally grateful for the godly example that my mom and dad provided for me and my sisters as we grew up.

As a child, I usually slept during church. Frankly…

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David & Vicki Creel

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David & Vicki Creel – serving with FEBC’s International Service Team.

FEBC (Far East Brodcasting Company) exists to bring Good News of Jesus Christ to those who have little or no opportunity to hear about God’s love for them. Every day FEBC airs the Gospel to 49 countries, in 124 languages, using 149 stations, with 842 hours of programming per day, 365 days a year.  Over 2 million responses are received each year.

David has been a missionary with FEBC since 1990 serving in Saipan for 18 years and more recently in the United States. David serves the radio ministry as a broadcast engineer. Vicki has been a missionary since 1997 serving in East Asia, Bolivia and with another missionary training organization in Alabama.

David & Vicki were married in April 2014 and are now serving together with FEBC. In their new role, they provide engineering support for FEBC’s radio stations in Asia.

To support the ministry of the Creels click here

Or checks can be sent to:

FEBC, Box 1, La Mirada, CA 90637-0001

 

DAVID CREEL’S TESTIMONY (Full Version)

David Creel News Article 26APR71

(Newspaper article in Birmingham News, April 26, 1971, see page 2 below).

Greetings! My name is David Creel.  I was born in Birmingham, Alabama.  I am the son of the late Rev. George Creel and Jackie Creel who served several United Methodist churches in North Alabama.

As you can imagine, being the son of a United Methodist pastor, I grew up in church. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t in church.  Every time the church doors were open, I was there.  I really didn’t have a choice.  I might not have appreciated it at the time, but I am so grateful now for my parents’ insistence on church attendance.  I am also eternally grateful for the godly example that my mom and dad provided for me and my sisters as we grew up.

As a child, I usually slept during church. Frankly, if I’ve been out late the night before, I still have some trouble with that, but I don’t think I’m alone in that confession!  My mom can tell you about a time as a child when I had fallen asleep on the pew during an evening service, everyone went home, the lights were turned off, and I wasn’t discovered to be missing until a short time later!  I, on the other hand, was clueless – still asleep on the pew!

Around the age of 10, I began noticing that my friends were sitting up and paying attention, so I decided that I needed to do the same. It was around that time that I realized that my parents’ relationship with God did not guarantee that I was right with Him.  I needed my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the one who gave His life on Calvary so that I might spend eternity in heaven with Him.

I distinctly remember hearing the gospel clearly presented by my dad one Sunday morning: how Jesus died for my sins, and how I needed to ask him for forgiveness, and invite Him into my heart. But, I did not go forward during the invitation.  However, I promised myself that I would go forward the next Sunday.  So, during the invitation on November 24, 1968, I made my way to the altar at Walker Memorial United Methodist Church in Birmingham and was saved.

Here is a quote from my dad’s journal on that day: “David saved! Thank God…this morning, my son David made his way to the altar alone to be saved.  Jesus faithfully saved him as he wept his confession to God.  Hallelujah…I couldn’t speak further.  Granville (our choir director) dismissed.  Thank you, Jesus forever!”

Although I was saved at that time, I really didn’t do the things one needs to do to grow as a Christian. Sure, I still went to church, but I didn’t really spend much time in Bible study and prayer.  Just as in the physical realm, one must eat in order to grow, so it is in the spiritual realm.  In I Peter 2:2, we are told, “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…”  It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized the importance of this fact and did what it took to grow as a Christian.

But, even at this early age, I believe that God was preparing me for missionary service.

  1. I learned electronics by observing dad’s repair of antique radios. Many a spare moment was spent with my dad in the basement working on his latest project.
  2. I went with dad to WDJC-FM in Birmingham where he had a couple of radio programs. Through these visits, I became friends with Chief Engineer Jimmy Long and developed a keen interest in radio.
  3. On one of the trips to WDJC, we stopped at the Baptist Bookstore where I picked up a copy of the book “Skywaves” which told the story of how a mission organization called Far East Broadcasting Company was using shortwave radio to broadcast the Good News of Jesus Christ to far-away lands. This book further “sparked my interest” in radio as a possible career.
  4. Around this time, I built my own small AM radio station using a low power transmitter obtained from a gentleman at the local electronics store. I also developed an interest in amateur radio and received a license at the age of 13.

During my high school years, I drifted away from my commitment to Christ. Although I never did anything terrible – just the usual teenage stuff – I was still rebelling against God.  The best way to describe those years was a “roller coaster” experience.  I wanted to live for Christ, especially after a particularly good youth retreat, but never had the power to “follow through” with a consistent walk with the Lord.  I tried to be a “fence walker” with one foot in the church and the other in the things of the world.  I wanted to “talk the talk” of being a Christian but didn’t have the power to “walk the walk.”

Just before my senior year in high school, God used several events to “get my attention” including a couple of car wrecks and a move from Sheffield to Gadsden. The move to Gadsden, just as I was about to begin my senior year, was particularly hard to accept.  But even this was a part of God’s wonderful plan for my life.

During my senior year, I really got tired of my “roller coaster” Christian experience, but I didn’t know how to change myself or the situation. I began to earnestly pray and seek God for the answer.  A devotional book that I had been reading mentioned how the Holy Spirit can help us live the Christian life.  Shortly thereafter, our church had a “Lay Witness Mission.”  This was a weekend event where ordinary lay people (not preachers) came and shared what God had done in their lives.  During this event, I heard several people share how Christ must not only be our Savior, but He must also be Lord of every aspect of our lives.  I also heard a lot about Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

On Sunday, October 12, 1975, I rededicated my life to Christ, allowing Him to be Lord of my life, and asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit and to help me live a consistent Christian life.  This He did!  He gave me a new desire to read and study His Word and to pray during a daily quiet time.  He also provided some wonderful Christian friends to help me in my spiritual journey.  I learned much about the Bible from my dad and benefited greatly from the example and encouragement provided by both mom and dad.

Has my life been perfect or without sin since that time? As a missionary, do I “have it all together?”  Of course not. Just like everyone else, I am a sinner saved by grace and sometimes have struggles.  But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to live a much more consistent Christian life since allowing Christ to be Lord of my life.  The verse that I feel best describes the way to live a Christian life is Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Just after my high school graduation, I was invited to go on a short-term mission trip to Haiti. This experience really helped me to see “first hand” the needs of people in impoverished lands.

I began to sense that perhaps God was calling me to be a missionary – but not in the traditional sense. I was fascinated by the idea of using high power shortwave radio to tell the people of the world about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I felt that God was calling me to be a technical missionary.

With that in mind, I enrolled in the pre-engineering program at Gadsden State Junior College. I later transferred to Auburn University where I majored in Electrical Engineering.  God also provided a cooperative education job with Alabama Power Company in Gadsden to help cover the costs of my college education.

During this time, I made my second short-term missions trip – this time to shortwave radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. This trip further strengthened my conviction that I was to be a missionary engineer.

Upon graduation from college, the door to missionary service did not immediately open, so I accepted a job as an engineer with Alabama Power Company in Oneonta, Alabama. I worked there for 7 years, from 1983-1990.

During those years, I continued to pray about missionary service and believed that one day the Lord would open the proper door which would allow me to serve as a technical missionary.

Around 1986, I became re-acquainted with the Far East Broadcasting Company through a group called “Intercristo.” This is a Christian organization which matches one’s interests and education with potential mission agencies – a bit like a Christian referral agency.

In 1988, I visited one of Far East Broadcasting Company’s shortwave sites in a place called “Saipan,” a small island in the western pacific. I greatly enjoyed this experience and began to pray about the possibility of returning as a full-time missionary.

In 1989, I applied for career missionary status with FEBC and began the process of raising my financial support, which took about a year to complete.

At first, the leadership of FEBC wanted me to serve a one- year term at their San Francisco station and then move on to the Philippines. This was a major test of my faith and commitment since I really wanted to return to Saipan.  I made no mention of this to the FEBC leadership but made it a matter for prayer.  I distinctly remember praying something like this: “Lord, if you want me to go to San Francisco and the Philippines, I will go.  But, Lord, you know that my heart’s desire is to return to Saipan.  May your will be done.”  About a week after praying that prayer, I got the word from the FEBC leadership that their plans had changed and that I was heading for Saipan!  The words of Psalm 37:4 were certainly true: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I began my first term of service on Saipan in October of 1990 where I served for the next 18 years. During those years, I greatly enjoyed my role as an engineer for KSAI (our local AM radio station) and KFBS (our international shortwave radio station).  Working for the shortwave station was particularly gratifying since millions of people in Russia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Indonesia were coming to know Christ through the radio ministry.

In 2008, I came back to Alabama in order to take care of my aging parents, Rev. & Mrs. George Creel.  During those years, I was on assignment to partner ministry Galcom International.  In that role I designed and built Christian radio stations in various places around the world including Zambia, Albania, Malta, Pohnpei, Paraguay, Belize, and Indonesia.

In 2010, I met Vicki at Brasher Springs Camp Meeting near Gadsden. Later, at the suggestion of a mutual friend, we began corresponding.  We met again in 2013 while Vicki was serving then as a volunteer with SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) in Lineville, Alabama.  We were married in April 2014.

In 2012, my dad passed away and my mom in 2014.  After the death of my parents, Vicki and I were asked to serve on FEBC’s International Service Team. Currently we both are serving with FEBC’s International Service Team (FEBC IST) providing technical support to our radio stations in Asia.

In my testimony, I have shared a lot about my experiences as a missionary. But remember, we are all called to be missionaries.  We are all called to share Christ in appropriate ways with those around us who do not know Him.  Each time I leave my home church’s parking lot, I see a sign which reads: “You are now entering the mission field.”  Let that be a challenge to us all.  This can involve developing a relationship with someone over a period of time and then sharing Christ at an appropriate moment.  This can be done while sharing in another’s grief.  Or, this can be as simple as leaving a gospel tract along with your tip at your favorite restaurant.  The point is to find appropriate ways in keeping with your personality, gifts, and talents to share Christ with others.

In closing, I would like to thank you for allowing me to share a bit about my “faith journey”. I would also like to end with a challenge to each of you.  If you have never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, won’t you do it today?  Or perhaps your spiritual walk has been similar to the “roller coaster” experience that I described earlier.  If so, Jesus wants to be Lord of every part of your life.  If you will surrender your life entirely to Him, the Holy Spirit will help you to live a life that will honor God.

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Visit to the Biblical History Center

 

We would like to share with you some of the photos from our recent visit to the Biblical History Center in La Grange, GA. Some of the Bible stories came alive as we saw some replicas found in the Bible culture.

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The Goats’ Hair tent were normally woven out of brownish-black goat’s hair. (Exodus 36:14). The movable tent (tabernacle) in the wilderness was a sign of God’s presence with the Israelites. (Exodus 26:1)

 

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A replica of a feeding trough similar to the place of Jesus’ birth.

“And she brought forth her first born Son, and wrapped him in a swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger (feed trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

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The woman in the well.

“Now Jacob’s well was there, Jesus…sat thus by the well… a woman of Samaria came to draw water..Jesus said, ‘but the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'” (Read the story in John 4:5-25 NKJV)

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A temporary sheepfold.

Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door… is a thief and a robber, but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep….I am the door of the sheep…I am the door, if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture… I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. ” (John 10:1-18)

 

 

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A replica of a watchtower in a vineyard. The view from the vineyard watchtower shows the entire archaelogical garden. During the vintage season the vinedresser and his family lived in the watchtower to protect the fruit. (Isaiah 1:8, 5:1,2). The watchtower served as a symbol of God’s protective watchfulness, (Psalm 121:4) with an image of God’s attentiveness neither slumbering or sleeping.

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The vineyard and the grape press, are usually part of the Bible culture and Bible stories.

The parable of the workers in the vineyard. Matthew 20: 1-16

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Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing”. John 14:5

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A fig tree. John 1:50

Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 21:21 (NKJV), “Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain be cast into the sea, it will be done”.  See the story in Matthew 21:18-22

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A replica of a Roman crucifixion tree.

“And He bearing His cross, went out to a place called… Golgotha, where they crucified Him, … and the writing was:

JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:17-19

 

 

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A replica of the empty tomb.

“He is not here; for He is risen… ” Matthew 28: 1-8

For more information on the Biblical History Center visit this website:

Biblical History Center, GA

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