John the Baptist & Elijah
"It wasn’t until nearly three years later that I would discover something interesting about the date that this trip was inspired on. September 23 happens to be the Conception of St. John the Baptist in the Orthodox church calendar, occurring about 9 months to the day prior to the celebration of his birth on June 24. So the theme of baptism, new life, the number 18 and chai continued with the very date this trip was inspired on! The fact that this trip was inspired exactly five months to the day since I was due to arrive in Israel on April 23rd on my Passover trip, is also interesting, because in the biblical account, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, hides herself away for five months after becoming pregnant with him! (Luke 1:24).
Three days later on June 24, 2023 – the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, I made another remarkable discovery! Not only was this trip inspired on the Conception of John the Baptist, but my departure date from New Zealand to Israel would occur on the very date that the Orthodox Church says the head of John the Baptist was found for a second time on February 18, 452 A.D.! There is no specific date for the first finding, other than in the fourth century, so this is the first specific date we have.
What is interesting about that is that this is the very date that God first inspired me to be baptised on in 2021! (February 18). Add that to the fact that God inspired me to write this book on August 29, 2018 (the death of John the Baptist), and you have a very interesting scenario indeed! I started writing a timeline of God’s divine alignment in my life on January 7, 2013, which formed the basis for this book, and as it happens, that is the feast day of John the Baptist in the Orthodox Church! (The Synaxis of John the Baptist).
What’s more, the day I was due to leave Israel on February 24th, is the very day that the Orthodox Church celebrates the first and second finding of John the Baptist’s head! Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine on this very day.
Interestingly, God inspired my first proposed baptism on the evening of August 28, 2020 after nightfall, one day before the church marks the beheading of John the Baptist. What is interesting about that, is that in both Judaism and some Christian churches including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, they begin their vigils or celebrations on the night before the day of the event itself. In some churches, these are called “Vespers”, marking the evening prayers around dusk or sunset. Under Judaism, nightfall marks the beginning of the new day itself. Thus, it could be said that God inspired my first proposed baptism at the very beginning of the observance of the feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist! It was on this very day that I was due to arrive in Israel on my “Elijah’s Cup” trip, which is also interesting, because Jesus said that John the Baptist was the Elijah who was to come."