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Awards, Achievements, & Celebrations!

Journey of Dreams – Joint Jewish-Christian Successes

One special evening at the Feast is the ICEJ's Israeli Guest Night, which provides moving highlights of Jewish-Christian cooperation and joint accomplishments. The ICEJ’s special effort in Aliyah moved the audience as they witnessed the trials and frustrations of a Jewish Ethiopian family, long awaiting an opportunity to immigrate to Israel before the family finally flew over Tel Aviv’s beautiful night-time cityscape to be reunited with their extended family in Ben Gurion Airport – all scenes from the ICEJ’s new documentary: “Journey of Dreams.” This was the beginning of a tour-de-force demonstrating to Israelis the impressive range of projects in which the ICEJ is involved, spanning aid work, public diplomacy and the unique home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa, a group of whom were actually present in the audience, and who received the entire arena’s standing recognition. The Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors also received gifts for 2 million and 1 million NIS from the ICEJ's German and US branches respectively, presented by National Directors Gottfried Bühler and Susan Michael.

Israel in the international arena
Likewise, Israel’s efforts in the international arena and the country’s very tangible blessings to the world were also highlighted in a CBN documentary about the time-honoured Jewish endeavour for “Tikkun Olam” (loosely translated as “repairing the world”). The efforts of private Israeli citizens among refugees, for example, and the Israeli government’s responses to natural disasters around the world all underscored that Israel cares and does so with a global impact.

The Paradox of Operation Good Neighbor
The crowning jewel of these joint successes was delivered by retired IDF Colonel Marco Moreno, who headed up “Operation Good Neighbor” on the Israeli-Syrian border, an effort aimed at providing aid and humanitarian relief to war-struck Syrians. Moving scenes of young IDF soldiers, trained to defend their country with force, but in this instance helping refugees reach safety in Israel passed over the screens. In one sequence, you see Moreno in the Golan Heights, close to the border with Syria: “You can hear bombing as we speak. That means that tonight our soldiers, our brave soldiers, will go and save lives.” Back in the arena, Moreno concluded, “It sounds like a joke: Christians and Jews helping Muslims, right? But it’s the reality”

Awards and Recognition
A prime function of this gala evening is to celebrate and recognise valuable contributions. This is why the ICEJ each year gives the Nehemiah Award to an individual who has served the Jewish people in exceptional ways. Because of the seminal move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, US Senator Jon Kyl, who originally sponsored the bill and legislation leading to the Embassy Act of 1995, was a most natural and worthy recipient of this year’s award.

The Cyrus Award and notable achievements
A new award, directly related to recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: the Cyrus Award, has also been instated by the ICEJ. This reward has been given to heads-of-state from nations taking the bold step to move their embassies to Jerusalem. These were highlighted by Mojmir Kallus, the ICEJ’s VP for International Affairs, who also mentioned smaller but very significant contributions from poor and minor countries around the world. The determination of local Christians in, e.g., Tanzania and Albania to bless Israel is truly heart-warming and set an example of a different kind. Such quiet efforts are equally inspiring and worthy as some of the headline-making contributions.

Personal addresses by Israel’s PM and The Jewish Agency’s chairman
Two personal addresses had been specially recorded to address the Feast Pilgrims on this festive evening. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his address by stating, “I am delighted that there is a Christian Embassy.” He also stood by Israel’s relations to Christians in the Land, telling the audience that “Sometimes a profound truth is a simple truth. Here is a simple truth: Israel is the only country in the Middle East that protects the rights of Christians. Think of that. For thousands of miles around us, there is only one place Christians thrive. Right here in Israel.” He finished his address with deep-felt thanks: “Thank you for recognising Israel. Thank you for always supporting Israel.”

Another personal address was given by the newly elected chairman for The Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, “I want to thank you for your support. Your support has been enormous. (…) and we are partners with you, the ICEJ. (…) Together we have brought 140,000 new immigrants to Israel - I think it is an enormous achievement.”

Days of Fulfillment

Seventy, or derivatives of seven in the Bible, constitute the idea of rich fulfilment. For instance, Moses appointed seventy elders to help him fulfil the daunting mission that God gave him in terms of leading a million people out of Egypt (Numbers 11:16). The great exile of Judah to Babylon that took place in the sixth century before Christ would be fulfilled after seventy years (Jeremiah 25:12), and thus when the Prophet Daniel read this in the book of Jeremiah he went about fasting and praying about the fulfilment of this promise (Daniel 9:2). Daniel also received an oracle from heaven that announced that Israel’s unique destiny on the earth would be fulfilled after seventy weeks of years (Daniel 9:24-27).

In terms of the New Testament scriptures, we are told that Jesus appointed seventy disciples to help Him fulfil the mission that God His Father had given Him (Luke 10:1,17). Jesus told us that we are to forgive others who offend us “seventy times seven times”, in order to fulfil the demands of God’s righteousness in us (Matthew 18:22). Also, in the end we all have 70 years in order to fulfil God’s personal plan for each of us on earth (Psalm 90:10).

From all of this we understand that in God’s economy seventy designates fulfilment or evidence of His allotted purpose. So, in terms of Israel, the message is clear: Her existence is no accident of history but clear fulfilment of God’s plan and purpose for her and for the world. Israel is God’s vehicle of world redemption and His actions in her modern-day restoration are a herald of great things to come.

God’s promises to Abraham
Indeed, Israel’s existence rests on unconditional and everlasting promises that God made to Abraham and His descendants. Israel is therefore evidence of these and a clear testimony to the Church and the world at large, that the God of the Bible fulfils His promises. This is precisely why we can all trust Him fully in all things. To Israel, through Abraham, God promised land as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:7-8); He promised that the blessings of eternal salvation would flow to the world from her by the coming of a ‘Seed Messiah” (Genesis 22:18; John 4:22) and; He promised that blessings and curses would fall upon many depending on how they related to her (Genesis 12:1-3). Today Israel stands strong at 70 because the nation is beloved “for the sake of the fathers” (Romans 11:28), meaning that the God of the Bible does not lie and will therefore not turn back on the undertakings that He made to Abraham. Abraham is forever God’s friend and the God we serve does not turn His back on His friends; although many in the Church assert that He does! Israel’s modern-day restoration is a vexing contradiction to the wayward theological thinking of those who espouse replacement theology and it exposes their inability to rightly understand the character of God.

God’s prophetic markers
Israel’s modern restoration has taken place because God has fully honoured and fulfilled His undertakings to the nation given in the Abrahamic Covenant. The prophetic portions of scripture confirm these and date them so that we have no excuse in terms of recognizing the hand of God in Israel’s national destiny.

So, for instance, the Prophet Jeremiah speaks prophetically of a coming day when more Jews would return to the land of Israel from the North Country than those who returned from Egypt under Moses, 1300 years before Christ (Jeremiah 23:7-8). This is an extraordinary prophetic oracle, as at no time up until the present day did this happen. The return from Babylon after seventy years of Exile saw nothing like the number that Moses brought out of Egypt since the numbers in this regard are clearly recorded in the pages of scripture (Ezra 2). But, in recent years, beginning with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, more than a million Russian Jews have returned to Zion and they are still coming. The God we serve is a God of fulfilment!

In addition, the Prophet Zechariah predicted that a day would come when Jerusalem would spill over its wall and straddle the surrounding hills of Judea (Zechariah 2:1-5). This has not happened until the 20th Century when for the first time homes and dwellings of all types began to spring up around the ancient walled and biblical city of Zion. In fact, the first community to be built in this regard was that of Yemin Moshe, easily recognised by the windmill that stands amongst its dwellings.

Amos, that remarkable “Shepherd Prophet” (Amos 7:14-15), wrote of Israel’s trials and tribulations in terms of judgment and exile, but he also saw a day, by the hand of God, when Israel would return to her ancient homeland never to be “plucked up again” (Amos 9:13-15). This is no reference to the return from Babylon as the nation was “plucked up again” in A.D. 70, but rather a prophetic picture of our day. God has fulfilled His promises before our very eyes. He is the friend of Abraham and thus a God of fulfilment.

And then Jesus gave a prophetic oracle that is known as the Olivet Discourse, which is recorded in all the synoptic Gospels (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). In this discourse He stated that the Jews would be dispersed into all the nations of the world and that Jerusalem would be “downtrodden by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). Here again the idea of fulfilment is brought into focus and consequently in 1967, by the Six Day War of June of that year, the gentile nations lost their grip on the holy city and it returned to Jewish sovereignty. This is amazing and again a testimony to the faithfulness of God to His covenant with Abraham.

God’s promised Son
There is no doubt that the greatest gift of Israel to the world is Jesus of Nazareth, God’s only unique Son. He has saved millions of people of all colours, creeds and nations from their sins and has become the most famous person of all time. He has no competitors, since He towers above all the human icons of time and divides history itself by His existence. Moreover, He is alive at the very right hand of God from whence He will soon return to the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:11). Israel’s modern-day restoration constitutes a platform by which the Son of God will return to the earth in power and great glory (Matthew 24:30). The Psalmist wrote that there would come a time when the Lord would “build up Zion” and then “appear in His glory” (Psalm 102:16-17). This time is upon us, yes, the time has come or has been fulfilled for the Son of God to shortly come as King to His people.

God’s people of prayer
Because all these things are true, it is clear that we have responsibilities as Christians to Israel and the Jewish people since we share in “their spiritual things” (Romans 15:27). In short, we should bless what God is blessing and work where God is working. Our God is working in all the earth, but He is doing mighty and wondrous things in Israel. Paul tells us that God has not forsaken His people (Romans 11:1,11) and He has not abandoned the calling that He placed over them in Abraham four thousand years ago (Romans 11:29). He has faithfully fulfilled all His promises to them, and Israel’s seventieth anniversary brings this into focus. Consequently, for the Apostle Paul this means that we should:

1. Resist the notion that He has abandoned them (Romans 11:11);
2. Resist anti-Semitism (Romans 11:20-22);
3. Resist pride and arrogance (Romans 11:18).

We should actually give ourselves to prayer and fasting for Israel as Daniel did when he discerned the times of fulfilment in Israel’s long historical journey (Daniel 9:1-3). Also, the Psalmist, while speaking of a future day of the up building of Zion, stated that this would happen because God has heard the prayers of His people (Psalm 102: 15-17). Paul knew that his major contribution to the well-being and salvation of Israel would be that of prayer (Romans 10:1). We must not fail God now but arise to take hold of the days of fulfilment. This means that Jesus’ Church should be a “house of prayer”.

Israel Insights

The Pulse of Israel’s Local Body

Getting to know local believers and to understand the situation on the ground in Israel is vital, and the best source for this is to connect directly with the people of the land. That’s why the ICEJ organised a panel discussion with three Messianic leaders from three different cities in Israel: Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Ashdod. The open and frank discussion gave examples of how to show God’s love in direct and practical ways. Praying for healing continues to bring results, both among believers going out to pray and the ones who are being healed.

God’s Sovereign Faithfulness and Grace for Israel
At the Feast’s first morning plenary, Daniel Yahav gave a message about Israel that only a native Israeli can deliver – consisting of both hope and reality. He referred to Israel’s amazing history through the millennia: “It’s exciting to hear the words that God spoke with Abraham 4,000 years ago, recorded by Moses 3,500 years ago.” The reality is, however, that God has guided the Jewish nation very much in spite of itself, i.e., by grace, and that believers should have God’s sovereign works as their main focus as they rejoice over the miracles performed for Israel. He drove home his message on the sovereignty of the Lord by stating, “God is not waiting, and He is not dependent on the nations or the UN. Our God is God. He created heaven and earth, and He has decided that this land is the inheritance of the people of Israel.”

Restoring the Altar of the Lord
Peter Tsukahira delivered a superbly inspiring message, in which he managed to make Scriptures acutely relevant by speaking about the tribal nature of human conflict and God as the only unifying peacemaker. He used Elijah’s battle on Mount Carmel to illustrate the modern-day battle in which believers find themselves, asking, “Will you be among the ones who will restore the altar of the Lord in the midst of your people?” He ended by declaring about Jerusalem, “Here are your roots. Here is where your King laid down his life for you. Here is where He rose from the dead, and here, according to the Scriptures, is where He is going to return.”

Divine Dealings

ICEJ’s International Spokesman, David Parsons, delved deeply into theology in his teaching on the suffering of the Jewish people, investigating the hopeful notion that the worst is past for Israel, meaning that because of historical calamities that have already transpired, Israel “has [already] received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Is. 40:2) The judgment still to come will now focus on the nations.

Plugging into Israel’s Prospects and Challenges
Yet again, the ICEJ’s leadership assembled a roster of accomplished speakers to give Feast pilgrims a handle on what is moving in Israel. A new investment platform, “OurCrowd” was introduced. Recognizing that there is great interest investing in Israel but a reluctance to do the “deal picking,” OurCrowd vets more than 200 start--ups monthly before it recommends two to three to its global network of investors, which includes everything from private individuals to corporate giants like Google.

Although the OurCrowd investment initiative’s success is an effective counter to BDS, Dr Eugene Kontorovich and Calev Myers in their seminar highlighted the nature of the newest form of affront against Israel, Lawfare. Lawfare is to attack Israel and its policies through legal means. Lawfare has been one of the favourite tactics of the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement in their efforts to delegitimise Israel, and while the key players have changed from being the Arab League to many European leaders and NGOs today, the goals remain the same. BDS is working to label every product created in the West Bank with what is for all intents and purposes “a yellow star” on Israeli products in the global market.

Find full DVD and MP3 coverage of Feast seminars, speakers and events at
www.icejstore.com

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

The first Feast night in Jerusalem literally started with a blast as the shofar sounded from the main stage in Pais Arena, calling God’s assembly to attention. The audience was ready to celebrate, and each nation was excited to see its particular national flag ascend to the main stage. The loudest collective cheer sounded when Israel’s flag joined the host of nations, demonstrating the powerful Christian love and support that the ICEJ can draw upon in its work for the Jewish people.

Powerful Changes
Following the parade of nations and celebratory worship, ICEJ’s president, Dr Jürgen Bühler, took to the stage to address the Feast Pilgrims. In an expert manner, he drove home two powerful points: namely, the amazing reality that God has brought about in Israel over the past 70 years and how diverse and multifaceted Israeli society is today.

Based on Exodus 28, Dr Jürgen Bühler gave a profound yet accessible introduction to the mosaic of modern-day Israel. Using the priestly breastplate as a model for Israel’s twelve tribes, the audience was introduced to twelve contemporary population groups, each unique in its own way and spanning an astonishingly broad spectrum in terms of religion, ethnicity and social class. Dr Bühler suggested that Christians adopt one of these modern-day “tribes” and intercede for them in prayer. The following excerpts demonstrate how he caught the audience’s imagination and used the Bible along with ancient and contemporary history to give a highly effective lesson on where and what Israel is today.

"Now we don’t have the twelve tribes anymore today (…) but let me suggest to you tonight twelve contemporary tribes of Israel – twelve tribes that need your prayer; twelve tribes the Lord asks you to put on your heart, to put them on your shoulders and bring them before God.

Value-driven Ultra-Orthodox
The first tribe that you find in Israel is the Ultra-Orthodox communities. You recognise them in the way they dress; they make up approximately 12% of the population. They have many different traditions, but they have a united voice against immorality (…) We always need to remember that one of the greatest apostles in the Bible came out of exactly this community. There was a young man here in Jerusalem. His name was Saul (…) after he had an encounter with Jesus, he became the main force in the New Testament Church to take the gospel to the nations, so let’s pray for those people.

Secular Faith
The second tribe that I want to introduce lies on the exact opposite side of the spectrum. They are the secular people here in this land, many of them are atheists, but let me tell you this tonight: The atheists here in this land are different from those in your country. Just a few days ago we honoured the day of Yom Kippur. I was surprised to find out that more than 40% of the secular community were fasting, too. (…) And let me also tell you something else about the atheists in this land. One of their voices, Amos Oz, has said, 'We are atheists of the book, we read the Bible because it is our history book; it gives us identity,' and it is interesting enough, it was among those people that Jesus found the most followers when he walked here in Israel. Let us pray for those people – the atheists, the secular people of Israel.

(…)

Voices for the future
The sixth group I want to introduce to you are Holocaust survivors. They are a group that is becoming smaller each day. Today there are over 180,000 Holocaust survivors left. Every year, an estimated 25,000 Holocaust survivors pass away. Their dreams are sometimes nightmares. They still wake up in the middle of the night, and they hear the barking of the German guard dogs, corralling them into the gas chambers. But the dreams that they have for the future can be summed up by the following: They tell me, 'Jürgen, I hope that when we die, that our memories will stay alive, that people will always remember what we have been through.'

And ladies and gentlemen that is why we have a home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa. We can take care of those people and also ensure that their memory will pass on to the next generation. Time is running out to help these people. Every day, Holocaust survivors pass away, and I believe we are called to bless them.

The seventh tribe I want to introduce to you is the Russian Jews. When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1989, more than 1 million Jews came rushing to the land of Israel (…) They are an integral part of Israeli society. They serve in the army; you can find them in every part of society; they even have their own political party in the Knesset, and they can be found among the staff at the Christian Embassy. Over the last 20 years, the ICEJ has helped more than 120,000 Russian Jews make their way back to the land of Israel. These are the people about whom the Bible says “Behold, I will speak to the north country and I will tell it, let my people go” (Cf. Isaiah 43:6), and God answered those prayers; they have returned back to the land of Israel.

(…)

The heart of the Start-up Nation
The ninth tribe is the academic science/ high-tech tribe, a very important tribe because it accounts for more than 70% of Israel’s economic volume. I’m not sure if you’re aware that Israel was the only nation that already had a university before the nation was established. Some of the greatest scientists today come from this land. The dreams that they have are very literal dreams: to make the lame walk. And this week you will meet a young start-up company called ReWalk, whose product does exactly this – they make people walk again. Others are working through science to get their eyesight back; yet others are working to heal cancer and other diseases. And if you ask them, “Why are you doing this?” they say, “because we want to be a blessing to the nations.”

(…)

Maybe the Lord has brought one tribe in particular to mind, or maybe your heart has been touched by all the tribes, but let us pray that God puts a burden on our hearts tonight, that when we return back to our nations we will be carrying those tribes of Israel on our shoulders, that we return as priests and ambassadors praying until we see revival in Israel."
 

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What happened at the Feast this year?

The Feast of Tabernacles is a time to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest. But it is also a time to look back. We just finished yet another amazing Feast and we would like to share some of the moments, we look back at with joy, and which continue to fuel our excitement in God. Our hope and desire is for you to join us anew, or for the first time, in 2019.

Spiritual Wellspring at the Shores of the Dead Sea
Whether you are a Feast veteran or a brand-new arrival in Israel, Ein Gedi is the place to be the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles. The excitement, expectations and blessing that is part of this modern-day classic is unrivalled. Every year we gather together during the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles in the desert at Ein Gedi to share a meal together, to pray and worship God. The Exodus story comes alive for us and helps us imagine what it was like to be camped in the wilderness. 

Catching Dreams at the Empty Tomb
Hervé Datro of the Ivory Coast stirred the crowd, stating, “Our big dream is of Heaven, not of earth. (…) Without Jesus your dream cannot be accomplished.” Echoing Pastor Khoury’s purposeful declaration of the “God who keeps His covenant with Israel,” Datro pointed out the debt Christians owe the Jewish nation: “I dream of Heaven. I dream of the restoration of the House of David (…) I am because Israel was.” In the second service he was followed by Juha Ketola, who boldly declared, “Because I want to live for the Glory of Jesus,” and who went on to achieve a combination of joyous excitement and humble contemplation as he underscored the choice between living a life in the flesh or in the Spirit. 

A Breakthrough Year for Israel - Evening Celebrations
Anointed speakers and performers from Israel and around the world set the tone for festive and insightful nights at the Pais Arena in Jerusalem. On the performance side, the audience saw and heard the powerful pulses of Eddie James’ young performers, who drew energy from the powerful Bible scriptures they declared with determination for the promises about Israel.

Hebrew sound waves by Shiloh Ben Hod and Jamie Hilsden’s Miqedem added contemporary Israeli music solidly planted in Scripture – providing a musical experience with a distinct Israeli flavour, praising God in the language of scripture. Insistent and powerful, Miqedem’s tunes unleashed the deep wellspring of joy and victory. 

Sarah Liberman delivered an equally crowd-rousing performance with quiet heartfelt testimonies and prayers in between songs, “He is the source, He is the vision, He is not only that, He is the God of miracles” inviting the crowd to join in the song. 

The smooth jazzy sounds of Togo’s French-speaking worship team got the audience going in a different groove. The Togolese group did so well that the audience joined them by dancing onto the stage with their national flags.

A vocal ensemble from Taiwan stepped onto the stage with great joy and pride, singing “Zai Jhe li" (The spirit of God is here). They sang in Mandarin with grace and unmitigated joy, lending a unique Asian voice to the many international contributions at the Feast.

Do not Limit the Holy One of Israel

Pastor Adeboye testified about his journey of faith and dreaming with God, and said, “You know your dream is from God when people laugh at you. And then you can tell them, just wait and see.” He confidently and humbly stated that, "God is not a joker. Whatever God says He will do...He will do!" 

The Wisdom From the East

Preaching the connection between receiving glory from God and unity in the Body of Christ and with God, Nathaniel Chow shared about his unique and ongoing journey to learn more about God’s glory. This journey was impacted significantly by his first visit to Jerusalem 17 years prior. He finished with a call for spiritual unity in Christ to transcend political differences between Chinese groups and between what he labelled “chopstick” and “fork” nations. The evening ended in a final Ruth salutation, “Your God is my God – your people shall be my people.” 

A Preview of Prophecy – the 2018 Jerusalem March

Imagine an Orthodox Jewish family from Herzliya, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, spending the holiday of Sukkot in Jerusalem for the first time. Then imagine that family seeing a multitude of Christians joining an Israeli parade. Add to this the Christians singing about their love for Israel as many of them joyously dance in the streets. Well, you might guess that the family from Herzliya would be visibly excited and moved by the annual spectacle known as the Jerusalem March, and indeed they were, as were thousands more. 

Prayer at the Tower of David

The unleashing of the freedom of the Holy Spirit was declared and felt on this morning as Eddie James and a Fijian mother prayed over the young generation to be set free from drug addiction and the hold of the enemy. The end of the meeting concluded with shouts of “BREAKTHROUGH” resounding from the mouths of all of the pilgrims that came to the Feast of Tabernacles. Many left the Old City changed, revived, and excited for the God of Israel to breakthrough in their lives, families, and nations!

Feast 2018 was filled with new experiences, fresh spiritual input, an outpouring of blessing in healing, and dreams coming alive again.

Find full DVD and MP3 coverage of Feast seminars, speakers and events at
www.icejstore.com

Stories and Dreams at the Feast!

Before penning the account of this year’s Feast – Dare to Dream – we asked ourselves which stories to tell? This Feast we wanted to tell the story of dreams new and old. Old dreams are just as vital as new ones. Dreams are only old because we deem them so. God can renew them or bring them to pass in the twinkling of an eye.

Prophecy is akin to sharing God’s dreams before they become fact. It is marvellous that our Lord creates through His Word. He speaks, and it is so. We latch on to the dream by believing the God-given vision, eagerly waiting and reminding God of its fruition. Dreams without God are powerless visions that remain hapless reveries. Dreaming with God is anticipating and building the future reality.

Looking back at the Feast of 2018, we also ask ourselves which experiences and newly gained insights we want to share? This Feast, we were enriched by an all-star line-up of speakers from many nations and blessed by talented and anointed worship leaders. They taught us about Israel and were conduits for experiencing God’s heart and will for our lives. Most importantly, the pilgrims brought a desire to honour and worship the great King in His own city, Jerusalem, along with a fervent love for God’s chosen people.

In the next pages, we invite you to join us in reliving the best moments of the 2018 Feast – Dare to Dream. We begin with a bouquet of hopes, aspirations and dreams from the Feast pilgrims themselves:

Kenneth – (14 years old, Israel) “My dream is to be a drummer in Hillsong and to study Palaeontology.”

Judith (Holocaust Survivor) – “My dream for Israel is peace. That’s all we need. My dream for me is to live a few more years. But my main dreams are for my family. I have three children, eight grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. I want a good future for all of them.”

Antonietta Evangelisti – Italy – “My dream is to serve the Lord and spread the gospel.”

Israeli bystander at the Jerusalem March – “My dream is the Messiah. He will bring world peace and peace in Jerusalem.”

Chai Chen – Thailand – “I am an interior designer in Thailand and it's my dream to build churches around the world and design them.”

Lesivou Bulabalavu – Cook Islands – “I have a dream of getting closer to God and strengthening my relationship with Him.”

Adam Gabelli - (Canada) “I had a broken dream, one that I never thought could come true, but this trip is a fulfilment of that dream. To worship the Lord with the nations in the land that I love, once again.”

Rebecca from Pennsylvania – “My dream has come true! The Lord brought me out of prostitution and addiction and has given me the ability to go back to rescue more people just like me. He left the 99 for the one, so I need to continue to go back for the one. He allowed me to rescue 10,000 and my dream is to create more homes for more people.”

Three women from Zimbabwe – “Our dream is that the Lord will bring a Godly government to Zimbabwe and that he will download a burden for Israel in us to take back to our nation. He is coming soon and we want Zimbabwe to be blessed. We want to have an Embassy of Zimbabwe in Jerusalem!”

Dreams from the little kids at the Feast's AJ’s Club - 

“Hmm. I have many! I want to go to the zoo and to America. I have never been and I would love to fly.”

“I want to be a doctor, because I don’t want people to cough and be sick. I like reading and doctors read a lot.” 

Just like all of these children of God, both young and old, dared to dream with God, we encourage you to take time to dare to dream with the God of Israel today!

What are we doing to stop anti-Semitism?

The Modern Manifestation of a Historical Evil

The slaughter of eleven Jews, while they worshipped the God of Israel in the Tree of Life Synagogue situated in Pittsburgh USA, on Saturday morning the 27th October was an act that goes well beyond anti-Semitism because it was evil, wicked and demonic. It was in every way the actions of a man who had no doubt bought into all the lies and conspiracies theories about the Jews and was consequently prepared to act. For him every Jew has to be killed and there is no doubt that the social media, which is awash with this stuff, had a role in all of this. Again, as it has been through all of history, the Jews are blamed for all the ills of our world and whether they live among the nations or even in their own state there are evil men, movements and states like Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran and many more who are determined to liquidate them. More troubling still is the fact that many western politicians are in the process of appeasing these groups and thus bestowing upon them the stamp of respectability. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, is just one such example and there are many more.

The Peril of Remaining Passive

Throughout the western world neo-Nazi groups are again arrogantly walking the streets of Europe and beyond calling for the destruction of Israel and even in America these fascists are emerging from the shadows with their message of hate and destruction leveled at the Jews and Israel. In recent years anti-Semitic incidents have risen in America and on the campuses of American Universities those who support Israel and speak up for her are aggressively shut down and threatened. When a society tolerates these things it is making space for radicals to do what happened on Saturday. It is shameful and heartbreaking!

The Light from the Jewish People

No people have done more to bless the world than that of the Jews. Their light that has come from their Bible has revolutionized the world and transformed its manners and governing systems. The Judeo/Christian value system has made nations great and this is particularly true of the United States of America. However, when these are despised and systematically pushed out of society, we lose our moral compass, and evil begins to emerge unrestrained. It must also be noted that no President has done more to stand with Israel and the Jewish people than Donald J Trump and to implicate him in this awful crime is outrageous. This is a day for all of us to hang our heads in shame and not to point fingers at others. We must ask ourselves, “What are we doing to stop anti-Semitism and in general to make our world a more tolerant and peaceful one?”

We Must Choose to Stand Against Evil

Our hearts then go out to the Jewish community of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and to our Jewish friends all over the world. We stand with you today and share your grief and commit ourselves as ever to fighting anti-Semitism, wherever we find it expressed.
 

Envision 2018

(Yehuda Glick, MK, addressing Christian pastors and leaders at the Knesset.)

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Gathering its largest contingent ever of 160 pastors and church leaders from around the globe, the 2018 ICEJ Envision conference in Jerusalem was exceptionally more than we asked or imagined! God moved powerfully in the hearts of these pastors and leaders throughout all of the seminars, times of worship, excursions throughout Jerusalem and Israel, and even through conversations just over a cup of coffee. Here is a snapshot of what God did throughout this four-day conference. (To purchase audio recordings of Envision 2018, please visit: icejstore.com/collections/audio-teachings)

The first full day of the Envision Conference kicked off with worship led by Steve Carpenter, followed by seminars by ICEJ senior leadership, and pastors and leaders from the Middle East. Calev Myers, a lawyer and founder of Jerusalem Institute of Justice, spoke about ways to overcome Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS). Calev explained to the influential leaders in the room, “You can be powerful ambassadors to help create a more balanced picture of Israel!” He encouraged all to purposefully purchase Israeli products and services to support and stand with Israel. 

Lovers of Jesus

The morning concluded with a faith-inspiring session led by Fabian Grech testifying of the powerful move of God in the hearts of Muslims. Many are going to churches to be baptized and hungry to read the Bible. He encouraged all to pray for the believers in the Middle East to continue in the strength and grace of Jesus to share the gospel and make disciples among Muslims. With great passion, Fabian continued by saying that the key to sharing the good news of Jesus is to love Jesus first and foremost. “Our first priority is to be lovers of Jesus! Our Father is a God of love, not a God of fear, so the more we gaze at Him the more we will become like him.” Fabian finished with a powerful prayer saying, “Father, thank you that in the midst of darkness your name is becoming famous!”

Continuing on into the next day, Ingolf Elsell also emphasized the first importance of being lovers of Jesus. He explained, “You can’t fall in love through study only. You need revelation. This goes for both the gospel and for Israel… You have to step away from your own guidance to let God’s guidance take over.” Later that evening, Steve Carpenter and his family led us into a beautiful time of worship, and shortly afterward they showed a documentary film about Ya’akov (Jacob) Damkani, who is a local Messianic Jewish leader. The evening continued with a message from Pastor Peter Tsukahira, who is the lead pastor at Carmel Assembly in Haifa. He explained, “Eventually, the Gospel will go so far west that it will make its way back to Jerusalem, where it all began 2,000 years ago.” Above all, Peter concluded that Believers need to keep their eyes focused on God and what He’s doing!

(Christian pastors and leaders from all around the world in the Knesset building.)

Get the Word out About Israel

A wonderful and unique aspect about the Envision Conference is that it incorporates excursions around Jerusalem and Israel. One of the special excursions was to the Knesset where the pastors and leaders were able to hear from Members of Knesset who are members of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. One of the speakers was MK Yehuda Glick, who welcomed his guests and delivered a stirring speech appointing them to be “goodwill ambassadors for Israel” in their home churches and communities. He wholeheartedly concluded, “Now it’s up to us to get the word out and tell people about what God is doing in Israel and the world!”

(The old city of Shiloh with the spiral building that holds a museum and a small theater.)

Adventuring through Judea and Samaria to Shiloh

The last but definitely not the least day of the conference began with an adventurous bus excursion through the mountains of Judea and Samaria to the old city of Shiloh. As the wind picked up and the rain drizzled down, we moved inside to watch a film that began with the lights dimmed, allowing the translucent screen to reveal the majestic hills of Samaria in the background. The film portrayed the history of Israel from Moses leading the Israelites up out of Egypt, to Joshua leading them into the promised land, to the Philistines attacking and destroying Shiloh, to Hannah praying for a son and having Samuel, and finally to the Tabernacle of God moving from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Today, the biblically rich city of Shiloh attracts thousands of visitors each year, many of whom come to pray for a child and hundreds have had their prayers answered just like Hannah.

The excursion in Samaria ended with a short visit at the Shomron Regional Council Memorial. The Mayor greeted all of the Christian leaders and pastors by saying, “Thank you for standing with us so that we are not alone. Thank you to Jürgen Bühler, Barry, and all of the leaders that have helped us build Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem! We are strong because you support us. Take this mission and share it with your people in your country. Share what happens here in the land. Our biggest enemy is ignorance.”

From the rainy and beautiful hills of Samaria to a warm and classy hotel, the pastors, leaders, and ICEJ staff members from all around the world concluded the Envision conference with a delightful banquet! Throughout the meal, many speakers shared messages that have been deeply impressed upon their hearts about God and Israel.

All for Him

Amazingly, Yehuda Glick (MK), not only spoke at the Knesset, but he also personally came to the last night of the conference, even after losing his wife only a few weeks prior. Taking the stage, a round of applause filled the house for Yehuda, and his first words were, “That applause was not for me, it was all for Him” (pointing up towards God). He expressed his gratitude to Christians partnering with Israel, and also spoke directly to the pastors and leaders, saying, “You cannot return to your country the way you came here 5 days ago. You are new people. Thank you so much for your support for Israel, and for your prayers for Israel.”

(Worship lead by Steve Carpenter, while Peter Tsukahira leads these pastors and leaders into a time of prayer.)

With no better way to conclude this year’s exceptional Envision conference, worship and praise to God filled the banquet room. Hands were raised, mouths were singing praises to our God, and hugs were exchanged between these Christian pastors and leaders from all around the world. Many lives and hearts were changed through their time together here in Israel. We give God all the glory and honor, and we look forward to what He will do next year. For more information about Envision 2019, please visit: envision.icej.org

To purchase audio recordings, please visit:

icejstore.com/collections/audio-teachings

Through my Eyes

This year the Publications team has two spectacular team members that have been helping us report on what God has been doing during this Feast of Tabernacles. Lily is from America and this is her first time at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles. Below, you can read about the Feast through this ICEJ team member's eyes.

 

Through my Eyes – The 2018 FOT as seen by Lily Sironi

More than a Meeting
This morning I am sitting at the Garden Tomb listening to the mingling of praise in every tongue and from every nation. As the voices crescendo, something in me begins to stir. It’s a sense of urgency, one that I believe every believer in the crowd is feeling all at once. Since the moment I laid eyes on the great procession of nations in Ein Gedi, my spirit’s eye was filled with the image of the Lord smiling down on all of his children who had left their differences aside to join in brotherhood. The Great I am, basking in the praises of the people that answered his call to come up to the Feast.

More than Pilgrims
People from all walks of life and all pasts convening for one purpose: to worship at the feet of their savior. In this worship, unity is found and a kinship is born that is stronger than any earthly tie. When preparing for the Feast, I was thinking about the people and how they have come to bless Israel with their presence and prayer. However, what I did not consider until it struck me in the garden tomb this morning was the prophetic significance of this Feast. The Feast is not just a haphazard gathering of Christians that have come to enjoy Israel; it is a prayer and prophecy seat!

More than a Conference
The significance of a group of believers from around the world gathering in Jerusalem, the center of God’s world, to pray and to praise at this time of year cannot be overstated. We have just undergone the atonement of Yom Kippur and the washing of the nation of Israel in the eyes of the Lord, and now the nations are coming to be cleansed as well!

More than the Land of Israel
The Lord says in Joel 3:2, “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel.” I believe that the Feast is in fact part of the end time intercession for the nations of the earth now taking place. Since they are to be judged on their treatment of God’s nation, those Feast goers from around the globe that are here now in the land interceding for Israel and their nation are not merely pilgrims. They are repairing the breach between the hearts of their nations and that of the land of Israel.

Beyond the Present
As Herve Datro of the Ivory Coast said, “There is coming a day when there will be no more Africans, no more Americans, no more Asians”, and it is coming soon. This is the urgency that has brought us to this Feast, the “glimpse of heaven” (Rebecca Smith, a Feast Pilgrim from Pennsylvania). This urgency is what unites each one of us in our pursuit of His presence during this Feast, not for our sake, but for Zion’s sake and that of the nations of the world.

Photo credit: Reuallin David

The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily state or reflect those of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.


Watch every evening of the Feast of Tabernacles on demand

For the Joy of Zion

For the Joy of Zion - Israeli Guest Night

How are Christians from around the world serving in Israel and how are Israelis serving around the world? This became overwhelmingly clear after the opening shofar blast sounded for the last Feast Evening. But first Israelis were welcomed to this special night with a moving and artistically accomplished rendition of the national anthem “HaTikva” by Elihana Elia, supported by virtuoso violin play from ICEJ’s own Serguei Popov. Other musical features of the evening included two very different but equally moving performances: Israel’s possibly cutest children’s choir, led by Vesna Bühler, and a stunningly dramatic musical composition interpreting the resurrection of the dry bones in Ezekiel by Ruth Fazal.


Personal Addresses by Israel’s PM and the Jewish Agency’s Chairman

Two personal addresses had been specially recorded to address the Fest Pilgrims on this special evening. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened his address by stating, “I am delighted that there is a Christian Embassy.” He also stood by Israel’s relations to Christians in the land, telling the audience that “Sometimes a profound truth is a simple truth. Here is a simple truth: Israel is the only country in the Middle East that protects the rights of Christians. Think of that. For thousands of miles around us, there is only one place Christians thrive. Right here in Israel.” He finished his address with deep-felt thanks: “Thank you for recognizing Israel. Thank you for always supporting Israel.”
Another personal address was given by the newly elected chairman for The Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, “I want to thank you for your support. Your support has been enormous. (…) and we are partners with you, the ICEJ. (…) Together we have brought 140,000 new immigrants to Israel - I think it is an enormous achievement.”


Journey of Dreams – Joint Jewish-Christian Successes

The evening continued with moving highlights of Jewish-Christian cooperation and joint accomplishments. The ICEJ’s special effort in Aliyah moved the audience as they witnessed the trials and frustrations of a Jewish Ethiopian family, long awaiting an opportunity to immigrate to Israel before the family finally flew over Tel Aviv’s beautiful night-time cityscape to be reunited with their extended family in Ben Gurion Airport – all scenes from the ICEJ’s new documentary: “Journey of Dreams.” This was the beginning of a tour-de-force opportunity demonstrating to Israelis the impressive range of projects in which the ICEJ is involved, spanning aid work, public diplomacy and a unique home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa, a group of whom were actually present in the audience and received the entire arena’s standing recognition. The Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors also received gifts for 2 million and 1 million NIS from the ICEJ's German and U.S. branches respectively, presented by National Directors Gottfried Bühler and Susan Michael.
Israel in the International Arena.

Likewise, Israel’s efforts in the international arena and the country’s very tangible blessings to the world were also highlighted, as a CBN documentary under the time-honored Jewish endeavor for “Tikkun Olam” (loosely translated as “repairing the world”). The efforts of private Israeli citizens among refugees, for example, and the Israeli government’s responses to natural disasters around the world all underscored that Israel cares and does so with a global impact.

The Paradox of Operation Good Neighbor

The crowning jewel of these joint successes was delivered by retired IDF Colonel Marco Moreno, who headed up “Operation Good Neighbor” on the Israeli-Syrian border, an effort aimed at providing aid and humanitarian relief to war-struck Syrians. Moving scenes of young soldiers, trained to defend their country with force, but in this instance helping refugees reach safety in Israel passed over the screens. In one sequence, you see Marco Moreno in the Golan Heights, close to the border with Syria: “You can hear bombing as we speak. That means that tonight our soldiers, our brave soldiers will go and save lives.” Back in the arena, Moreno concluded, “It sounds like a joke: Christians and Jews helping Muslims, right? But it’s the reality”

Awards and Recognition

A prime function of this gala evening is to celebrate and recognize valuable contributions. This is why the ICEJ each year gives the Nehemiah Award to individuals who have served the Jewish people in exceptional ways. Because of the seminal move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, who originally sponsored the bill and legislation leading to the Embassy Act, was a most natural and worthy recipient of this year’s award.


The Cyrus Award

A new reward, directly related to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: the Cyrus Award, has also been instated by the ICEJ. This reward has been given to heads-of-state from nations taking the bold step to move their embassies to Jerusalem. These were highlighted by Mojmir Kallus, the ICEJ’s VP for International Affairs, who also mentioned smaller but very significant contributions from poor and minor countries around the world. The determination of local Christians in e.g. Tanzania and Albania to bless Israel is truly heartwarming and set an example of a different kind. Such quiet efforts are equally inspiring and worthy as some of the headline-making contributions.

Continue to Dream

These were just some of many highlights of an evening packed with excitement and events. Before the Feast’s final event the following day, the Prayer Service in the Old City’s Tower of David, ICEJ’s president, Dr. Jürgen Bühler, dismissed the Feast Pilgrims with one commission: “Dare to Dream.” We hope you will join us for next year’s Feast of Tabernacle under the theme “Beginnings.”

Chag Sukkot Sameach (Happy Feast of Tabernacles) from the ICEJ in Jerusalem.


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