An annual Christian event during the week-long Sukkot holiday, which starts Friday night, is being promoted heavily as an international gathering bringing fervent supporters of Israel to Jerusalem. As in previous years, the festival has raised concerns among anti-missionary activists.
The series of seminars, Christian worship, celebration and a march through Jerusalem is known as the Feast of Tabernacles, an English translation forSukkot. It has been sponsored by the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, self-described as the world’s largest Christian Zionist organization, since 1980. The ICEJ calls its celebration, which is slated for October 2-8 this year, “the vanguard event within Israel for the worldwide Christian Zionist movement.”
Regularly attended by tens of thousands of Christians from around the world, it is said to be “Israel’s largest annual tourism event.” Hundreds of similar events inspired by the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles take place outside Israel as well during the week of celebrations.
In Israel, the program includes “opportunities… for the pilgrims to demonstrate, in practical ways, their love for the people of Israel and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Daily seminars will be followed by regular evening prayers for Christians. Delegations are slated to start their Israel tour with a concert and worship at the Ein Gedi nature reserve and national park, along the shores of the Dead Sea. Afterwards, the groups will ascend to Jerusalem for “a week of dynamic worship and anointed Bible teachings.”
A special evening is also set aside for Israeli guests, which the ICEJ says is “attended by thousands of people from this land, many being Soviet Jewish immigrants.”
A high point of the ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles is the Jerusalem March, which will be held on Tuesday, October 6. The Municipality of Jerusalem hosts the march and is responsible for its security and functional aspects. The marchers are slated to set out from modern Jerusalem’s Sacher Park and proceed to the New Gate of the Old City.
All the ICEJ events and worship services are noted for their colorful costumes, music and dance.
The ICEJ promotional material sent to prospective participants in the 2009 event says, “We believe that celebrating the Feast each year honours the Lord in anticipation of the fulfillment of the words spoken by Zechariah (14:16) when ‘the nations… shall come up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles’.”
Let us pray as well for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for the salvation of Jews who God WILL deal with at this event. Just as I preached a couple of weeks ago, the fullness of the Gentiles is coming in now!!!!