Participants from 115 nations tune in to participate in annual conference normally held in Jerusalem.
This year the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ) hosted its 40th anniversary Feast of Tabernacles virtually, bringing the nations to Israel despite Israel’s borders being closed.
The ICEJ Feast theme this year was Prepare the Way and was broadcast on GOD TV, Daystar, Vision Norway and several other major Christian television networks worldwide. Jürgen Bühler, president of the ICEJ, opened the annual convention with the scripture from 2 Kings 18:21 where Elijah calls out to the children of Israel:
“How long will you go on limping between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
“The people of Israel could not make up their minds on what they wanted to do,” explained Bühler. “They like the Jewish traditions, and to be good Jews and go to the synagogue. But they also saw the temptation of this other religion, of this other cult, and other traditions that came into the land. There was a mixture of Judaism and all kinds of Gentile cults that merged into the land of Israel. Here we see Elijah challenged the children of Israel. He was not telling the children of Israel to follow God or Baal. He was telling the children of Israel to make up their mind which god they choose to follow.”
Bühler reiterated the theme Prepare the Way by calling on the church to take a stance on which God they choose to follow. Just like the warning to the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation, Bühler warned the Evangelical church not to be nominal church goers who call themselves Christians and have the tradition of being believers, but have lost the passion of their first love.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelations 3:15-16
“A lukewarm church is unbearable to God… God prefers us to be all cold or entirely fiery burning Christians,” said Bühler. “And the god who answers by fire – He is God (1 King 18:24). We have a God that answers with fire. We need our prayer meetings and pulpits lit up by the fire of God.”
David Parsons, vice president and senior spokesman, echoed the theme by summarizing the ICEJ’s 40 years of service to Israel and standing with the Jewish state since 1980, likening it to the relationship between Naomi and Ruth.
“As we bless Israel like Ruth blessed Naomi, we see Israel’s return to her God by her return to the land,” said Parsons. “In turn, we (like Ruth) get to meet our bridegroom (Yeshua). But it is only in (Ruth’s) walking together with Naomi, our walking together with Israel, is she restored into her land and her God.”
Joel Rosenberg, editor-in-chief of All Israel News, also spoke at the Feast and discussed the role of believers in the land of Israel.
“Pray that the church will grow stronger here, to be bold, to be good witnesses between each other and unity within ourselves even if we disagree on things, that we can be united as a team. Pray for the church to be healthy and strong,” he said.
“We have to remember the prayers of the apostles in the book of Acts,” added Rosenberg. “They did not pray for safety or lack of persecution. They prayed for boldness. They prayed for courage.”
Rosenberg talked about the recent historic Abraham Accords peace treaties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. He ended his session with Bülher with the same message he does not shy away from when speaking to Arab royalty or political delegations from around the world.
“Ultimately, every Jew and every Muslim needs to hear that the Messiah, the Son of God, has come, has died on the cross in this city (Jerusalem),” said Rosenberg. “He rose again just as the Bible said he would. He is coming back to reign in this city. And they (Jew and Muslim) can have hope, and forgiveness, and eternal life, only through Jesus. That is my most important message wherever I go.”