International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) kicked off its 42nd annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration on Monday on the southern steps of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Normally attended by thousands of Christians from all over the world, this year’s Feast is being held online because of the Covid-19 pandemic — as was the case last year.
The Feast of Tabernacles is one of three pilgrimage festivals when Jews throughout Israel were commanded by God to go up to Jerusalem
And in Jerusalem now — and throughout Israel and in Jewish communities around the world — sukkahs — or temporay dwellings are erected outside homes during the week-long holiday to remind Jewish people of how God provided for their forefathers as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after escaping captivity in Egypt.
The theme for this year’s conference is The Days of Elijah with the vision for participants to experience the same fire of the Holy Spirit as was witnessed in the time of Israel’s great prophet, Elijah.
In his opening speech on the Temple Mount’s southern steps ICEJ president Dr Jurgen Buhler said that it was likely that it was on these same stairs during Pentecost celebrations that Jesus invited all those who were thirsty to come to Him, promising that streams of living water — the life-bringing Holy Spirit would flow from them.
“If the flow of the Holy Spirit comes out of our lives. It is the most transformative power in the universe,” said Buhler, encouraging believers to have faith like Elijah to confess over their nations that they hear a mighty, rushing rain coming.
Drawing inspiration from Zechariah 14 verses 16 to 18 he said he believes prophetically that we are entering a season where if you are thirsting for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on your nation it will only happen if your heart is right towards the Jewish people and towards Israel
“I believe we are entering into a season that you cannot be any more indifferent to what God is doing here in this land. God says it himself, in Israel there will come a time that those nations who decide not to come here to Jerusalem, not to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, there will be no rain upon them, no matter how much they pray, no matter how much they might worship the Lord.
“And I believe it has very much to do with the theme of this year’s feast of Elijah to return back the heart of the children to the fathers and the Fathers to the children. I believe we see a move of God around the world, where it’s moving the hearts of the people back to this very city — a city that so many people over centuries in the church have been indifferent about. But they have forgotten that this city was a city that Jesus died in, that He rose from the dead here, and how he told his disciples: ‘You stay right here in this city until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will come’. And He also predicted that He will return right here. Back to Jerusalem. That means this city is incredibly important to Jesus,” said Buhler.
He said God says there will come a time that as Christ followers are reconnecting to those spiritual roots, it will be a recipe for revival for their countries.
He said that all over the world the Holy Spirit is moving the hearts of many people back to the city of Jerusalem.
He spoke of a pastor from Bolivia, the country which brought the largest group of Christians to last year’s online Feast of Tabernacles celebration, who recently testified that since last year’s Feast, more than 3 000 people had given their lives to Jesus at their church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
And he said the Bolivian pastor had said: “I know it’s because our people attended the Feast of Tabernacles.”