Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot 2015
“You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God”. (Lev 23:42-43)
Shalom from Jerusalem!
Yom Kippur has just passed and once again, the Feast of Tabernacles Sukkot is upon us. The Feast begins Sunday evening at sunset and will last for seven days. Sukkot is a joyous holiday which commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and God’s complete provision for them in the wilderness. Our fathers wandered in the desert for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land of Israel and during this time they had to live in small booths called Sukkas. Perhaps the Lord wanted us to remember that like the Sukka, life in our physical body is also temporary, For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The Lord also commanded the children of Israel to fully rejoicing before Him during this time..
Another custom of Sukkot is the Water Libation Ceremony. During the second Temple period a Priest would take a golden water pitcher down to the pool of Siloam in the city of David and would carry it back to the Temple. Crowds of people would follow him dancing and singing “The Hellel” (Ps.113-118). The highlight of this ceremony was when the High Priest would pour out this water onto the altar of the Temple. It became known as “Simcha Bet-Ha-sho-evah” (The rejoicing of the House of Drawing Water).
Now we can appreciate the Scripture in John’s gospel that was recorded on the day Yeshua was teaching in Jerusalem on the Feast of Sukkot.
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive… (John 7:37-39)
“Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of (Yeshua) Salvation (Is. 12:3 )
CHRISTIAN ANTI-ZIONISM GROWING
Christian anti-Zionism is gaining strength both in America and abroad, on blogs and social media alike. Its teaching turns the world against Israel as God’s Chosen People, casts Israel as the aggressor rather than the victim, and denies God’s promise to give the Jewish people the land of Israel as an “everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8; 48:4). Here are some of Christian anti-Zionism’s most outspoken, influential proponents and what they say.
Stephen Sizer – vicar of Christ Church, Surrey, United Kingdom:
“There is no evidence that…the Jewish people had a divine right to the Land in Perpetuity, or that Jewish possession of the Land would be an important , let alone central, aspect of God’s purposes for the world.
Gary Burge – professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois.
“Ownership of the land is not a Christian question. Burge has written extensively on what he calls the obsolescence of “territorial theologies.”
Tony Campolo – speaker, author, sociologist, and professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in Pennsylvania:
“The most serious threats to the well-being of the Palestinians in general, and to the Christian Palestinians in particular, come not from the Jews, but from Christian Zionists here in the United States.
Lynne Hybels – author; activist; and wife of Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois:
“I have become convinced that if Jesus were here today he would stand with those who non violently protest the occupation of the Palestinian Territories, the extreme military violence used against the Palestinians, and the economic decline and psychological pain caused by the occupation.
John Piper – former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and founder of desireGod.org:
“The secular state of Israel today nay not claim a present divine right to the Land.”
Some well-known, vocal Christian anti-Zionist institutions include:
Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founded in 1989 by D. James Kennedy;
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland;
Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Israel, founded in 1979, which in 2007 opened a campus in northern Israel called Galilee Bible College and now plans to expand into Gaza;
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, Israel, founded in 1989 by Palestinian Anglican priest Naim Ateek.
Here are some more statements:
Knox Theological Seminary: “The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East called the “Holy Land” cannot be supported by scripture. This statement was contained in an open letter posted on the Knox Theological Seminary website in 2002 and signed by more than 150 educators, pastors, church leaders, and public figures, including R.C. Sproul.
Bethlehem Bible College: “Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.”
Palestinian Christians: “We Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation (by Israel) of our land is a sin against God and humanity and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings.” The Statement was contained in the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, written by Palestinian Christians.
Contrary to what these men and institutions teach, more than 130 verses in the Bible reiterate the truth that the land of Israel has been divinely given to the Jewish people. Not a single verse in all of Scripture declares that God has revoked the promise He gave to Abraham in Genesis 17:8 (As a sampling, see Deuteronomy 4:40; Psalm 105:8-11; Jeremiah 23:7-8; Ezekiel 28:25-26; 34:13; 36:24; 37:1-14, 21; 39:28; 47:21; Amos 9:15; Acts 7:5.) Thanks to Bruce Scott and Israel My Glory for contributing this info.
FZS HELPING THE NEEDY IN JERUSALEM
For us, it’s all about loving and caring for the needy while sharing what we have to give in Yeshua’s name. Each day, the New Immigrants not only come to us for material goods, but also for hope and encouragement as they face the challenges of trying to make ends meet while starting their new lives in Israel. We are so blessed to be here, waiting with open arms and hearts to welcome and assist them as best we can! Your support helps us to continue this labor of love to in order to help these Jewish refugees…
FZS BLESSING HOLACAUST SURVIVORS
Bradley meeting with Survivors for the Feast of Tabernacles
We will be hosting another group of Holocaust Survivors at Haus Schonegg from October 21-31. Would you please pray for our time together that our fellowship would be blessed and that we may have many opportunities to demonstrate His love to these beautiful souls who were chosen to survive…