I want to share with you something very important for the days in which we live and that I believe will be a blessing to you.
American Christians are in great need of encouragement. Many are fearful, some are angry, and most are distraught over the direction our world is taking. As dire as some things may look, we need to understand God is doing great things in the world today, and that should not only give us great hope but cause us to want to get involved!
God is busy fulfilling His Word and He invites you to be part of it. To recognize God’s hand at work we only have to visit Israel where we quickly learn from visiting the biblical sites and viewing archaeological remains that the history and stories of the Bible are absolutely accurate. Archaeological finds only affirm the Bible and have never contradicted it.
Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled!
We also see prophecy fulfilled in Israel and realize how true the Bible is, because God has regathered His people back from the north, south, east and west, just as He promised He would (Isaiah 43:5–6). Though we look through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) and do not always know how to interpret prophetic portions of Scripture, once they have been fulfilled—as in the life and ministry of Jesus and now in the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland—we see how accurate those prophecies are, down to the smallest detail.
The Bible is true! God is sovereign! And while we often shake our heads over current events, He sits on His throne and reigns over the nations (Psalm 47:8). Indeed, He laughs at the nations and understands they are powerless before Him (Psalm 2:4).
The Days in Which We Live
We actually live in some of the most exciting days in history. We have the privilege of not just watching ancient prophecies be fulfilled, but to participate in their fulfillment!
God has raised His hand a “second time” and regathered His people back to their homeland as Isaiah 11:11 predicted. To accomplish this, the last of the Islamic empires, the Ottoman Empire, had to be dissolved. For 1,400 years one Islamic empire after another had ruled the entire Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Minor. But, the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I and divided up, giving Great Britain control of the region known as Palestine.
A Christian Zionist, Lord Balfour, secured the backing of the British government for the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration became the policy of the British Mandate which was approved by the League of Nations and the San Remo Conference, paving the way for the legal establishment of Israel.
If you were living in the 19th century, would you have had the faith to believe that God could wrestle the little land of Israel out of the hands of the mighty Islamic empires that had ruled it for 1,400 years? What an amazing move of God in world events in order to fulfill His promises to Abraham and his descendants. When God is ready to move no earthly power can stop Him.
God Has Raised a Banner to the Nations
Many ask why, if God is behind the establishment of Israel, the nation has so many troubles? The media’s obsession with tiny Israel seems so unfair and brings much pressure on Israeli leaders to act contrary to the nation’s best interests. But this attention is also a fulfillment of Scripture.
Isaiah 11 goes on to say that in the regathering of the people to their homeland, God is raising a banner to the nations. God is using Israel to proclaim His faithfulness to the nations. He wants the world to know that His Word is true and He is faithful to fulfill it. That means there is a blessing for those who bless His people and support His choices and plans, but there is also judgment for those who oppose His people.
If the Jewish people had returned to a quiet existence as a tiny nation of less than seven million, on a small piece of property the size of New Jersey, how could they become a light to the nations? How could passages of Scripture like Isaiah 60 be fulfilled that predict kings will be drawn to the light over Israel, that the wealth of the Gentiles will be brought up to Jerusalem, and that the nation that will not serve her will suffer judgment?
The attention of the nations has to be upon Israel for them to see God’s banner proclaiming He is a faithful God and His Word is true.
Jesus Predicted This Day
Jesus predicted this day would come in Luke 21:24 when he said that Jerusalem would be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Two thousand years after Jesus spoke those words, Gentiles no longer rule over Jerusalem and it is under Jewish sovereignty. For centuries the Jewish people prayed to return to Zion only to be faced with continued persecution and the impossibility of Jewish sovereignty over their ancient homeland.
When God is ready to move, however, nothing can hold Him back! The nations are just a drop of water in a bucket, or a small speck of dust, before Him (Isaiah 40:15). He moves them as He wishes. Thus, in 1980 when the nations stood against Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, God moved and sovereignly established an embassy in Jerusalem to represent those who support it! Let me tell you the story.
In the late ’70s, there were a number of Christians living in Jerusalem for various reasons who met regularly to pray for Israel. There were two different issues they prayed about and felt the Lord leading them to act upon.
First was the need to begin celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. While the church worldwide was very aware of the first two feasts of Israel—Passover and Pentecost—they were largely unaware of the yet unfulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. That is because this feast was forward looking in that it celebrated the establishment of the rule of God on earth. It was also the only feast prophesied to be celebrated by Gentiles in the Messianic Era (Zechariah 14:16).
These visionary Christians visited with the Chief Rabbi of Israel to get his advice on how to celebrate the Feast. As they were leaving his office he called them back and said that because Gentiles were beginning to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles he could “hear the footsteps of Messiah coming!”
Taking God’s Banner to the Nations
As preparations were being made for that first International Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles held in September of 1980 and attended by some 1,000 Christians from more than fifteen countries, something seemingly unrelated was brewing. The Israeli government had declared Jerusalem to be the eternal and undivided capital of the State of Israel and most of the embassies located in Jerusalem had packed up and moved out of the city in protest.
So, it was at the first Feast of Tabernacles celebration that these Christian leaders seized the moment and announced they did not support what their governments had just done and were, therefore, opening an International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem to represent the millions of Bible-believing Christians who understood the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people and stood with Israel at that moment.
While the founders may not have entirely understood the connection, in hindsight it is phenomenal to see that out of the first Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles an organization was born to go out into the nations and build an understanding of this feast and bring the nations up to Jerusalem to celebrate it. We do not claim to be the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy that the nations would celebrate the Feast, as that will be fulfilled in a future era, but we are practicing for it!
The ICEJ now has branches in 86 countries and reaches into more than 120 countries with the message of Christian support for Israel.
Representing You in Jerusalem
While this work amongst the nations is important, the ministry of the ICEJ is first and foremost a ministry of comfort and support to the people of Israel. We are the hands and feet of many praying Christians like yourself who want to bless Israel but are unable to do so on their own. We connect the global church to Israel and to God’s passion for Israel.
We do this in various ways. One is by helping the Jewish people return to their homeland—what is known as Aliyah. Isaiah 49:22 and 60:9 predict Gentiles would assist in this return and through the ICEJ you have the chance to be part of fulfilling those prophesies.
Isaiah 60 also predicts the wealth of the Gentiles will be brought up to Jerusalem. Remember that Isaiah wrote this prophecy at a devastating time for Israel when Gentile empires were in the process of taking over Israel and dragging their riches away. But, some 2,500 years later, the Jews are back in their land and Christians all around the world are blessing them and sending financial assistance. What a privilege to be part of the fulfillment of this prophecy!
The ICEJ also has an extensive humanitarian aid program throughout Israel where we bless the needy and care for those who have little hope. This ministry of practical assistance coupled with our partnerships with institutions throughout Israel are a way for Christians to help build up Zion just as Isaiah 60:10 indicates: “foreigners shall build up your walls.”
The ICEJ is here to partner with you in the work God is doing. He spoke thousands of years ago about the days in which we live. We read about them in the Bible and have very clear directives as to how we can be involved.
An Urgency in this Hour
I need to be honest with you. We cannot fulfill this great calling without your help.
Israel needs your support more than ever! As the United Nations is seeking to rewrite the Bible and deny any historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority government is planning to get the UN to support a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.
Israel needs us to galvanize voices from many nations to stand against these types of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel maneuvers.
Anti-Semitism is rising all over the world and in Europe alone is at pre-WWII levels. The Jewish people need our help. We must sound the alarm about this evil ideology and stand against it.
Iran continues to threaten to wipe Israel off the map while they pursue the nuclear weapons capable of doing so. They are arming both Hezbollah in Lebanon with more than 100,000 missiles pointed at Israel, and Hamas in Gaza with more sophisticated and longer-range rockets than ever before.
In light of such evil threats, we need to make sure the people of Israel know that millions of Christians around the world love and support them. There are so many Israelis who are either unaware of this support, or have little understanding of it. In reality, our support is proof that God’s Word is true and He is faithful to fulfill it. Our love for the people of Israel renews their hope in God!
Our ministry to the people of Israel gives them strength to go on in the face of international pressure, growing worldwide anti-Semitism, and increasing threats of war from Iran. They need your encouragement more than you know.
Our Commitment to Israel and to You!
The ICEJ has been blessing Israel for some 36 years now and we plan to continue doing so until Jesus returns! We are an organization, not any one person’s ministry, and therefore we are already on our third generation of leaders and are here for the long-haul.
Our staff is also committed to serving the people of Israel no matter what. Not one staff member left Israel when Saddam Hussein launched thirty-nine scud missiles at Israel in 1991, nor during the wave of suicide bus bombings in 2000, nor during the recent knife attacks in the streets of Jerusalem. Even at risk of their life—and that of their children—they have stood in solidarity with the people of Israel.
Our commitment to you is to faithfully represent your love and support for the people of Israel and to bless them on your behalf. We are your hands and feet serving and loving the people of Israel.
We will also represent you with integrity and financial transparency. We are accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) proving that we are doctrinally sound, with an independent board, and operate with financial integrity and transparency. Our financial statements are available through our website, as well as Charity Navigator which has given us a three- out of four-star rating.
I say this because not every ministry operates with this level of integrity and transparency! So, we invite you to partner with us in confidence and be part of this great end-time work God has called us to.
Increasing Our Impact Around the World!
The ICEJ’s vision is to reach all of the world with the banner proclaiming the truth of God’s Word about Israel and His faithfulness to fulfill it. We do not want to reach just 86 nations, or 120 nations, but every nation on earth. And we need to have an even greater impact on the nations we are already operating in—including the USA.
We also need to reach all of Israel with the message of Christian support so Israelis are encouraged and filled with hope. To do this we need to increase all of our outreaches and partnerships in Israel so we are touching the lives of more Israeli people.
AND TO DO THIS WE NEED YOU…
We so appreciate your faithful partnership with us in prayer and financial support. Your gift this month of $50, $100, $200 or more will enable us to continue our important work for Israel on your behalf.
But I want to also ask you to consider a special year-end gift to undergird our work as we approach a new year. We are being asked to make commitments now to projects in Israel and for Israel that we do not have the funds for. While we trust God to provide for this ministry, we need your help to be able to say “yes” to these requests. We just hate saying “no.”
And, may I be so bold as to ask you to please make a commitment of increased support in 2017? If you are already a regular supporter, we ask you to increase your level of support and become a Covenant Partner (at least $360/year or $30/month), an Ambassadorial Partner (at least $1200/year or $100/month), or a Builder of Zion (at least $2500/year or $210/month).
This Thanksgiving we will be lifting up thanks to God for your faithful prayers and financial support. We value your partnership and know that we cannot do this important work without you. We are your representatives to the people of Israel, and they are so blessed when we tell them of your love, prayers and support for them.
Please give your best gift today! We have much to do together!
For Zion’s Sake,
Susan M. Michael