The Christian celebration of Sukkot
Why We Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles
A Prophetic Statement
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16
The Bible describes the Feast of Tabernacles as the third of the three annual feasts which the people of Israel are commanded to celebrate in Jerusalem. During this Feast they recall the 40 years in the wilderness, as well as celebrate and rejoice over the ingathering of the harvest. Traditionally, the Jewish people identify the Feast of Tabernacles with the coming of the Messiah. And they welcome non-Jewish (Gentile) participation, according to the prophetic word in Zechariah 14 that all the nations would come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
In John 7 we read that, on the last, great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up in the Temple and declared that rivers of living water would flow from the innermost being of he who believes in Him. For Christians, the Feast is therefore a celebration of joy, but also a time of deepening their relationship and walk with God. The Christian celebration has become known for the splendour of its presentation, and for the powerful times of praise and worship, as the participants are led by an international worship team of gifted singers, musicians and dancers.
Since its inception in 1980 the Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, has been a vital and central part of our ministry of comforting Israel (Isaiah 40:1). Pilgrims come from many nations to worship the Lord, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and to bless Israel in this time of regathering. We believe that celebrating the Feast each year honours the Lord in anticipation of the fulfillment of the words spoken by Zechariah.
During the seven days of the Feast, a daily program of seminars and teaching is offered and each evening concludes with a time of worship. These evening celebrations are especially noted for their pageantry in music and dance. An international choir and orchestra lead the people into a time of praise and worship. Those who have gathered from all over the world join their hearts as one to glorify God and to pray for the coming of His Kingdom – in Israel – and in all the earth. There is a variety of other events, including a special event for Israeli guests. Opportunities are also given for the pilgrims to demonstrate, in practical ways, their love for the people of Israel and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Up to 5,000 Christians from over 100 countries have come up to Jerusalem each year (regardless of the current political climate) to stand with Israel. This event has become the largest and most popular annual tourist event in Israel, taking place in the International Convention Center Jerusalem and other venues across Jerusalem.
What happens at the Feast of Tabernacles?
The Feast usually opens in an outdoor worship celebration. During the rest of the week, in-depth seminars during the day, bringing balanced teaching from carefully selected teachers, scholars, and public figures. The seminars seek to offer a broad, yet interwoven impartation of revelation truth, and have annually become a forum for the expression of “present day truth” from Jerusalem to the nations. Varied subjects and themes are presented, with a special focus on the prophetic perspectives of Israel, the Church and eschatology.
Praise and worship led by an international team of singers, musicians, dancers and other artists. Special musical guests from the Jewish community are also regularly featured in the spectacular evening celebrations. The music and worship from the Feast Celebrations in Jerusalem has had a major impact on the Christian world in its understanding of “Davidic Worship.”
The word of God is preached nightly and is central to the evening meetings.
Opportunities for prayer with fellow believers from around the world who have a heart for Israel is a vital part of the Feast programming. In what has become a Feast tradition, pilgrims walk to strategic points to pray over the City. The opportunity to cover Jerusalem in fervent prayers of agreement is a privilege that Feast participants take seriously. It gives opportunity and expression for the nations to literally be “watchmen on the walls” of Jerusalem.
The Feast of Tabernacles celebration typically commences with an outdoor worship event where newly arrived pilgrims share a meal together under a full moon.
Each country present at the Feast has a representative carry their national flag on stage to display each nation’s love and support of Israel. It is a powerful and tangible expression of the prophetic call of the nations to come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles!
It is a time of special beauty and spiritual significance, and the worship reaches new heights as the pilgrims from many different countries partake of the bread and the wine, and consecrate themselves afresh to the Lord’s service. For many, it will be the crowning event of the Feast.
The participants are led by an international choir and orchestra to lift songs of joy and thanksgiving to the Lord, with a spectacular stage presentation enhanced by worship in dance.
Seminars continue throughout the week of the conference. Varied subjects and themes are presented, with special focus on prophetic perspectives of Israel and the last days. Between sessions, the pilgrims can visit the exhibit booths in the foyer, where Israeli and international craftsmen display their products.
Feast participants join the thousands of Israeli marchers during the Jerusalem March. Pilgrims don their national costumes and move through the heart of the city, displaying banners of love towards Israel.
Israeli Night is a special evening at the Feast of Tabernacles recognizing Israeli music, culture and the people of Israel. Hundreds of Israelis join the pilgrims for an evening of solidarity and unity.
Your Personal Invitation
We warmly invite you to come up to Jerusalem for this year’s Feast of Tabernacles. We hope that you will learn more of Israel, her people and her history, and receive further enlightenment concerning the central role she plays in the destiny of this world. Above all, we trust that the keeping of the Feast and your response to the biblical injunction will be a source of blessing to yourself, your family and your nation.
Whether you plan to travel to Israel on your own or with a group, we’re more than happy to help you in any way we can. Perhaps this year you’d like to lead a tour group of your own!
There is no better time to travel to Israel than during the Feast of Tabernacles as you can take in all the usual touring experiences, as well as a week-long conference with seven nights of glorious worship.