2009 Feast of Tabernacles report

By Stan Goodenough

And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.

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By Stan Goodenough

And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Genesis 13:17)

This was “God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth,” instructing the man through whom He would bring Israel into being to exercise his faith and possess the land of Canaan by simply walking through it.

Today the whole world contests the ownership of this land; every government on earth wants to divide it in two and give its heart – the historical homeland of the Jewish people – to the Arab world.

But God – our God – gave it exclusively and forever to the people He calls His own.

And so, addressing 300 Christians who came together in Jerusalem from their countries around the globe to celebrate the 2009 Feast of Tabernacles, ICZC Director Jan Willem van der Hoeven declared:

“The future of this land will not be decided in Washington DC, in New York, in Brussels or in Moscow.

“As sons and daughters of the living God we will go through the length and the width of this land; as children of Abraham by faith, we take possession of it for His purposes.”

Thus we did, in obedience, what the Lord had laid upon our hearts.

First, purification

Before heading to our first stop in the very north of the country, we gathered for a beautiful baptism service in the waters of the Jordan close to the Sea of Galilee, where people had the opportunity to be cleansed and prepared for the important task ahead.

The Length of the Land – The North

Our first destination was Gamla on the Golan Heights, which borders on Syria to the North-East and Lebanon to the North.
In AD 67, Gamla fell to the Roman Legionnaires as they marched murderously to quell Jewish rebellion throughout the Land of Israel. After a fierce and passionate battle in defense of “Jerusalem, the holy” Gamla fell. The way was then open for Titus to take the capital of Israel. Exactly 1900 years later, in six miraculous days, the Golan Heights were restored to Jewish sovereignty and Jerusalem was liberated, finally ending the time of gentile control over the holy city.
Today massive international pressure is being directed on Israel to give the Golan to Syria. If Israel gives in, Jerusalem will again be lost. For if Syria gets everything it demands, as Egypt – at Taba – got back everything it insisted on, the Palestinian Arabs will likewise insist on getting everything they demand. No “Palestinian” leader will want to go down in history as having lost Jerusalem to the Jews.
Again, as Gamla fell, Jerusalem fell. So today, if the Golan is lost, Jerusalem too will go.
A forest of colorful banners was waving, and shofars were blowing as we stood overlooking the site of that critical ancient battle. Reminding God of His promises to restore all the land to His people, we claimed the Golan Heights forever under Israel.
“The nation is with the Golan,” declared our banner “Christian Zionists are too.”
Quite amazingly, it was after we had made our prayers and proclamation of faith that neither Gamla nor the Golan would again fall into the hands of Israel’s enemies, that seven endangered Griffon Vultures appeared, circling right above the place where we were. It was as if to indicate that God has heard and answered our cry for Israel’s destiny and security.
He encircled him, He instructed him, 
He kept him as the apple of His eye.

As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young, 
Spreading out its wings, taking them up, 
Carrying them on its wings,

So the LORD alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him.

(Deuteronomy 32:10b – 12a).

The Length of the Land – Samaria

Day Two of our journey took us to Bethel, to Mount Gerizim (the Mount of Blessing) and then to Ariel – the capital of modern Samaria.

Bethel is near where Abraham built his first altar. Here Jacob – to be renamed Israel – saw Heaven’s door open above him, and heard the Lord say that the very land upon which he was sleeping was to be given to him and his descendants after him forever.

So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. (Genesis 28:11-18)

We were enabled to proclaim Israel’s divinely-given right to this land, as some of the  delegates were moved to build a small stone “altar” and anoint it with oil.

Three-and-a-half millennia ago the Israelites were instructed to stand on Mount Gerizim and read aloud the list of blessings God promised Israel would enjoy if the nation remained faithful to Him. Alighting from our buses on the summit of this mountain, overlooking the town of Shechem where the Patriarch Jacob purchased land and built an altar, we read aloud the passage from Deuteronomy, and reminded God of His promises to restore blessing to Israel in the last days.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

“Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

“The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

“The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.  And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them. (Deuteronomy 28: 1-14)

It is a short drive from Mount Gerizim to Ariel – the booming Jewish city that was birthed as a vision in the heart of an Israeli man – Ron Nachman – 31 years ago, and today is home to 16,000 people. Beautifully laid out, it boasts a university and two industrial parks.

Ron, the city mayor, welcomed us officially, thanking us for standing in solidarity with his nation, and emphasizing his heartfelt belief that Ariel and Samaria will always remain part of the State of Israel.

Led by the United States, the international community regards Samaria as “occupied Arab lands” and intends for it to be part of a new Arab state called Palestine.

“Never!” said the mayor, and we firmly and loudly agreed.

Ariel is also site to a strategic new Young Israeli Leadership Training project being built in cooperation between Israel’s Education Ministry and the Christian leadership of the California-based JH Ranch. Soon to be completed, the facility is geared to train 10,000 young people every year.

We stood on this ground in prayer and dedication, looking forward by faith to the day when God-fearing Israelis would be ready to lead this nation.

As the moon rose to bathe the gentle Samarian hills in its gentle light, we ended the day with a sumptuous dinner at Ariel’s Eshel Hashomron Hotel.

The Length of the Land – Judea and the Negev

The morning of the third day saw our buses driving deep into the south of the country. Our destination was Beersheba, Abraham’s residence of old, and sprawling capital of the Negev today.

Standing at Tel Beer Sheva – site of the ancient city – we were reminded of how the LORD met Jacob as he was on his way to be reunited with his son Joseph in Egypt. Don’t be afraid, God reassured him. I promise to bring you back to this land.” (Genesis 46:3)

Again our banners were unfurled, this time high over the biblical tel, and prayers went up for the restoration of ALL the Jewish people to their land, and for the land to be kept firmly and securely under Israel’s feet.

The Length of the Land – Hebron, City of the Patriarchs

Leaving the Beersheba valley behind us, we wound our way north into Judea, the southern part of what is known as Israel’s biblical heartland.  Our route was Highway 60, known as Derech Ha’Avot, literally the Way of the Fathers or Patriarchs – the road much traveled by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Israel’s three founding fathers and their wives – Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – lie buried in Hebron, the second holiest city to the Jewish people. Around 166,000 Palestinian Arabs live there; in their midst just 500 Israeli Jews. Nonetheless, their faith is strong and ours is in line with theirs: that this city belongs to Israel, according to their God and our God. Thus we encouraged the small community – and their whole nation – echoing their claim and assuring them of their God-given right to live there.

The Heart of the Land – Jerusalem, eternal and indivisible capital of Israel

Jerusalem – the city of peace that has virtually never known peace, but which awaits with all creation the coming Prince of Peace – was at the center of our Feast week.

We visited “Ir David” – the recently-excavated site of David’s City where Israel’s great warrior king lived, and where he prayed for the day when a house for his Lord and God would be built on God’s holy hill so near to his palace.

“Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
Until I find a place for the LORD,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” …

For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. (Psalm 132:3-5; 13-14)

Later the city hosted its annual Jerusalem March. Together with thousands of Israelis and Christians we took our message of encouragement and solidarity to the streets of the capital. Many delegates wore national costumes and other traditional dress, highlighting the fact that we had come literally from around the world to stand with Israel and her claim to this city.

The Width of the Land – From the River to the Sea

Kasr al-Yahud (Arabic for “The Jews’ Crossing”) is the traditional site for both Israel’s  entry into Canaan under Joshua, as well as where John the Baptist immersed Jesus, launching His ministry.

Special permission to visit the site has to be obtained from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as it is literally a stone’s throw from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. From across the narrow stream Jordanian guards eyeballed Israel’s soldiers, and observed curiously as we made our stand:

Here Joshua and the Israelites began their conquest of the Promised Land, starting with nearby Jericho, whose walls fell to the sound of their shouted praise and worship. Jericho was the first city given away to the PLO by the Israeli government, which was unable to stand up to international pressure directed relentlessly against it. We reclaimed Jericho for Israel.

The drive from Israel’s eastern extreme to its western border on the Mediterranean Sea takes less than two hours – so small is this Holy Land.

The center of secular Israeli society, Tel Aviv seldom sees Christian Zionists marching through its streets. On October 9 – before the last Shabbat of the Feast, they did.

Like a small army – flags whipped up by the breeze coming off the sea, we walked in close order along the boardwalk at the waterfront, then stopped as Jan Willem van der Hoeven brought God’s message, and expressed our support and faith-based confidence in Israel’s secure future. The restaurant patrons listened astonished – but expressively appreciative. How much we long to comfort and lift up this lonely nation.

Mission accomplished

A day later, the 2009 Feast of Tabernacles was over. By the grace and help of the Lord we had done our work, traversing the length and the width of this little Land as we proclaimed with faith the promises of the Lord concerning it.

As our delegates began departing for home, many went to their nations as newly-trained ambassadors for Israel. The expressed consensus, both then and since, is that this was the most strategic and important Feast ever. In the words of one, who wrote afterward to express it so well for so many:

“Thank you for the most powerfully prophetic ‘Walk through the Land’/Succot Celebration that I have ever experienced! I am still overwhelmed by what occurred during that tremendous and purposeful Tour/Conference. It was ‘over the top’ and ‘running over!’

Amen. We had taken our stand on the Word of God – adopting a position that flies in the face of the whole world as we resist and condemn our nations’ efforts to steal their historical homeland from the Jewish people.

For God has given this land, exclusively and forever, to them.


PLEASE NOTE: We are presently working prayerfully on the program for the 2010 Feast of Tabernacles. This time, Tabernacles will fall earlier, from September 22 – 29, 2010.

We urge you to prayerfully begin laying your plans to come up to Jerusalem for what we trust will be an even more powerfully prophetic event.

© Israel My Beloved




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.