Report: Christian Zionist Feast of Tabernacles 2006


By Retha Hanekom

"Awesome!" was the way at least one of the participants described the Christian Zionist Feast of Tabernacles 2006. And we all agree to that!

How do you convey and condense a myriad divine impressions and responses into a few paragraphs? During this Feast the Holy Spirit was hovering over us daily and we continued to witness the signs and wonders that follow those who believe.

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By Retha Hanekom

“Awesome!” was the way at least one of the participants described the Christian Zionist Feast of Tabernacles 2006. And we all agree to that!

How do you convey and condense a myriad divine impressions and responses into a few paragraphs? During this Feast the Holy Spirit was hovering over us daily and we continued to witness the signs and wonders that follow those who believe. The highlights are many and the impact of this time before the throne of God will only be fully known one day in heaven.

If I had to sum it all up in a few words, it would sound like this: Heaven has consummated the marriage between Judah and Ephraim! On several occasions Jan Willem has received the prophecy of the two sticks – Judah and Ephraim – becoming one in God’s hand. I believe we have now seen the beginning of the manifestation of this word!

As Ephraim, we witnessed a depth of response from Judah we have not seen before! The Lord impressed on several of our participants that the marriage between Judah and Ephraim was consummated during this Feast of Tabernacles: the wedding Feast! We had a chuppah in the Jasmine Hall where our evening meetings were held. One night, someone took the banners of Judah and Ephraim and prophetically placed them in the chuppah. It was a hold your breath, poignant, moment in time.

The natural reactions from Judah were overwhelming in many ways as they acknowledged this joining without even having been present during our meetings. The day we went to the Syrian border Daniel Braun, a God-fearing Jew, touched our hearts with testimonies from soldiers who died for Israel during the last war. At a certain stage he looked at us and said: “We are one!” From the mouth of Judah to Ephraim – Amen and Selah!

Loretta and Jessica, two participants from Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, subsequently shared how the Lord lead them last year to prophetically each hold a stick in their hand and together go for a baptism in the Jordan River -Judah and Ephraim, arm in arm – as one!

We believe that the stand that Jan Willem has taken to settle the ICZC offices in the Gate of Benjamin, in the midst of Yesha, has been a main contributing factor to the joining of Judah and Ephraim. We have put our feet and our lives in the heartland of Judah, there to stay through thick and thin. We have the strategic placement of the Gate of Benjamin between Bethel – the altar where God promised the Land to Abraham and Jacob – and Michmash – the place where Jonathan and his armor-bearer defeated the Philistine army.  Here in Gate Benjamin we are between the place of promise and the place of battle!

The official opening of the “Embassy for Yesha” saw history being made, as both Jews and believers witnessed this new day that has dawned: The day Zechariah spoke of, where TEN GENTILES from EVERY TRIBE AND NATION would take hold of the sleeve of him that is a Jew and say, we will go with you, for we have heard that GOD IS WITH YOU!

We have crossed a mark in eternity where everyone who hears of this move will be confronted in their hearts. All of us will have to be either for or against, but there is no more place or time to be lukewarm about Israel’s place in the Kingdom of God. This is that! So many Jews listened in amazement and wonder when they heard that Christian Zionists have actually moved into offices beyond the wall into their heartland! Surely this act alone speaks, very loudly, great comfort and hope to Judah, who is so desperately in need of it at a time such as this.

The Jerusalem March saw the ICZC group dressed up in orange, the color of solidarity for the Gush Katif and other uprooted Israeli settlers, and those threatened by uprooting.

As we passed through the streets of Jerusalem the reaction between us and the Israelis on the sidewalks was electric. Amidst the shouts of “We love you, thank you for standing with us” the atmosphere was laden with love and acceptance. Words could never describe it fully. The fire of the Holy Spirit was on us and touched the hungry hearts of those who looked on.

One of our video teams who were standing amongst the Israelis recorded their reactions:

“We had several – especially older – Sephardi Jewish people standing near us. When the “ICZC orange wave” came, they were very moved. An elderly woman ran around and pointed out the Gush-Katif flag on someone’s back to everyone she knew. Everyone was clapping and singing and we could see in their faces that most of them were moved to tears. Some of our dear friends who live in the Arab-occupied heartland of Israel told us that each year they do not want to miss the awesome encouraging sight of Believers from all over the world coming to stand with God’s embattled People and Land. They said that real Believers do act in biblical “radicality” and stand with the Settlers, knowing God is behind the cause of Zion.  Surely it was a magnificent day of  “Comfort, Comfort ye my people” for us all.

In the bus on our way up to the Syrian border we spoke of how the Lord had suddenly and sovereignly placed strategic people around Jan Willem, and how it was like a Joel army, where everyone knew their place and no one broke rank.

General Effie Eitam, a minister in the Israeli government and formerly head of the Northern Command addressed the group with such warmth and love. And as he looked at us he said, “we are brothers and sisters” – again, Judah responding to Ephraim.

Then, at the end, he looked over the group and said: “I have no words, the only  way I can respond to you is by giving you the highest greeting I know, he then stood, lifted up his right arm and saluted us.”

Visiting the Lebanon border, we sat at the highest lookout point and prayed while we waited for the kibbutz leader to come and speak to us about their experiences during the northern war. As he started to address us, he said: “I had goose bumps when I heard your prayers.” Then he could not speak any further as the tears poured down his cheeks. There was such an awesome atmosphere as we all had our own tears to deal with. For me it was like an offering of liquid prayers to the Lord on the border of Lebanon .

We were privileged to be the first group to be escorted by the army to the exact place where the Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, were kidnapped at the border on July 12, triggering the war with Hizb’allah. There we could pray and bless the courageous Israeli soldiers.

Our day trip to Gush Etzion was also unforgettable. We watched the movie of the history of Gush Etzion, and saw how many lives had been lost in order to settle in that strategic gate. We were all deeply moved by their bravery and sacrifice, and the price they paid for this beautiful and advanced Jewish settlement.

In the afternoon we visited a community of the Gush Katif residents who had sacrificed decades of their lives and were forced to leave with almost nothing during the evacuation of Gaza last year. This group is now living in temporary villages like the one we stopped at near Ashkelon. And surely, as we visited with them, we were looking at people who are walking in victory despite their circumstances. They are full of fire and are waiting for land to be released to start a new life, right from scratch, all over again.

It is heart rending to hear that many of them, although their houses have been demolished, are still forced to  pay monthly mortgages. We could only look at them with admiration as they welcomed us. We were amazed that there were no traces of bitterness as they shared their sorrow. It was with tears in their eyes that they looked at us and said:  “I you could have been with us with 100 000 Christian Zionists, maybe it would not have happened.” We left challenged and deeply touched by their words and the word they stand on for their future: “Again, I will build thee and thou shalt be built” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Such courage, such grace, and such an example to all of us!

© Israel My Beloved

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