The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem again will host thousands of Christian pilgrims for their 28th annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkos). The largest annual tourist event in the Zionist state, the gathering draws Christians from nearly 100 nations, and a record crowd of 7,000 visitors is expected this year. These pilgrims have a deep love and concern for the State of Israel.
"The Christian Embassy has engaged in many dynamic, pioneering works in the fields of aliyah, absorption and social assistance," said Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. "Our social-aid programs have touched the poor, the elderly, the disabled, Holocaust survivors, single mothers, battered women, troubled youths, and many others with needs.
"We have assisted over 100,000 Russian-speaking olim in making aliyah since 1989. And we have defended Israel's cause abroad through our network of national branches and representatives in some 80 countries worldwide.
"In times past, the great Sages of Israel read the Hebrew prophets and declared that when the Lord would begin to restore Zion, Gentiles would be involved as well. As the prophet Isaiah foretold:
'The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you... That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession... Also the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.' Isaiah 60:10-14. We evangelical Christians see ourselves as those friendly Gentiles promised in Scripture."
The words of the prophet Isaiah refer to the messianic age, which has not yet arrived. At the present time the Jewish people is commanded to remain in exile, and the restoration of Zion has not yet begun. Any attempt by the Jewish people to begin that restoration on our own - without G-d's explicit command - is a sin and can bring only trouble and danger to the Jewish people.
We reiterate our comment several weeks ago that while Christian sympathy for the Jewish people is laudable, their focus on the Zionist state is a mistake and is no benefit to the Jews. We encourage gentiles who wish to merit G-d's blessing to continue being good neighbors to the Jews in their home countries, not send them off to the battleground that is the State of Israel.