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Prayer Letter for October 2020

Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign

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Isaiah 62 Prayer Letter - October 2020

 

“These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.” (Leviticus 23:4)

Dear prayer partners,

Thank you for faithfully standing with us and praying every month for Israel, the nations and our ministry. This month, the regular prayer meeting on the first Wednesday of the month falls in the midst of our Feast of Tabernacles celebration. Celebrating this biblical Feast has been the hallmark of the ministry of the International Christian Embassy since its beginning 40 years ago. In fact, the ICEJ was actually founded during the first Christian celebration of Sukkot.

This year, for the first time we are unable to hold the physical celebration in Jerusalem because of the Corona crisis, which forced Israel to completely close its borders. However, we will “keep the Feast” and celebrate it online.There is still time to register and experience this unique festival together with thousands of fellow believers from around the world. The Feast registration is open until the last day of our event on the 8th of October, and by registering you will gain access to all the live programs and seminars, including more than 80 inspiring messages with teaching, interviews and testimonies, until January 30, 2020.

This year’s Feast includes a 24/7 online Prayer Vigil for the full seven days of our gathering, and we encourage you to join us. You will first need to register for the Feast at on.icej.org/FOT2020. Then once you are logged onto the Feast platform, you can click on the button for 24/7 prayer and it will take you into the Zoom prayer room. The Feast Prayer Vigil will be taking place at all hours from Friday, 2 October to Thursday 8 October.

This Feast is one example of the special set times in the biblical calendar. Leviticus chapter 23 describes the various feasts and calls them appointed festivals, to be proclaimed at their appointed times. The Hebrew word translated as appointed is moed and we can find it also in Exodus 29:42-43, where it does not denote a moment in time but rather a place: the tent of meeting is called in Hebrew ohel moed. This was the place where Moses had appointments with God, where he had fellowship with Him. The meaning of moed, therefore, is an appointment which God Himself sets up. He wants to have fellowship with His people and He has set aside special moments in time when He is ready to meet us in a special way.

The nation of Israel has been shaped by this cycle of appointments for thousands of years. We Christians from the nations have been grafted into the good olive tree and are called to partake of its rich sap. Centuries of anti-Judaism attitudes in the Church obscured this treasure, but we live in a time of restoration and many Christians are re-discovering the Hebraic roots of our faith. The biblical calendar, with its rich and often prophetic meanings, is part of this process.

One of the lesser known appointed times is the new moon, or rosh chodesh. It is commanded to the children of Israel in Numbers 10:10 and it is characterized by the blowing of the shofar. It marks the beginning of the new moon, and in many Scriptures we find that the Shabbat, the Feasts and Rosh Chodesh are mentioned together, that they are placed on the same level. In ancient times, the fixing of the beginning of the month was important because then it was possible to fix the date of the full moon, which marks the beginning of the most important biblical feasts, Passover in the spring and Sukkot in the fall.

So, Rosh Chodesh is an appointed time similar to the Feasts and the Shabbat, a time of drawing near to God, a time of gladness and joy. In today’s Israel, it does not have the status of a Shabbat, it is a normal working day, though in synagogues there are special services on this day. However, it does have a deeper meaning.

The blowing of the shofar is the most significant aspect of the new moon celebration. The Bible says it shall be a memorial. If we examine the Scriptures where the word “memorial” (zikaron in Hebrew) comes up, we find that it is used in the context of several sobering stories (Exodus 17:14, Numbers 16:39-40, Numbers 31:54). It is meant to draw attention to wrongdoing, to sins, to remember a catastrophe, in order to learn the lesson from history. The modern-day Yom HaZikaron, which commemorates Israel’s fallen soldiers just on the eve of Independence Day in Israel, serves a similar purpose.

This theme certainly comes out prominently at the biggest Rosh Chodesh, which opens the seventh month, the month of Tishri. The Bible calls it the Day of Trumpets, and it is referred to as Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. The shofar blast is considered to be a wake-up call, urging people to repent, cast away darkness, and walk in light, as it is written in Psalm 89:15: “Blessed are the people who know the sound of terua (shofar); they walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.”

We have just marked the Day of Trumpets with a 72-hour Prayer Call a few days ago. Being our faithful prayer partners, you have certainly noticed that we felt led, earlier this year, to mark every rosh chodesh by a global prayer chain to pray for revival in the nations and for the promised outpouring of the Spirit of God upon Israel. This initiative has quickly grown from 24 to 48 to 72 hours of uninterrupted prayer and worship, as teams from around the globe have joined us in a truly global prayer gathering. The overwhelming response seems to indicate that the Lord Himself has inspired this new movement, and we intend to continue meeting for prayer in the months to come.

The new moon celebration also has prophetic significance. In the last chapter of Isaiah, we read: And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 66:23)

It is fascinating that the Lord has led us to the topic of the new moon now, just like our founding fathers 40 years ago were led to choose Isaiah 40 verse 1 as the theme of the ICEJ, and began to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. That also has prophetic significance. The vision from Zechariah 14 about the nations coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles will only be fulfilled in the Messianic age, just like Isaiah’s word about the Rosh Chodesh.

But we have seen that over the last 40 years, there has been a change in the understanding of Sukkot in the Church. The Feast of Tabernacles has become the largest gathering of Christians in Israel. It seems that the time has come for the Church to also learn about the prophetic significance of the new moon. As we embark on this path, let us remember that the Lord wants our hearts, not outward rituals. As the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 2:16-17: let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Let us use the special appointed times He has decreed to draw near to God, and worship Him as the Creator and Lord of the Universe, and to emphasize the aspects of repentance and mercy. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

May the Lord bless you from Zion.

Mojmir Kallus  

Vice President – International Affairs 

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem 

 

The next day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Global Prayer Campaign will be

Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

Please join us!

 

We invite you to join this global movement of prayer by using our monthly prayer points whenever you pray corporately or individually. Also, if possible, join with us in prayer on the first Wednesday of every month as intercession resounds around the globe throughout the day. All you have to do is:

Pledge to prayStart a group

 

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