A foretaste of dwelling with God

Fred R. Coulter—September 23, 2018

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles 2018, and time just keeps going on! Here we are preparing for the Kingdom of God and the greatest thing that's going to happen to this world. It's very interesting how the whole Bible relates to the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.

We'll see that beginning tomorrow, but today let's ask:

  • Why are we here?
  • What do we understand?
  • What do we really believe?
  • Do we believe it to live by it?

Jesus said to 'live by every Word of God.' Yes that's why were here. If we didn't believe it we wouldn't be here.

People not in the Church or in other churches of the world will ask us, 'What makes you think that you know more then all of our great religious leaders?' We know that God has 'chosen the foolish things of the world,' and that's us! He didn't choose the high and mighty. Psa. 25 tells us why we know, and why the world doesn't know.

Psalm 25:1: "To You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You… [notice every word, because these are all important] …do not let me be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me" (vs 1-2).

There are many enemies out there lurking and waiting in the wings to come and get us. More and more anti-Christian things are coming to the fore. While it may look like there may be a little more peace in the world for a little while, the forces of evil that are coming against all forms of Christianity are gaining momentum! There will be the day coming when everything will be for the last shot: Church at Home (churchathome.org}.

Verse 3: "Yea, let none who wait on You be ashamed..." That's all of us! God wants us not to be ashamed; He want us to:

  • rejoice
  • be thankful
  • be alert to the things that are happening

and He wants us most of all

  • to really grow in grace and knowledge and prepare for what the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles shows us

"…let them be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths" (vs 3-4).

True Christianity is a way of life, and Jesus is that way! He is the Truth and He is the Life! Notice how this ties in directly with the New Testament. Amazing isn't it?

Verse 5: "Lead me in Your Truth and teach me…" Now think about that! We're told that we will all be taught of God! How is that? That's because we have the Word of God! It's inspired of God. So, whatever we learn from here and with God's Spirit we're being taught by God! Amazing isn't it?

"….for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day long. Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindness, for they have been of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your loving kindness remember me for Your goodness sake, O LORD" (vs 5-7).

We have the Passover, baptism, forgiveness of sin, and removing our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west! Amazing how the Bible over and over again shows us how it's all one fantastic marvelous book.

Verse 8: "Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He will teach sinners in the way. The meek He will guide in judgment; and the meek He will teach His way" (vs 8-9). Right there in two verses the way of the Lord!

Verse 4: "Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths"—all the paths of the road! Jesus said, 'I am the Way and the Truth.' Way comes from the word 'hodos,' and 'x-hodos'—the book of Exodus—tells us how God brought the children of Israel out from Egypt. God is 'x-hodosing' us out of Babylon the Great spiritually.

The world doesn't know us. But just think what a surprise it is going to be, and we're going to be part of that, brethren.

Verse 10: "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and Truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. What man is he who fears the LORD? He shall teach him in the way that He shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the earth" (vs 10-13).

Isn't that what were going to inherit? Yes! Psa. 37 says three times inherit the earth! What are we? We're co-inheritors with Christ (Rom. 8). See how it ties all in together? There's the physical there's the spiritual, but they all tie together in one great fantastic mystery to the world, but knowledge to us!

Verse 14: "The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him…" The New Testament calls it mystery! What is the secret of the Lord? His whole plan as pictured by the Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days of God! The secret is that if you don't love God and keep His commandments, believe Him, and keep the commandments of the Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days, you will never understand! It's that simple!

People in the world think that they can take the occult holidays of the world and tack on the name of Jesus Christ and think that they're Christian. Well, they are not! They may have some Christian principles, but that's not what true Christianity is all about. We'll see that in a little bit. "…and He will show them His covenant" (v 14).

Now let's look at one of the secrets of God in Isa. 9. This is something that the Jews have never understood though they have the Old Testament. Just like the Christians of the world they have the whole Bible, but 'Christians' say that you don't need to read the Old Testament because that's all been fulfilled. So, they concentrate on the New Testament and they don't even understand what it says. They extract from it Christian living principles minus obedience to God! Now, you think on that!

Isaiah 9:6 is a great mystery to the Jews: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Let's analyze this a little bit more:

"…Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God..." How can a physical baby be called "…The Mighty God…" unless He's God manifested in the flesh? The only way you find out about that is in the New Testament!

"…The Everlasting Father…" When will Jesus be become a Father? When He's married to the Church and all the children that come into the Kingdom of God through the Millennium will be the children of Jesus Christ and the Church. Therefore, He will be an "…Everlasting Father…" because He lives forever!

God the Father will be the Father of those in the first resurrection, and He likewise is an Everlasting Father. Now think about that. That's all contained here in the Bible.

Verse 7: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." Amazing!

Even the disciples wanted to know, just before Jesus ascended to heaven for the last time, 'Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' They were all looking for Jesus to establish the kingdom. But God has a greater plan a bigger plan far beyond what they ever dreamt of! They had some glimpses of it, but today we're in a position to look back and see what God has been doing and how He has been doing it. We have some greater understanding.

Let's see what God wanted to do with Israel in the letter of the Law. It's possible to keep the commandments of God in the letter. It will do certain things for you and certain blessings will come from God if you do. That's why there are people in the world who are what you would call decent upright citizens. They live good lives, they try to be good and honest, etc.. even though they're still deceived by the false religion of this world with their Sunday-keeping and holiday-keeping. They only come so far.

Just before the children of Israel were to go into the Holy Land, Moses gave them the book of Deuteronomy. He reminded them of everything that went on up through the 40 years that they wandered in the wilderness. When the 12 spies came back from spying out the land (Num. 14), ten of them were moaning and groaning and saying, 'We can't possibly do it.' Only Caleb and Joshua said that God will fight for us! Because the people didn't believe, they wandered in the desert for 40 years. So at the end of the 40 years after Moses was told he's not going to go into the 'promised land'…

Deut. 4—let's apply these things to us because we are to enter into the Kingdom of God to rule the world. Let's apply these things to us so that we stay on the straight and narrow path and the way as we saw in Psa. 25.

Deuteronomy 4:1: "And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them…" Jesus said, 'Why do you call me Lord, Lord and you do not the things that I say.' Same thing.

"…so that you may live and go in and possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you…. [for us to enter into the Kingdom of God] …You shall not add to the word, which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you" (vs 1-2). We're going to see how similar that is to the New Testament!

Verse 3: "Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal Peor. For the LORD your God has destroyed from among you all the men that followed Baal Peor. And you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive, every one of you, this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it" (vs 3-5).

That was a type of the coming Kingdom of God. So as we read these things let's apply them to us today. We will see a little bit later that there's a spiritual application for it is well.

Verse 6: "And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'" That's what we should be his physical Israel wise and understanding people!

But we're foolish and stupid and given over to our own lust. Today it's absolutely unbelievable. Here is what the nations were to do., look to the physical nation of Israel and they would say:

Verse 7: "For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments that are so righteous as all this Law, which I set before you today?" (vs 7-8).

Think about everything that God has set before us. Think about all the understanding that we have with the whole Bible and the New Testament. Why? Because we love God and keep his commandments!

Always remember that the greatest commandment is love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength! This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself! And upon these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Everything in the Old Testament is based on loving God. Don't you think that all of the patriarchs of God loved God, obeyed His voice and kept His commandments like it was said of Abraham. You know that that was true of Abel, Enoch, Noah and all of the kings who were righteous and all of the prophets who loved and obeyed God. Yes indeed!

I want you to remember what we covered concerning what Paul told the elders to do: Take heed! So likewise with us; we are to let God's Spirit rule in our lives through the Word of God, and we are to take heed to ourselves and our own weaknesses so that our sins do not take hold of us!

Instead of having just the physical Law to keep it in the letter, now we have the Spirit of the Law, which is going to convert our mind, something they never had with the covenant with Israel. But with the covenant of Israel here's what Moses told them:

Verse 9: "Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself…"

If you don't do it you begin to forget. You put self, pleasure, things and success first, and then God just gradually goes away. Like it says there in John 3, the one who is of God comes to the Light, and Christ is the Light. So we are coming to the Light constantly, to Christ! If you turn and go the other way because the Light exposes your sins, and you walk away, sooner or later the Light becomes dimmer and dimmer, and blank.

"…lest you forget the things, which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But teach them to your children, and your children's children, to remember the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me [Moses], 'Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My words so that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and they may teach their children.'" (vs 9-10).

So, they came near. God spoke all of these words. What happened? 'Moses, you speak to us. Don't let God speak to us, lest we die.'

Now we're going to see something very, very interesting, because the whole meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, as we will learn beginning tomorrow, is to dwell with God! That's how it started with Adam and Eve, and it ends up in Rev. 21 & 22: dwelling with God, 'behold the tabernacle of God is with men'; men and women made perfect! That's why we're here!

It's quite amazing that if you analyze John 14-17, that it actually lays out the whole substance of the New Covenant and the plan of God. The plan of God begins with the Sabbath. What comes after that? The Passover! And these words in John 14-17 were spoken by Jesus on his last Passover night, spoken to his apostles.

Then we have Unleavened Bread, getting sin out of our lives, and conversion of our mind and heart. That comes with Pentecost and receiving the Spirit of God, and then growing and overcoming. Even persecution, where those would take us out and kill us and thinking they are doing service to God.

Read John 17 where Christ lays out in His final prayer, the finality of the plan of the New Covenant. That's amazing! The Bible is truly the most amazing astounding book in the world. Even though we have it, and even though we study it, it's something that we will not fully grasp in our lifetime regardless of how long we study it or how long we've been in the Church or whatever.

Always remember that most of the critical mistakes by the patriarchs of old and the kings of old, happened in their latter years or their old age. We'll see some of that as we go through the Feast of Tabernacles.

John 14:1: "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me…. [have faith] …In My Father's house are many dwelling places…" (vs 1-2).

  • What is the Father's house? New Jerusalem!
  • Isn't that where the Father and Christ are going to dwell?

We won't need any light because the glory of God lightens New Jerusalem. When we read it and see what kind of city that is, that's awesome and overwhelming. But this is what God has promised us!

"…if it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you" (v 2). Think about what Christ is doing preparing for all the saints down through time:

  • a place to live
  • a job
  • to have a work to do
  • a truth to preach

in the coming Government of God, which Christ is going to sit on the Throne of David and be King over all the world. This is what God has called us to!

Verse 3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again…" As we covered on Trumpets, when He comes it's going to be mighty awesome.

"…and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, you may be also" (v 3). To dwell with God! That's the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles, and Jesus was God in the flesh.

Verse 4: "'And where I am going you know, and the way you know.' Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going; how then can we know the way?'" (vs 4-5).

In v 6 Jesus said some of the most important words in the Bible: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way… [not a way] …and the Truth… [not a truism] …and the Life…'"

That's important. Remember what Jesus said to the young man who wanted to follow him. And he said 'I'll follow you wherever you go, but first let me go bury my father.' What did Jesus say? Let the dead bury the dead, because spiritually as far as God is concerned, those who are unconverted are as good as dead! They have the law of sin and death with in them, and life only comes from Christ!

That's why we have to be buried in the watery grave of baptism to get rid of the old self, to get rid of the carnality that we have, and walk in God's way!

Verse 13: "And whatever you shall ask in My name, this will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Remember that regardless of the trial, regardless of how depressing it may be, Christ and God the Father are there to help you.

  • turn to Them with all your heart, mind, soul and being
  • ask Them to help you
  • ask Them to inspire you

They will! They surely will!

Verse 14. "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it…. [according to the will of God] …If you love Me…" (vs 14-15).

  • a lot of people say they love of the Lord
  • a lot of people say they love Jesus

"…keep the commandments—namely, My commandments" (v 15).

Magnify that and understand that Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament, God manifested in the flesh. This covers more than just going through and trying to pick out his commandments. But I guarantee you one thing, you'll find all the Ten Commandments of God, and all about the love of God in the words that He has said and in the words that He inspired the apostles to write for us. God's plan is going to be carried out in power, strength and wonder!

Verse 16: "And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: Even the Spirit of the Truth… [Psa. 45 where we began] …which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you. I will not leave you orphans…" (vs 16-18).

Lord, how are you going to do this? Verse 21: "'The one who has My commandments… [Do we have them? Yes!] …and is keeping them… [yes] …that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.' Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?' Jesus answered and said to him…" (vs 21-23).

Now vs 23 & 24 are the most important of all, because this shows that in this life that God is dwelling in us with the earnest of the Holy Spirit! We, in a sense, are tabernacling with God as a foretaste of what it's going to be like in the Kingdom of God!

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word…. [that's His whole message] …and My Father will love him…"

  • when you get down
  • when you get depressed
  • when you're facing a trial
  • when it seems like it's more than you can handle

Remember, when all else fails God loves you! The Father Himself loves you.

"…and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (v 23). That's the earnest of the Spirit!

Pentecost pictures the full payment of receiving the Spirit of God so that we can become spirit beings; that we will be like Christ in his glorified form. We'll be able to have glory much less than His, but nevertheless it's glory. "…and We will come to him and make Our abode… [dwelling place] …with him."

Verse 24. "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me."

2-Cor. 6—Paul writes that this is why we're called of the world, because we're not in the system of it we don't live like it. We live God's way in the world and Jesus said that God the Father is going to protect us from the evil one, Satan the devil, if we yield ourselves to God. Here's a warning. Just like Moses gave the warning to the children of Israel (Deut. 4).

2-Corinthians 6:14. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common?.… [nothing] … And what fellowship does light have with darkness?…. [can't be] …And what union does Christ have with Belial?.…" (vs 14-15)—all those foolish pastors and prophets out there that think they can take the days of Satan the devil—the occult holidays and their Baal-worship, Sunday—and put that with a Christian covering. They have a false Christianity, and yet, they think they're doing the will of God. Never happened!

"…Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God… [we are a temple of God. because we have the Holy Spirit within us] …and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them… [John 14] …and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (vs 15-16).

Today, because were living in Babylon the Great, there's a very important verse for us; v 17: "'Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18).

What does this impel us to do? 2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

Now that's what we are to do. That's what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about. This is a preview of our work for a thousand years in the Government of God under Jesus Christ Who is King of kings and Lord of lords. So, have a great Feast see you tomorrow!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 25:1-8, 4, 10-14
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-10
  • John 14:1-6, 13-18, 21-24
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1

Scriptures quoted, not referenced:

  • Psalm 37
  • Romans 8
  • Numbers 14
  • John 3
  • Revelation 21; 22
  • John 15-17

FRC:po/bo        Transcribed: 7/22/18

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