Fred R. Coulter—September 22, 2010

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Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles! A lot of us never figured we’d be this far, but here we are! There’s been a lot happen this year: politically, religiously and within the Churches of God. So we have to be alert and know why we’re here, where we’re going and the very purpose of our being. Right now there’s quite a bit of upheaval within the world and within the Churches of God. So let’s focus right in on the very purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles and what it means for us. We’ve gone through all the Holy Days up to this point. We just finished Atonement, which pictures putting away Satan the devil. Let’s go back to Revelation 20, and let’s begin where we left off, because in the flow and the sequence of the meaning of the Holy Days, when we come to the Feast of Tabernacles, we see a complete change in the structure of the world at every layer:

  • spiritually
  • physically
  • mentally
  • emotionally

—and the structure of it for people; those few that will be left.

Here in Revelation 20:1 we saw the last major event leading up to the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles: “Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, having the key of the abyss…. [v 2]: …And he took hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. Then he cast him into the abyss, and locked him up, and sealed the abyss over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were fulfilled; and after that it is ordained that he be loosed for a short time” (vs 1-3). Very important for us to realize that whenever Satan is around, sin permeates everything that there is. We know this because he’s the ‘god of this world’—right now. Before the righteous rule of the Kingdom of God—the government of God and the rule of saints—takes place, he has to be removed.

Notice what occurs then, v 4: “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them…” We’re going to judge the world! We are going to rule the world! This is paramount for us to keep in mind, because there are a lot of difficulties, terrible times ahead, and we’re going to live through them. We always need to keep our mind and our focus:

  • On the Kingdom of God!
  • Where we’re going!
  • What we’re doing!
  • What are we preparing for?
  • Why are we here?
  • What is our commitment?
  • Do we really love God?
  • Do we really love the brethren?

All of those things come into play.

“…and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (v 4). That’s going to be something! The whole understanding of the Feast now, we’re going to see:

  • What is it like?
  • What is it prophesied to be?
  • How will people live?

It will certainly be a whole lot different than us! It brings us back almost to the time that it was with Adam and Eve before they sinned—not quite, but almost! And this is going to be the time of the great harvest. This is going to be the time when billions are going to be brought into the Kingdom of God and the whole structure of everything is going to be changed.

Verse 6: “Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection… [We covered this on Pentecost, but notice how all the Holy Days fit in and follow in sequence the plan that God has.] …over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” So we need to keep that focus in mind. We’re going to cover some of the difficult times which we’re going to face.

And, as we have covered in some of the sermons this past summer, there are some really terrible times ahead! We need to follow exactly what we find in the model prayer in Matt. 6. The first thing we are to say after honoring God the Father and Jesus Christ is ‘Your kingdom come!’ We’re going to be part of the kingdom, brethren. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. And with that focus then, we can keep our minds on the things that God wants us to have, so that regardless of what takes place:

  • We’re not going to be detoured!
  • We’re not going to give up!
  • We’re going to be faithful.
  • We’re going to be true!
  • We’re going to have the understanding of God!

Let’s come back to Daniel, the seventh chapter, and let’s see that it was prophesied that it’s going to be given to us. How it’s not going to be left to other people. Of course, the book of Daniel is very instructive—isn’t it? Especially the epistle from King Nebuchadnezzar and the prophecy of how, as we look in the world today, truly, truly in our lifetime never have we seen it really fulfilled as much as it has been, that God puts over the kingdoms of the earth the basest of men! Now, we’ve been subject to it now going on two years here in the United States of America in an open, blatant way!

Notice what’s going to happen here; Christ returns! Daniel 7:17: “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings that shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High… [That’s us, brethren!] …shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (vs 17-18). He’s not going to leave it to other people. He’s going to give it to us!

Verse 26: “But the judgment shall sit… [that’s what we talked about in Rev. 20] …and his dominion shall be taken away to be consumed and to be destroyed unto the end…. [Notice what God is going to give us. Remember, we have an inheritance. We are joint heirs with Christ! We are going to be made immortal! We are going to be spirit beings! All the weakness of the past will have passed. All the problems and difficulties that we go through and experience will be over! We’re going to begin helping people: to teach them, to train them!] …his dominion shall be taken away to be consumed and to be destroyed unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And all kingdoms shall serve and obey Him” (vs 26-27).

That’s quite a thing! We’ve come to understand what this is going to be, all kingdoms will. They are then going to come under the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God. This prophecy is going to be fulfilled. When the Kingdom of God is here, the rule of Christ is here, the rule of the saints is here and how we’re going to be ruling and reigning with Christ. Every knee is going to bow!

Isaiah 45:21: “Declare and bring near; yea, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this of old? Who has told it from ancient times? Have not I, the LORD?…. [Prophesied about the Kingdom of God that is coming. It’s in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, all of the prophets of old, throughout all the New Testament, the very foundation and teaching of Jesus Christ.] …And there is no other God besides Me; a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Turn to Me… [This will be the message that we will teach: turn to Christ!] …and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else…. [We’re to be a part of this next verse]: …I have sworn by Myself… [Isn’t that interesting? Doesn’t that remind you of Gen. 22 where the promises given to Abraham and Isaac, where God said, ‘I have sworn by Myself that in blessing I will bless, and multiplying I will multiply—and then that carries right on out to the establishing of the Kingdom of God! So, when God says, ‘I have sworn by Myself’ it’s going to happen!] …the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not turn back, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (vs 21-23). They’re going to confess to Jesus Christ! We have a fulfillment of that back in Phil. 2.

  • Why did God do what He did through Jesus Christ?
  • What did Jesus Christ do?
  • What is going to be the end result of it?

Because He humbled Himself, took on the nature of man, became the sin offering for all of those who receive Him, God has exalted Him!

Philippians 2:9: “Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name which is above every name… [remember, we’re going to get a new name] …that at the name of Jesus… [here’s the fulfillment of this that we read in Isa. 45]: …every knee should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth…. [Salavation is going to cover the earth like the oceans and seas are right now.] …and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (vs 9-11).

Even the Psalms tell us how some of these things are going to be. Let’s come back here to Psalm 93, and let’s see where it says, ‘The Lord reigns!’ We’re going to be part of that! Jerusalem will be the headquarters of the world. That’s where God is going to put His name. That’s where the saints are going to come when we keep the Feast of Tabernacles—we’ll come to Jerusalem. That’s going to be quite a thing when that happens! All the other nations are going to keep the Feast of Tabernacles! Remember what we covered on the Feast of Trumpets: Zech. 14; that the Lord is going to be on the earth and all the saints with Him and then the first thing they’re going to learn is to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. That’s going to be really quite a thing—isn’t it? Yes!

Psalm 93:1—let’s see this description, and let’s look at this as a vision for us to understand how we can keep our perspective in this world and the meaning for keeping the Feast of Tabernacles now. “The LORD reigns; He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength. He clothed Himself and the world also is established; it shall not be moved. Your throne is established of old; You are from everlasting” (vs 1-2). That’s going to be quite a thing! We know in Isa. 2, we’ll cover later, the law is going to go forth from Zion! Christ is going to rule, and we’ll be there with Him.

Now, to show how wonderful this is going to be: “The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voices; the floods lift up their waves…. [and what is the ‘many waters’ but peoples and languages and tongues—right? So they’re going to be lifting up their praise to God.] …The LORD on high is mightier than the thunders of many waters, yea, mightier than the mighty waves of the sea. Your testimonies are very sure; Holiness adorns Your house [tabernacle] forever, O LORD” (vs 3-5).

There’s an awful lot in the Psalms about the reign and rule of God and Christ on the earth and our part with it. Psalm 72:11: “Yea, all kings shall prostrate themselves before Him; all nations shall serve Him.” That’s going to be quite a time—isn’t it? Look at what’s happening in the world today. Look at all the trauma and tribulation and difficulties that we are going through. What God is doing with us is demonstrating to all people that you cannot live your lives in rebellion against God, and that this world, under the rule of Satan the devil, has been an absolute disaster all through history. So, they’re all going to come.

Let’s see what it’s going to be like; let’s come down here to v 17: “His name shall endure forever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed. Blessed is the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone does wondrous things. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and all the earth is filled with His glory! Amen and Amen” (vs 17-19).

Let’s come to Psalm 86 and let’s see how these prophecies show that the whole world… Just imagine what it’s going to be like with the blessing of God on the whole world and all people. There aren’t going to be murders; aren’t going to be rapes; aren’t going to be treacherous times. We’ll look at some of the difficulties we’re going to have to face in the next few years. Brethren, there’re going to be many. That’s why we need to have absolutely fixed in our minds concerning the Kingdom of God and our commitment and our dedication and the thrust of everything that we do is focused in on that, because when it is—regardless of what happens:

  • you’ll be faithful
  • you’ll understand what’s going on
  • God will spare you with His angels
  • watch over you—as we know from the promises in Psa. 91

So we need to continually look forward to this time. Watch the news and you see all the things that are going on there—nothing is working out! That’s because God is in charge and for every major sin that men do, there’s a judgment; there’s a penalty. That’s all going to be changed.

Psalm 86:9: “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You… [We know Isa. 66 says it’s going to be from Sabbath to Sabbath, month to month, and all the Holy Days.] …O LORD, and shall glorify Your name, for You are great and do wonderful things; You alone are God” (vs 9-10). Of course, we’ll be the sons and daughters of God; we’re going to be helping and assisting in what we need to do.

Psalm 97:1—here we have some more insight into the rule of God, Kingdom of God: “The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of islands be glad…. [It’s going to be quite a time. It’s going to be something!] …Clouds and darkness are all around Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (vs 1-2). God is going to make Himself known to the world completely, in every way.

Verse 9: “For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted high above all gods…. [They’ll all be eliminated; won’t be a single one of them left! At the return of Christ they’re going to smash their idols and smash all of the false gods that they have, knowing when they see the return of Christ and the saints that those things aren’t going to help them.] (Now, here’s an admonition for us): …You who love the LORD, hate evil!” (vs 9-10). That’s one of the things concerning the throne of Christ.

Let’s come back to Hebrews, the first chapter, and see how we are to do this; how we are to love God, serve God, follow Christ. Notice how Christ is commended here. Notice the power that He’s going to have. Hebrews 1:8: “But on the other hand, of the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is into the ages of eternity; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; because of this, God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.’” (vs 8-9). Isn’t that a tremendous thing for us to understand? Prophesied from right here, Psa. 97. That’s how we’re to view things in the world. We are to love God. We are to love our neighbors. We are to love each other. But we’re to hate the evil, hate the sin, so that we can get it out of our lives and out of our minds and grow and change and overcome!

The things that we are going to face are going to be absolutely just mind-boggling, but we can see our way though it. Here’s how we do it, brethren. Remember the promise that Jesus gave. Let’s come back to 1-John, the first chapter, and let’s see how we are to help and strengthen each other, and love each other. Jesus said He’s gone to ‘prepare a place for us.’ That’s in New Jerusalem! That’s in the Kingdom of God! We know from the different parables that He says that different ones are going to reign over cities. We’re all going to have responsibilities and things to do.

Let’s see how we can take advantage of this Feast of Tabernacles and what we need to do with it, because the times are coming when it’s going to be very difficult to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and the times are just around the corner when it’s going to be difficult for us to meet. That’s why we have Church at Home. That’s why we have our website. That’s why we have the things that we have. We’re going to be in a time, brethren, that it’s going to be difficult for us to get together. So this Feast of Tabernacles, looking ahead down the road as to what’s going to happen, let’s make this the best Feast that we’ve ever had! Let’s have it a Feast

  • of fellowship
  • of service
  • of love

and to where then we can

  • encourage
  • help
  • uplift one another
  • watch out for each other
  • spend the time together

Here’s the reason why: What I want us to see is—and as you go through every one of the epistles, every part of the Bible—it constantly comes back to point to God the Father and Jesus Christ, over and over and over again. This is how 1-John starts out. And this is showing us the fellowship that we need to have and the loving fellowship that we have with the brethren. We need to not be judging one another, condemning one another. If you have any politics, leave them out! You know you can’t solve spiritual problems by political means. How many times have I said that? If you’ve got some pet foolish doctrine, forget it! Set it aside!

  • lift up your mind
  • lift up your heart
  • lift up your soul
  • lift up being

to God and understand the tremendous things that John has written here in helping us fellowship with one another. That’s the key, important thing for these eight days that we have—the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.

Notice where John begins and how he writes this. That we can be encouraged; that we can be uplifted; pointing our whole life, our whole being, toward this.

1-John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves… [they saw every action that Jesus did] …and our own hands handled… [after He was resurrected from the dead] …concerning the Word of life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us… [that’s the key] …for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ” (vs 1-3).

With that, brethren, let’s see through this Feast of Tabernacles that we can love each other, that we can help each other, that we can grow in grace and knowledge, and that we can truly, really have this to be with God’s Spirit and with our effort and with our love, the best Feast that we can.

Notice what this is supposed to do for us, v 4: “These things we are also writing to you, so that your joy may be completely full. And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is light, and there is no darkness at all in Him: (vs 4-5). Let’s make sure that we understand the love we need to have.

Let’s see here one thing that is really important. We know we’re to keep the commandments of God, as we’ve covered in The Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping. Come over here to 1-John 2:5: “On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…. [And let’s see how much of the love of God can be perfected during this Feast—in each one of us—so that we can truly love God and love each other.] …being perfected [in us]. By this means we know that we are in Him. Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked” (vs 5-6).

That’s how we are to live our lives. This is the standard, brethren. With this, it doesn’t matter what comes. With this kind of attitude and this kind of love, doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world.

  • God is with us!
  • God is for us!
  • God has called us!
  • God has loved us!

This is what we are to do. Let’s come over here to 1-John 3:18—let’s see how we are to love and let’s see what that does for us. “My little children… [I suppose that at 100-years-old, when John wrote this, we are his little children.] …we should not love in word, nor with our tongues; rather, we should love in deed and in truth.” Let’s make that a keynote for this Feast of Tabernacles—loving each other!

Now, there may be some brethren attending here for the first time. Maybe they’ve gone through a lot of the Church wars because they certainly have heated up this past year. Some brethren have gone through some difficult times and terrible experiences.

  • Love them!
  • Encourage them!
  • Help them!
  • Be an example to them—by the way that you talk and live!
  • Spend some time with them!
  • Have meals together with them

Enjoy this Feast of Tabernacles through the love of God!

Verse 19: “And in this way we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him…” Yes, we will have the confidence; yes, we will have the assurance, because we’ll be loving each other.

1-John 4:7: “Beloved, we should love one another…”

  • This love is to grow!
  • This love is spiritual!
  • This love comes from God!
  • This is what brings us together and binds us together!

But first we have to have that love of God, which binds us to Him. That’s what he was talking about in 1-John 1, with the fellowship, fellowship with the Father and with Christ. This is why everyday during the Feast we need to pray. Everyday during the Feast we need to get together. If there’s some little problem or difficulty that comes up, get it resolved, but love each other. Let this be a good time, a great Feast! This will strengthen us, because we can be guaranteed that after the Feast of Tabernacles don’t be surprised if the bottom falls out of everything! So, what’s going to remain through all of that? Our love of God and our love of each other!

“Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God because God is love” (vs 7-8). And that’s been a terrible problem within the Churches of God, brethren.

  • Now is the time to help heal that breach!
  • Now is the time to overcome that!
  • Now is the time to encourage one another!

“In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love… [See how everything comes back to God the Father and Jesus Christ] …—not that we loved God… [Oh, that we’re so good that we love God! No, we love God because of what He’s done for us!] …rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins…. [That we can come to God and be cleansed, be healed, be raised up, be encouraged—all of those things.] …Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another” (vs 9-11). Same verbiage that we have back in John 13, that we’re ‘duty-bound’ to wash one another’s feet. And that shows we’re ‘duty-bound’ to love one another.

Verse 12: “No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another… [And this love is to come every way:

  • through thick and thin
  • through good times
  • through bad times
  • through hard times

—it will be there. “Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us.” That’s what we want for this Feast of Tabernacles, brethren. It’s exactly what we want!

Verse 13: “By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us… [Isn’t that the theme of the Feast of Tabernacles, really, for us today! Yes, it is! God dwelling in us, then we will dwell with God. What a wonderful proposition—huh? That’s the whole meaning of the Gospel! That’s the whole meaning of the plan of God!] …because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us.” That’s something—isn’t it? Yes!

Verse 15: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God…. [That’s provided that they’ve repented, been baptized, received the Holy Spirit of God and are walking in the Truth. All the other Scriptures come to bear on this.] …And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him” (vs 15-16). You can change the word ‘dwell’ to living. Isn’t that something? The one who’s living in love. That requires every one of us to change, to overcome, and to think of the other person and not ourselves. Through this Feast of Tabernacles we can love God in so many different ways by loving and fellowshipping with each other.

Verse 17: “By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world…. [here’s the strength and here is the spiritual fortification through love that God is going to give us so that we will be able to endure the difficult times ahead and look forward to the Kingdom of God, and look forward to the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.] …There is no fear in the love of God…” (vs 17-18).

Fearful things are going to happen; frightful things are going to take place, but if we have that love of God deeply dwelling within us, we can get through those times; we can understand those times. They won’t take us down! Those events and those things will not pull us away from God. Nothing can pull us away from God! He’s going to give us the Kingdom. He is going to give us the rule and reign!

“There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear…” (vs 17-18). That’s an important thing to really understand:

  • through the love of God
  • through the Truth of God
  • through the strength of God

That fear can be cast out! And who’s the author of fear and the spirit of fear and the spirit of bondage? Satan the devil! “…because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the loveof God. We love Him because He loved us first” (vs 18-19).

Here’s a little test for all of us, and we’ll conclude—v 20: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother” (vs 20-21).

Now, you can show that love during the Feast of Tabernacles, spending time

  • fellowshipping
  • visiting
  • having meals together
  • concern for each other
  • pray for each other

Develop the bond of fellowship that comes through the Spirit of God and the love of God, and make this Feast of Tabernacles the greatest and best Feast that we’ve ever had in our entire lives within the Church.

Brethren, see you tomorrow morning for the first services for the Holy Day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 20:1-4, 6
  • Daniel 7:17-18, 26-27
  • Isaiah 45:21-23
  • Philippians 2:9-11
  • Psalm 93:1-5
  • Psalm 72:11, 17-19
  • Psalm 86:9-10
  • Psalm 97:1-2, 9-10
  • Hebrews 1:8-9
  • 1 John 1:1-5
  • 1 John 2:5-6
  • 1 John 3:18-19
  • 1 John 4:7-13, 15-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 6
  • Genesis 22
  • Zechariah 14
  • Isaiah 2
  • Psalm 91
  • Isaiah 66
  • John 13

Also referenced: Sermon Series:

The Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping

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