Fred R. Coulter—October 1, 2012

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2012! What a glorious Feast this is going to be! While the world is going literally 'to hell in a hand-basket' God is teaching and training His people. He has called us to come before Him with joy, happiness, thanksgiving, so that we can have the eight days—including the last day—where we can concentrate on the very purpose of our being, why we're here, and what's going to happen in the world.

So, this is a great and fantastic Feast! I hope you will have a wonderful Feast; that you will be able to fellowship, spend time with brethren, eat meals together, discuss Scriptures together and have a wonderful Feast. I wished I could be with you in every place that you're located, but the closest I can come to it is with these videos.

As you know, God has given—and for a very specific purpose and reason, too—all the Holy Days in time and sequence in Lev. 23. This is a test of faith:

  • Do we believe God?
  • Do we believe His Word?
  • Do we understand the spiritual meaning of these days?

Though they were given to Israel, they belong to God! This is not the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles; this is God's! Let's see what God says. Also, as we read these things, let's understand that we are spiritual Israel. Let's also understand something else: While they had to dwell in booths or tents, we understand that everything on earth is temporary. Instead of dwelling in a booth or a tent, God dwells in us with His Holy Spirit. Let's keep that in mind.

Leviticus 23:33: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, "The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD"'" (vs 33-34). That's what this is; we have seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day—or the eighth day.

Verse 35. On the first day shall be a Holy convocation…. [which is today] …You shall do no servile work therein. Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD…." (vs 35-36). These were the offerings that were to be given by the priesthood. You can read about all those offerings in Num. 28-29, and by looking at everything that they brought to sacrifice, you will see that it was to be a time of

  • joy
  • plenty
  • goodness
  • rejoicing before God

—because He has given us everything—everything physically, everything spiritually: He's given us His understanding; He's given us His Spirit. That's a tremendous thing—isn't it, brethren? You need to think about that! We'll cover some of these things as we go along.

Verse 37: "These are the Feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything on its day." Those were the formal offerings that were to be given by the priesthood.

All of us, all of those attending then, were to bring their sacrifices. We find this in v 38: "Besides the Sabbath… [plural; every Holy Day is a Sabbath, an annual Sabbath] …of the LORD, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a Feast to the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath" (vs 38-39).

What kind of offering are we to bring? Realize that in the days that we are living right now, we are faced with difficult economic times. They may get much more difficult. But always remember this: Never hold back from giving to God! He is able to provide for us in every case. This is why He says here:

Deuteronomy 16:16: "Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty…. [They shall come prepared!] …Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God, which He has given you" (vs 16-17).

Every time we come to bring an offering to God we need to remember

  • the physical blessings
  • the spiritual blessings
  • the intervention of God in our lives
  • the knowledge of the Word of God that He has given to us
  • the opening up of His understanding of His Holy Days and the meaning of them

All of those are things that we can consider. We are not to bring just a penurious little bit, which then represents the offerings that were the bomish type.

Jesus talks about the widow who gives her two mites and He says that she 'gave more than all of the rich who were casting in from their abundance.' So, all of this then becomes

  • a test of faith
  • a test of our belief in God
  • proving whether we love God or not

God is able to make all grace abound to us so that we have sufficiency in all things! Always remember this: God operates on freely give, because you have freely received!

That is what we would call the principle of reciprocity: Others have given so you can receive; you give so others can receive. This has a multiplying effect. This is how God wants us to

  • serve the brethren
  • feed the flock
  • preach the Gospel to the world
  • to make known His Word
    • to publish it
    • to preach it
    • to do the things that God wants
    • always stand for the Truth of God and righteousness of God in everything that we do

(pause for the offering)

I. Governments, education and so forth:

God has a message for all the nations and kingdoms of this world. That is : you have failed!

  • because you have cast the Law of God behind your backs!
  • because you have allowed the people to sin!
  • because you have been corrupted from head to toe!

Christ is going to come and replace every single one of you! He's going to established His kingdom, and He's going to establish His righteousness. Look at the things that have happened:

  • governments have failed
  • science and education has failed
  • religions of this world have failed

Every religion is a substitute for the Truth of God!

What happens? Why did all the nations get into the mess that they are in? Because they turn their backs on God! As we saw on the Feast of Trumpets, Christ is going to come back and shake

  • the heavens
  • the earth
  • the sea
  • all nations
  • all people

and He is going to setup His government beginning in Jerusalem.

We know that this is going to be an awesome thing, indeed! Let's come to Zech. 14 because this tells us how it's going to happen. Let's see what the prophecy says, and we will be there with Him. When we come down off the Sea of Glass to the earth, let's see how it's described here. Nations will no longer be able to do the way that they have done. Yet, everything they want and really desire comes from God. Yet, they've rejected it to this point. Christ is going to bring it; here's how it's going to happen:

Zechariah 14:1: "Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst, 'For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem; and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women raped. And half of the city shall go into exile, and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.' And the LORD shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle" (vs 1-3).

And we saw what a tremendous thing that is going to be. Anyone willing to fight against God? That's a difficult proposition! Let's see the weapon that He uses against them.

Verse 4: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives…" Isn't that interesting? Remember, Jesus and the apostles went out and were on the Mt. of Olives. After Jesus told them, 'You stay in Jerusalem until you receive power from heaven.' That, of course, was on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given. And on that Mt. of Olives, as He was talking, right before their eyes, He ascended into heaven. The angels said to them, 'You men, why are you gazing up in heaven. This same Jesus Whom you saw received up into heaven will come in like manner, and every eye will see Him' (Rev. 1). It's not going to be done in a corner!

So, His feet are going to come right back to the Mt. of Olives, right to the spot where He ascended into heaven after being with the disciples for 40 days and 40 nights.

"…and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley…." (v 4). The whole geography of the Middle East is going to suddenly be changed because of the coming and presence of God.

"…And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 'And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.'…." (vs 4-5). That was quite an earthquake. Even Josephus recorded that the earth came like a tsunami—a wall four feet high of earth crushing down on the armies that were ready to capture Judah and Jerusalem. Destroyed the armies!

"…And the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with You" (v 5)—all the saints from Abel to the two witnesses. That includes us! It's going to be quite a day, and immediately we're going to see that God begins to repair and heal the earth.

Verse 6: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. And it will be one day which shall be known to the LORD, neither day nor night; but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters… [to heal the earth; also typical of the Holy Spirit of God] …shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them shall go toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea. In summer and in winter it shall be" (vs 6-8).

It's going to be a healing for all the nations. All the governments in the world will submit. We'll see that in just a minute.

Verse 9: "And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name shall be one." That's going to be a tremendous thing, brethren! Think about the fact that we are going to be part of that!

Verse 11: "And they shall dwell in it, and there shall never again be any more utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall dwell safely." Now then, it talks about the plague that is going to come upon those who fight against Christ. This is going to teach the nations of the world: Don't try and resist Jesus Christ—King of this earth—and the kings and priest who are reigning with Him.

Verse 12: "And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the people who have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets. And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall be in that day that a great panic from the LORD shall be among them. And they shall each one lay hold of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations all around shall be gathered…" (vs 12-14).
Christ is going to setup a world system of finance based upon real wealth, real productivity, based upon the land sabbath and the jubilee cycle, to bring peace, happiness, prosperity and everything that everyone has desired, but no government and no person has been able to provide. God is going to do it for all.

"…—gold, and silver, and clothing in great abundance. And likewise shall be the plague of the horse, the mule, the camel, and the donkey, and of all the beasts which shall be in these camps—it shall be as this plague. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (vs 14-16).

The Feast of Tabernacles every year is going to be a commemoration of the establishing of the Kingdom of God on earth, and forward looking to New Jerusalem and the heavenly kingdom that comes from the Father. This is going to be added meaning to the Feast of Tabernacles. Now then, God shows there's going to be a penalty against those who don't keep the Feast of Tabernacles. It shows that if they don't go up, God is going to hold back the rain. If Egypt doesn't come, the plague.

Let's come to Isaiah and let's see where it talks about this very thing. As we read this, this is at the beginning of the Millennium, the establishing of the Kingdom of God, the setting up of the rule of God. Before that happens, the first thing that God is going to do when He sets everything up in Jerusalem, He's going to setup His tabernacle. The temple that is described in Ezek. 40-48 is not the Millennial temple. Isa. 4 tells us about the Millennial temple.

Isaiah 4:4: "When the LORD shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from its midst by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the LORD will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion…" (vs 4-5). Where will we be living? What did Jesus say in John 14?

  • If you believe in God, believe also in Me!
  • If I go I will come again and bring you to Myself so that you may be with Me!
  • I am going to prepare a place for you!

That has two meanings:

  • here in Isa. 4
  • in heavenly Jerusalem

Verse 5: "And the LORD will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day… [It's not going to be a physical building that Christ and the saints are going to be in. It's going to be in a tabernacle.] …and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy." That's how it's going to look.

Verse 6: "And there shall be a tabernacle for shade by day from the heat, and for refuge, and for shelter from storm and rain." This is what they're going to see when they come up to the house of the Lord. It's going to be an awesome thing, indeed!

Christ is not going to go out an immediately begin dealing with all the kingdoms of the world. First, He's going to deal with the 12 tribes of Israel, bring them back to their inheritance. There will be nations that will see what is happening and they will come up to Jerusalem to find out what they need to do.

Isaiah 2:1: "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass, in the last days the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (vs 1-3).

Let's just stop and think here for a minute. The argument that the Law of God is done away. When Christ comes back and sets up the kingdom, what is one of the first things He does? He sets up the Law! Notice what He has to do, because He gives everyone an opportunity to repent and come to Him. If they won't come to Him, notice what happens:

Verse 4: "And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people… [they won't want to come to learn of God right away] …and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." The greatest thing is going to happen. The Government of God is going to reign and rule!

  • Let's see how it's going to work out.
  • Let's see how these things come about.
  • Let's see how God is going to do it.
  • Let's see how everything is going to be changed back to the way that it should be.

The whole environment is going to be changed. The nature of animals is going to be changed. All education will be changed. All science will be changed. The Government of God is going to rule! We're going to teach the people. Here's a prophecy of it; prophecy of Christ. Remember that it was prophesied that He was born to be king and of the 'increase of His government there shall be no end.'

Isaiah 11:1: "And there shall come forth a shoot out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. And His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. And He shall not judge according to the sight of His eyes, nor after the hearing of His ears. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor… [and with righteousness He's going to judge the nations, and we are going to be there to help administer this] …and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked" (vs 1-4).

That's what it means to cause the nations to want to 'beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.' And He rebukes people afar off.

Verse 5: "And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. Also the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the cub lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (vs 5-6). Won't that be wonderful? No more plastic toys; no more silly make-believe. You can have the pet of your choice. Won't that be something? Just think of the excitement of that! And so tame that a little child will lead them.

Then you look out and you see what's happening in the pastures and you see lo and behold, v 7: "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain; for the earth… [notice what's going to happen; all nations, all people] …shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (vs 7-9).

Everyone is going to know! What a fantastic thing that is going to be! What a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring this to the world. That's why God has called us the few, the poor, the discards, the rejects of the world.

But with His Spirit we can bring this, v 10: "And in that day there shall be the Root of Jesse standing as a banner for the people; to Him the nations shall seek; and His rest shall be glorious." Just think how absolutely wonderful that that is going to be! Christ is the One Who can bring it!

II: Message to all people of the world

There's a message to all people in the world. We already saw it there in Isa. 2, now let's go to Psalm 95—here we see some other things concerning the Kingdom of God, the reign of God, the rule of God. That's something! It's going to be

  • a time of joy
  • a time of happiness
  • a time of love
  • a time of goodness
  • a time of plenty

No more of all the things that have gone on because people have rejected God.

  • no more drought
  • no more famine
  • no more oppressive government
  • no more slaughtering
  • no more murdering
  • no more kidnapping

Psalm 95:1: "O come, let us sing to the LORD… [I wonder what that is going to be like with the songs that we will have during the Millennium? That the people who come through all the wars and things are going to be able to learn and understand and know the way of God.] …let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms, for the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods" (vs 1-3).

Of course, we're going to be spirit beings, too, so that probably includes us. There will be no more idols, no more gods of this earth at all.

Verse 4: "In His hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are also His. The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker, for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would but hearken to His voice" (vs 1-7). Then we will also have those things there to teach them not to let carnal nature let you get carried away.

Carnal nature is going to be modified to what it was with Adam and Eve when they were created. It's not going to have the all out evil that was there.

Psalm 97: "The LORD reigns…" That's going to be the first message that we bring to all people. The beast power will have been destroyed. Just think of the cities all destroyed. Think of all the work that has to be done to rebuild. But every vestige of every idol and the way of Babylon the Great is going to be obliterated!

"…let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of islands be glad. Clouds and darkness are all around Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne" (vs 1-2). He's going to show His might and show His power.

Verse 3: "A fire goes before Him and burns up His enemies round about." They will have understood that that happened. That's what God is going to do.

Verse 4: "His lightning lights up the world; the earth saw and trembled. The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory" (vs 4-6). It's going to be quite a thing when that happens.

Verse 7: "All those who serve graven images are ashamed who boast themselves in idols… [they're going to destroy them; break them into smithereens] …bow down to Him, all you gods. Zion heard and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of Your judgments, O LORD, for You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted high above all gods" (vs 7-9). They're all going to be destroyed.

Listen! Here's the message for us, v 10: "You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones, and praise His Holy name" (vs 10-12). This is going to be something—isn't it?

Brethren, I want you to realize and understand and grasp, this is what we're going to be doing. This is our destiny!

  • The Lord reigns!
  • The Lord is King!
  • The Lord is God over all the earth!
  • All other gods are going to be destroyed; smashed to smithereens!

There's one temple in Cambodia that they're rebuilding—the Temple of Angkor. They're rebuilding it for tourists to come and see and then they'll be worshipping there before Christ returns. But that's going to be destroyed! Every temple! Every idol! Every church! Every cave! Every underground thing that men have built so they can continue their evil ways! All are going to be crushed. Then there's going to be a change, a renewal, a time of rejoicing:

Psalm 98:1: "O sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. The LORD has made known His salvation; He Has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations" (vs 1-2). Then is going to pour forth

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Spirit of love
  • the Spirit of righteousness
  • the Spirit of knowledge
  • the Spirit of goodness

Verse 3: "He has remembered His steadfast love and His faithfulness toward the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God." That's quite a thing, brethren!

To all people, you are going to be relieved from the evil governments that rule over you now. That frighten you! That scared you! That tax you! That kill your families! It's going to be replaced with the righteous saints of God! That's going to be really quite a thing when this happens.

Verse 5: "Sing to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre, and the voice of a psalm. With silver trumpets and sound of a ram's horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD. Let the sea roar, and the fullness of it, the world, and those who dwell in it" (vs 5-7). This is like looking down at the earth and how great the Millennium is going to be under the rule of God.

Verse 8: "Let the floods clap their hands; let the mountains sing for joy together Before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth; with righteousness He shall judge the world and the people with equity" (vs 8-9).

The people of the earth, so that they can understand, this is the message for all people. God is going to rule; His saints are going to assist Him. There is going to be joy and happiness in the whole world.

Psalm 99:1: "The LORD reigns; let the people tremble. He sits between the cherubim; let the earth quake. The LORD is great in Zion, and He is high above all the people. Let them praise Your name as great and awesome; Holy is He. The strength of the King also loves justice; You established uprightness; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob…. [and all the world] … Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy" (vs 1-5).

III: God has a message for the Church

Let's first of all let's look at it for what it is as individuals and then collectively. Let's come to 2-Cor. 5—this is quite a chapter, indeed, telling us about what God is going to provide for us. We are going to have a spirit body. Right now we are a temple or tabernacle of the Holy Spirit of God (1-Cor. 3).

Paul writes this, 2-Corinthians 5:1—this is fantastic: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle is destroyed… [It's going to be; we're going to have a spirit body. This is going to be gone!] (remember): …we have a building from God… [a new body, new mind, all of that] …a house not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we truly are groaning, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; if indeed that being clothed, we may not be found naked. For we who are in this tabernacle truly do groan…" (vs 1-4). Yes! Because of changing, growing, overcoming and living in this world!

You know, if we understand the Scriptures correctly, it's going to get a whole lot worse than we have ever imagined it.

"…being burdened; not that we wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon so that the mortal flesh may be swallowed up by life" (v 4). God is the One Who is working this in us. He is the One Who is going to make it happen.

What we're going to do is look at the personal goal of what Christ is going to do for us and see how God is going to work this out. Then we will look at the responsibility of the Churches collectively in Rev. 2 & 3.

Verse 5: "Now, He Who is working out this very thing for us is God, Who has also given us the earnest of the Spirit." That's important, brethren, because God's Spirit is

  • to lead us
  • to guide us
  • to give us love
  • to give us faith
  • to give us hope
  • to give us confidence
  • to give us righteousness

from God! God is working that out in us. That's why we need to go to God with this confidence: Don't worry about the things of the flesh. We need to take care of ourselves the best that we can in the meantime. But living forever is not going to happen in the flesh; it's only going to happen in the spirit, with the new body, new mind, new understanding and what a thing that is going to be.

Verse 6: "Therefore, we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in this body, we are away from our eternal home, which is coming from the Lord." We labor for this! We understand that we're going to come before the judgment seat of God.

But let's understand a very important thing here for us to realize, because God—through His Sabbath, Holy Days, His Spirit, His Word, your prayers—is making you into a new creation, fashioned after Christ.

Verse 17: "Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, heis a new creation… [that is a prophetic purpose, a prophetic perfect statement meaning that it is as good as done if we endure to the end] …the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." That's what we look forward to.

Now let's see how it's expressed in Psa. 15. Quite a very interesting Psalm because it asks the question: O Lord, who is going to dwell on Your Holy hill? We will see the goal that we always need to be constantly looking for.

Psalm 15:1: "LORD, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your Holy hill?" That is be able to come to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that is going to have the tabernacle by day and the cloud and then the fire and smoke by night. Who is going to dwell there?

Verse 2: "He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the Truth in his heart… [not a hypocrite that says one thing and does another] (notice the requirements]: …he does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change it" (vs 2-4)—that's us!

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Let's continue on with the message to the Churches, and the messages to us individually. We will see that it blends into the Churches collectively. I want you to see how this fits in with Jesus' personal calling to us and collectively how we're going to serve the world. This is going to really be a wonderful thing, brethren.

Isaiah 51:1: "Hearken to Me… [listen to obey] …you who follow after righteousness... [which we do in the laws and commandments of God, the mind of Christ, the Spirit of God] …you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut… [that is Christ] …and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you… [this is a direct reference that Paul uses in Gal. 4] …for I called him alone, and blessed him, and made him many" (vs 1-2). We are the spiritual seed of the promise given to Abraham. We are of the seed of Abraham, because we belong to Christ. Never forget that!

Verse 3: "For the LORD shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness shall be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody." The first thing we are going to do is help bring back the children of Israel to their lands and teach them first.
Verse 4—God says: "Hearken to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for instruction shall proceed from Me, and I will make My justice as a light to the people. My righteousness is near; My salvation has gone out, and My arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon Me, and on My arm they shall trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke…" (vs 4-6). It's talking about getting into the 'new heavens and the new earth.'

"…and the earth shall become old like a garment; and its inhabitants shall die in the same way. But My salvation shall be forever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished" (v 6). That's quite something!

Isaiah 61—again, this is going to tell us what God is going to do. It shows that we are going to participate in the very commission of healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching the Gospel—just exactly as Jesus proclaimed of Himself there when He quoted this in Luke 4. This is quite a thing because what I want you to see is that it goes from Christ and blends into the Church and our responsibility, right here in this one chapter—quite significant!

Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me [Christ] to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted… [He does that through the ministry; through His Spirit; through His Word] …to proclaim liberty to the captives… [we're going to be the ones who will do that] …and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn" (vs 1-2).

Of course, that's going to be everyone who survives through the Tribulation at the end-time. We don't know how many people it's going to be, because we don't know the exact proportion of those who are going to live and those who are going to die. But just think about all the shell-shocked people we're going to have to help. They're going to have lived through

  • the greatest earthquakes to ever hit the earth
  • the greatest wars to ever take place on the earth
  • the shaking of the heavens and the earth by God
  • the seven trumpet plagues as we find in the book of Revelation

Yes, the 144,00 and great innumerable multitude are going to be protected from those things when they begin to occur, but they're going to live through all of these things. Think of the mental, emotional and spiritual wreck that these people are going to be in. They're going to want to hear about comfort, mercy, and forgiveness.

And I can't help but think of those who came out of the German prison camps and the Japanese prison camps after WWII. Their eyes sunk deep into their head, ready to die, just walking skeletons. They were numb from what they had experienced. It was very hard for them to grasp that they were free, that now they can live again. That's what we're going to have to do with these.

Here's what we're going to do, v 3: "To appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified."

Now they're going to be given an opportunity for eternal salvation! They're going to be rejuvenated physically, finish living out their lives. This is going to be some thing they're going to do.

Verse 4: "And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the desolations of former times. And they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations." That's going to be a lot of work! Think what it's going to be like to begin to rebuild the world. It's going to be in near destruction!

Verse 6—talking about us: "But you shall be called the priests of the LORD… [We're going to see that agrees with Rev. 20:4-6] …it will be said of you, 'The ministers of our God;' you will eat the riches of the Gentiles, and you will boast in their glory. For your shame you will have double; instead of dishonor they will rejoice in their portion; therefore in their own land they will possess double; everlasting joy will be theirs" (vs 6-7). That's blending in our reward as we teach the people, and the people as they receive the blessings of God.

Verse 8: "For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in Truth… [We're going to be given instruction on what to do, how to teach them, but it's all going to be in Truth!] …and I will make an everlasting covenant with them." Isn't that something? Did God make an everlasting covenant with us? Yes! That's what baptism is all about—is it not? He's going to make everlasting covenant with them. Remember, when we are resurrected, there is also going to be another covenant between Christ and the resurrected Church, between Christ and the bride. This is going to be something, brethren!

It talks about Christ: 'For unto us a Son is born, unto us a Son is given, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. Christ is not yet a father, because He came to reveal God the Father. But with the marriage of the bride and Christ and the work of the Church under Christ all during the Millennium, He will become a father. Since He's living forever, He will be an everlasting father. This is talking about His seed:

Verse 9: "And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people; all who see them will acknowledge them, that they are the seed the LORD has blessed." And we're going to bring that about.

Listen, brethren, God holds forth for us the greatest and most precious promises, that we are going to inherit the Divine nature, that we are going to have spirit bodies and a mind that will have glory like Christ's. Then we're going to go out and serve the people; help finish the whole plan of God. That's fantastic!

Verse 10: "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul will be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the robes of salvation, He covered me with the robe of righteousness like a bridegroom adorns himself with ornaments, and like a bride adorns herself with her jewels; for as the earth brings forth its bud, and as the garden causes that which is sown to grow; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to grow before all the nations" (vs 10-11).

Think about that! This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This is why God has told us the things that He has. We know, and living in this world we also see.

Revelation 2 & 3—these are letters sent directly from Jesus Christ to the seven churches. These depict, first of all, the churches that were then, then down through history—the eras or epics of the Church—the historical prophecy of the Churches of God. Then at the end-time we can look about and see among the Churches of God every one of the situations, difficulties and problems described here to the seven churches.

I'm not going to go through all the difficulties of the Churches, but what I'm going to do is go through the rewards that He promises. Remember, this is to all the Churches.

Church of Ephesus:

Revelation 2:7: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [Christ] says to the Churches…. [He says that to every one of the Churches] …To the one who overcomes… [I want you to think about the things that you're going to do to overcome, to change, to grow; because we must be perfected day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year] …I will give the right to eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the paradise of God." That right is granted to those who keep His commandments.

Church of Smyrna:

The Church that suffered great martyrdom, v 11: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death."

No, because you'll be a spirit being. Don't worry about this first death in this life. Whatever pain or difficulty, or whatever that they went through, or that the future martyrs are going to go through, when you are resurrected, the second death has no power over you!

Church of Pergamos:

Verse 17: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. To the one who overcomes I will give the right to eat of the hidden manna; and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except the one who receives it." You will receive that at the resurrection. All of these are promises that God has given. What are we to overcome?

  • losing our first love!
  • bringing in the doctrine of the Nicolaitans
  • having a hierarchy rule over the brethren

Listen! God doesn't want a hierarchy of ministers to rule over you. What He wants is for Christ to rule within you!

Church of Thyatira:

Verse 26: "And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end…" this is very interesting—isn't it? We are under grace, but we have spiritual works to be done under grace—don't we? We have the works that God has foreordained for us to walk in, too—don't we? Yes! But notice, these are the works of Christ that He has given for us to do. The works of God that He has preordained that we are to walk in them.

"…I will give authority over the nations… [we read about that in the Psa., Isa., and Zech.] …and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod… [We'll have full authority of God] …as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star" (vs 26-28). That means eternal glory! Jesus said that those who are the children of the kingdom shall 'shine as the sun'—the morning star.

Verse 29: "The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches."

This is a message for us. These letters to the Churches are the direct messages of Christ to all His Churches. That's why He says, "The one who has an ear, let him hear…"

Church of Sardis:

Revelation 3:5: "The one who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out his name from the book of Life…" Even if you do the bear minimum, God is going to grant you eternal life. But if you don't, you risk being blotted out of the book of Life.

"…but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches" (vs 5-6).

Church of Philadelphia:

Verse 12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God… [one who is part of the very fabric of Truth and teaching and authority] …and he shall not go out any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from My God; and I will write upon him My new name. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches" (vs 12-13).

All of these, brethren, show the reward, show the promise, show the message from Christ as to what He wants us to do.

Church of Laodicea:

Verse 21: "To the one who overcomes will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches" (vs 21-22).

Collectively then, Peter writes that we are a Holy nation, a Holy priesthood (1-Pet. 2). We're going to rule with Christ!

Revelation 5—the question has come up concerning the 24 elders who sing this hymn. This is the hymn that we are going to sing, but they are singing it because the hymn is already prepared.

Revelation 5:8: "And when He took the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having harps and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song… [relating to the saints] …saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book, and to open its seals because You were slain, and did redeem us… [the saints—not the four living creatures or 24 elders] …to God by Your own blood, out of every tribe and language and people and nation, and did make us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth'" (vs 8-10). That's something! That ties in with Rev. 20. This is what God is laying out for us.

The Feast of Tabernacles has these messages: to the world, to the people, to the Church. There's one more message we're going to cover right after this:

Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them… [Weren't we told that we'll sit on thrones? Yes!] …and judgment was given to them; 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"—as kings and priests!

Verse 5 is a parenthetical statement because v 4 talks about all of those who died in Christ. The question comes up: What happens to the rest of the people? The rest of the world? Who have died up to this time? "(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed). This is the first resurrection"—talked about in v 4, because the parenthetical statement is an inset talking about the coming resurrection to a life of flesh by those who died previously—the rest of the dead.

Verse 6: "And Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power…. [as He promised the Church of Smyrna] …But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." That is just the start!

Message to God from Himself:

There's one more message in the Bible, and this message is to God. It's a message by God to Himself that He's also looking forward to the completion of His plan. It has always been God's desire to dwell among His people.

Let's remember that after God created Adam and Eve they dwelt together in the Garden of Eden. As we're going to see tomorrow, there are many parallels between the things in the Old Testament and the Garden of Eden and the things in the book of Revelation.

But here—Exo. 25—we have why God had to build the tabernacle. Remember, when they started out on the Exodus and as they continued all during the 40 years, you had the pillar of cloud by day and probably gave them cloud cover so the sun wouldn't scorch them; and the pillar of fire at night. That was always over the tabernacle of Israel, and we saw in Isa. 4 how that's how God is going to setup the tabernacle for His temple during the Millennium.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, and they could not come back in. God probably dwelt right there in the Garden of Eden up to the time of the Flood. People could come to God at the East Gate to offer their sacrifices, etc., but after the Flood God removed Himself from the earth as a place where He would stay. He would come down and visit directly with the patriarchs, also give them dreams and visions, and when He dealt with the children of Israel He didn't dwell with them, but He put His presence with them.

He wanted to have the tabernacle, so He gave the instructions for everything concerning the building of it, the design of it, the functioning of it for one purpose: Thatthey could be a Holy people unto God and that He could dwell among them! So, the message that we're going to see is that God wants to dwell among His people, with His people. God told Moses to call for an offering so that they could make a sanctuary for Him.

Exodus 25:8: "And let them make Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments of it, even so you shall make it (vs 8-9). The next verses show everything in great detail.

Very interesting! If there's going to be anything dedicated to God, you must have the instructions from God. You're not going to do it any ole way you think.

What happened when God gave the instructions to David to build the temple? He gave David the pattern! Let's see what God says to David when David wanted to build Him a house. Of course, we know that God says in Isa. 66, 'Where is the house that you will build for Me? For all these things that you're going to build it with I have made! They're of My hand! How can you make something that will really honor Me?'

The truth is, unless you get the instructions from God, you can't do it. The truth is, now we are a temple of God, because God said, 'To this one will I look, to the one who is of a humble and contrite spirit and trembles at My Word' (Isa. 66), so He can dwell within us.

Here's a message for God. He has yet to develop and have ready the place where He is going to live with His spiritual family forever. Let's see what God told David when He wanted to build a temple for God:

2-Samuel 7:1: "And it came to pass when the king dwelt in his house…" He had the Ark of the Covenant there in a special tent. He had the priests to attend to it. He would come and sing the psalms before God, Whose presence was in that little tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was.

So, he's sitting there in his house viewing this and it came to pass when the king dwelt in his house—because he built him a good house, "…when the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar… [probably a beautiful fantastic house, no doubt] …but the Ark of God dwells within curtains.'" (vs 1-2). I mean, shouldn't we give more honor to God than that?

Verse 3: "Then Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.' And it came to pass that night the Word of the LORD came to Nathan saying, 'Go and tell My servant David, "Thus says the LORD, 'Shall you build Me a house for My dwelling? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the children out of Egypt until this day, but have walked in a tent, and in a tabernacle.'"'" (vs 3-6). Isn't that something?

Look at all of the great temples that men try and build to their god. But GOD is so great and righteous and humble, that He would rather dwell in a tabernacle, rather than a fait accompli ornate building so that He could dwell among His people!

What happened when the finally built the temple? Solomon built it. We'll cover that one of the days during the Feast.

Verse 7: "'In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, those whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying, "Why do you not build Me a house of cedars?"' Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people, over Israel. And I was with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies out of your sight, and have made you a great name like the name of the great ones in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them so that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more. Neither shall the sons of wickedness afflict them any more, as before"'" (vs 7-10).

That is prophetically to physical Israel and prophetically spiritually for us. So, He said that He would allow Solomon to build the house, but He knew what was going to happen. The people so disrespected God! You read the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, the judges, the priests and it's a history of worshipping God and falling into apostasy; worshipping God and falling into apostasy; and finally they built a temple and what happened? It didn't even survive in the way that it should have after the reign of Solomon!

The kingdom was split. The northern ten tribes went after their Egyptian calf-worship; the children of Israel co-mingled the worship of other gods with the true God. So bad what it became that by 586B.C. God had already sent the ten tribes of Israel off into captivity 120 years previous, and then He sent the children of Judah in Jerusalem into captivity into Babylon. He destroyed the temple because of their sins!

When they came back they used the plans from Ezekiel to build a second temple. Their sins again, by the time of Christ, reached to high heaven! They were sinning against God! They killed Jesus Christ and they went after the Churches of God! They rejected Christ!They rejected the Truth of God! God again destroyed the temple, removed His presence from them permanently! He put His Spirit within the spiritual body of Christ and we become a temple of God.

Now then, the message to God is that there has to be a New Jerusalem, a new heaven and earth, and in the dwelling place of God there will be no temple!

God is going to dwell with the perfected, spiritual family grown great. Both God the Father and Jesus Christ will be there.

So, Jesus began preparing the disciples for this, John 14:1: "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house… [New Jerusalem yet to come] …are many dwelling places; if it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you" (vs 1-2). That place Christ is preparing for everyone that He calls and is converted and have the Holy Spirit of God.

Verse 3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, you may be also."

When it's all over, said and done, all the wicked are destroyed and all of those who are spirit beings in the Kingdom of God are ready for New Jerusalem to come down from heaven. God is going to remake the heavens, remake the earth, so that it's new. It's all going to be burned to a crisp like Peter wrote of in 2-Pet. 3. How that then going to become the glorious New Jerusalem! The glorious new earth! The glorious new heavens! For all the children of God and we will dwell with God, and we will be His children! This is the message to God: That He needs a place to dwell with His Family!

Revelation 21:1: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men; and He shall dwell with them…'" (vs 1-3). That's what God wants; that's the whole story of the Feast of Tabernacles from Genesis to Revelation.

"'…and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be any more death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away.' And He Who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life. The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son'" (vs 3-7).

Notice, after showing the descent of New Jerusalem to the earth, what He says in v 22: "And I saw no temple in it; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it…. [Isn't that something? Yes, indeed!] …And the city has no need of the sun… [no need of it] …or of the moon, that they should shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the light of it is the Lamb" (vs 22-23).

Revelation 22:3—talking about the throne of God and living with God; and this is what we have to look forward to, and this is the message of the Feast of Tabernacles to God the Father and Jesus Christ. They are looking forward to this day. This is the completion of Their plan. God has called us to be a fantastic living part of it.

Revelation 22:3: "And there shall be no more curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face; and His name is in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; for they have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God enlightens them; and they shall reign into the ages of eternity" (vs 3-5).

This is the message of the Feast of Tabernacles for God!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23: 33-39
  • Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  • Zechariah 14:1-9, 11-16
  • Isaiah 4:4-6
  • Isaiah 2:1-4
  • Isaiah 11:1-10
  • Psalm 95:1-7
  • Psalm 97:1-12
  • Psalm 98:1-3, 5-9
  • Psalm 99:1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1-6, 17
  • Psalm 15:1-4
  • Isaiah 51:1-6
  • Isaiah 61:1-4, 6-11
  • Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-29
  • Revelation 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22
  • Revelation 5:8-10
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • Exodus 25:8-9
  • 2 Samuel 7:1-10
  • John 14:1-3
  • Revelation 21:1-7, 22-23
  • Revelation 22:3-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 28; 29
  • Revelation 1
  • Ezekiel 40-48
  • 1 Corinthians 3
  • Galatians 4
  • Luke 4
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • 1 Peter 2
  • Isaiah 66
  • 2 Peter 3

Also referenced: Book: Josephus