(Day 1—Feast of Tabernacles)

Fred Coulter - September 21, 2002

(Replay of the Feast of Tabernacles, 1998, by popular request.)

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{transcriber's note: This message was originally given in 1998. It has been re-issued by request for this year's FOT 2002; thus the comments from 1998}

And greetings brethren, this is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles 1998. Time just keeps rolling along, and here we are in 1998, just actually 15 months from the year 2000, so we've got a lot of work to do to get things ready for the year 2000. I think we're going to be very surprised at the events and things that are going to take place.

One of the most important things that we need to do is to:

  • love God
  • serve Him
  • keep His commandments
  • keep His Sabbath
  • keep His Holy Days

We've gone progressively through the years, all the way down through the time now for the Feast of Tabernacles, Lev.23 is where God has all of the Feasts listed, including the Feast of Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23:33: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying."

There's one thing that's always important to remember: Anything that Moses spoke was what God told him to speak! So, all Moses was, was just a messenger conveying the Word of God to the children of Israel and to us!

Verse 34: "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.'"

As we go through, we want to emphasize these are the Feasts of the Lord, these are unto the Lord, because so many people like to accuse those who keep the Holy Days of keeping the Jewish Feasts. No, we are not keeping the Jewish Feasts, we're keeping the Feasts of God!

Some Jews may keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and other people who are not Jews may keep the Feast of Tabernacles. The Church of God certainly should keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and it's unto th Lord! That means it's not a vacation. It's not a time to do your own thing, as it were. But the Feast should be a very enjoyable, inspiring, uplifting, educational and spiritual growing time
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).

We are told to, whenever we come before the Lord, we are not to come before Him empty. We are to give as the blessing of God has given us. Whenever we do this, when we have the Holy Days, we do take up an offering. The offerings, as you know, we try and squeeze every drop out of every dollar that we can to make the offerings go as far as they can to produce and to have the things ready for the brethren.

Now we are just about ready, if not by the time we're done with the Feast, to have The Christian Passover book, the second edition done. {at the reformatting of this message, The Christian Passover is in its third edition}

Whatever money in tithes and offerings that come in, we use it faithfully, we guard it faithfully, we set aside the money for doing publications like the Passover book and the Seven General Epistles book, and Lord, What Should I Do? We've been able to send these out free, no cost to anyone. We are happy and thankful for it, and we thank you for your goodness and your generosity in being faithful to God with the tithes and offerings to make all of this possible.

I could go through and read many Scriptures as to what you should do, and how you should be generous and how you should not give grudgingly, but I'm not going to do that because we know that!

  • we're not going to merchandise you
  • we're not going to take from you
  • we're not going to force from you

But on this Holy Day we do take up an offering as we do on the Last Great Day

(pause for the offering)

Let's continue right on here in Lev. 23 and see the rest of the command for the Feast of Tabernacles. Of course, the Feast of Tabernacles was to celebrate all the blessings of God. The harvest began with the Wave Sheaf Offering during the days of Unleavened Bread. The firstfruits of Pentecost had the Holy Day there, and then the firstfruits of all the rest of the crops came in down through the summer, all the way down to the time just before the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Feast of Tabernacles was to celebrate and praise God for the wondrous things that He has done. So observing and keeping the Feast of Tabernacles is very important to God. There are many aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles. We won't be able to cover all of them during this Feast of Tabernacles, so every year I try and have something a little bit different.

"…On the eighth day shall be a Holy convocation to you.…" (v 36).

Eight is the number of completion; '7' is complete, but '8' completes it and is a new beginning! Just like with the scale: doe-ra-me-fa-so-la-ti, doe, the 8th is a new beginning! We will see how the 8th day, or the Last Great Day is a new beginning with God and what that has to do with the Plan of God altogether.

"…And you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.…" (v 36).

If we were to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord it would be either a bullock, a heifer, a lamb, a goat or a turtledove. The turtledove was a different kind of offering; but if you offer a bullock and it's a full size one, you're offering a huge big offering! No question about it.

"…It is a solemn assembly. And you shall do no servile work therein. These are the Feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations…" (vs 36-37).

So really when you get down to it, we have no alternative—IF we are going to love God, serve Him and keep His commandments—but to proclaim these as Holy Days of God, set appointed times!

In these times, God comes to fellowship with us! So during this Feast of Tabernacles, all through the seven days, and the Last Great Day I want you to not only fellowship with each other, but set aside the time to fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ! That is the true fellowship, as John wrote, so that we can have fellowship with Them! Then our fellowship with each other will be all that much better, because we're going to be loving God, and trying to please and serve Him, and not doing our own thing.

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."

If you go to Num. 28 you will see that it started out with the sacrifices, and they were voluminous, the sacrifices, which the priests had to offer there at the temple. So, this was really a time of feasting, and rejoicing, and eating, and praising God, and thanking Him for His goodness, and realizing that everything that we have comes from God!

Verse 38: "Besides the Sabbaths 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).

Of course, every one of the Holy Days are called Sabbaths. So, if you are going to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, you are going to keep the Holy Days Sabbaths. One goes with the other. You can't have one without the other. Those who just keep the Sabbath cut themselves off from knowledge and understanding of the Plan of God, because God reveals through His Holy Days

  • His Plan
  • what He's doing
  • when He's going to do it
  • how He's going to do it
  • our part in it

Verse 40: "And you shall take the boughs of beautiful trees for yourselves on the first day, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days."

Someone sent me some pictures of Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. All on top of the buildings they have these temporary little booths that they build. They really don't leave their homes, they just build a booth out on the patio and then they go out there and they have their, whatever service they may have, and they have their meals there. So it was really quite something to see these booths everywhere in Jerusalem. Sent me about 15 or 20 pictures of it. That was really great.

Verse 41: "And you shall keep it a Feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days. All that are born Israelites shall dwell in booths, so that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God" (vs. 41-43).

Today we have the temporary dwellings. We leave our homes. We go and all assemble together where we can keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Let's understand something: the buildings that we are in, they are all temporary. They may last longer than booths, but they're still all temporary.

There's a tremendous lesson for us for the Feast of Tabernacles having to do with the Tabernacle of Israel! There's a very important meaning for the Feast of Tabernacles contained in the tabernacle for Israel, so we are going to cover that today, and later I'm going to show you some slides on the tabernacle in the wilderness. {these can be seen on the video message}

Why a tabernacle? Let's see why God wanted to build a tabernacle. Of course, just like the children of Israel lived in a tabernacle, God dwelt in a tabernacle. We're going to see that that has a tremendous amount of understanding for us as we're going along; how much God has done for us. Just think about the things as we go through and understand the detail and the preparation that God gave.

We know that God gave the plans to Moses. He said, 'See that you make all the things after the pattern that I gave you in the mount.' So, here's what God told him when he was up on the mount 40 days and 40 nights; He began with the instructions.

Exodus 25:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel that they bring Me an offering. You shall take an offering from every man that gives it willingly with his heart. And this is the offering, which you shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and bleached linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and tanned leather skins, and acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary…'" (vs 1-8).

We're going to see all the details of this tabernacle in the wilderness and the sanctuary. It's really a marvelous work that God gave them, and it's really a tremendous thing when we understand how intricately that it was built. Now here's the purpose:

"…so that I may dwell among them" (v 8). That's the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles!

God wants us to know that He wants to dwell with His people. When we come all the way to the end of Rev. 22, and when we come to the Last Great Day, we are going to see that God is going to fulfill that to it's fullest. God is going to dwell with His people! What a tremendous and wonderful time that is going to be.

He gave all of the instructions. Now we'll come back and as we see the slides, and we'll go over the instructions. As you go through these instructions, when you read them, it's very difficult to try and get in your mind what it is so you can visualize how the tabernacle was. But we'll see that a little later when we get there. Let's see something here that's very important; that God gives special gifts to those who were going to build.

Exodus 31:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Behold, I, I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God…" (vs 1-3).

God directed what was done, how these were made by the hands of the people who made it by giving them the Spirit of God. Here this particular man was used to craft and make all of the golden implements that were to be used in the service of the tabernacle. God says:

Verse 3: "And I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all workmanship, to devise designs; to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all workmanship." (vs 3-5).

He was the one who was in charge of doing the whole thing. Then he would take the plans that God gave to Moses and he would begin to put it together.

Verse 6: "And behold, I have given to him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. And I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the wise-hearted, so that they may make all that I have commanded you."

This was not just some little thing that people thought up.

Now here's something that's very important to understand. This is why, in understanding about God's way, God made a way for the children of Israel. Everything they did was based upon what God gave them instructions to do and inspired them to do so that they could walk in His way!

Notice that it wasn't out of the goodness of their heart that they decided to go to God and say:

  • Well, I will build this
  • I will build that
  • I will do the other thing for You, God


We'll see a little later, as God told David, 'You will build a house for Me? No! I'll build one for you!' That's what God is going to do for everyone of us!

Verse 7: "The tabernacle of the congregation, and the Ark of the Testimony, and the mercy seat that is upon it, and all the vessels of the tabernacle, and the table and its vessels, and the pure lampstand with all its vessels, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, and the laver and its base, and the woven garments, and the Holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office, and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the Holy place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do" (vs 7-11).

That was really quite a lengthy instruction here. Whenever there is an endeavor that God wants, He's going to inspire it. That's the thing that I want us to understand and to know with this.

In Exo. 33 we find something very important. When Moses was up on the mount, the children of Israel said:

Well where is this man? He's been up there 40 days and 40 nights and we don't know what happened to him. Aaron, make us gods.

See the difference there? On the one hand God gave wisdom and understanding on what to do for Him, then on the other hand in the presumptuous way that was done with Aaron and the people to satisfy them with a feast, and to make the calves of gold, they did it themselves! That was sin before God!

Something else happened when that occurred. There was a time that God stayed away from the children of Israel. We're going to find this right here. There was another tabernacle that we're not told of, but apparently it was a tabernacle or 'the Tent of the Meeting,' where Moses would go and would meet with God in this 'Tent of Meeting,' or tent of the congregation!.

We find in Exo. 33:7, when Moses came down off the mountain, broke the tablets of stone, went up and pleaded with God to spare them, when he came back down:

Exodus 33:7: "And Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp…"

So, this is a total separate thing than what we had with the sanctuary that God would have him build, because this is way before the tabernacle was ever finished. Moses took this tabernacle of the meeting tent, or the congregation, and pitched it outside the camp

 "…afar off from the camp, and called it the Tent of Meeting. And it came to pass…" (v 7).

This would occur every day when Moses would go out and talk with God, then here's what happened. God made sure, after that rebellion, that they were going to focus their minds on what God wanted, and they weren't going to rebel against Moses and Aaron any longer.

"…And it came to pass, everyone who sought the LORD went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp" (v 7).

That's where the judgment seat of Moses was, and he would then render his opinions at that particular place.

Verse 8: "And it came to pass as Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose up, and each man stood at his tent door and gazed at Moses until he had gone into the tent. And it came to pass as Moses went into the tent, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tent, and the LORD spoke with Moses" (vs 8-9).

God was with them, but because of their sin now God had to remove Himself one step further and have that tabernacle of the congregation outside the camp!

Verse 10: "And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tent door. And all the people rose up and worshiped, each man at his tent door."

God spoke to Moses as a man, face-to-face, in that particular situation, not directly in His glorified form, but in the form that where Moses would be able to see Him.

Verse 11: "And the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he returned again to the camp. But his servant, Joshua the son of Nun… [we're going to see Joshua figures into this a little bit later] …a young man, did not depart from the tent."

Joshua stayed there to guard it and watch it, whatever was in there. Apparently there was nothing in there at that particular time. This has nothing to do with the tabernacle that was to be built later.

In Exo. 35 we find what they did. Here's all the preparation for the building of the tabernacle. Now remember, that Tabernacle of the Congregation was different than the Tabernacle of the Sanctuary.

Exodus 35:1: "And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together and said to them, 'These are the words which the LORD has commanded, for you to do them.'"

As I mentioned before, you might find this interesting as you go through and read all the things in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; find one place where Moses gave his own words aside from the words of God, I don't think you're going to find it anywhere. All he did was give the words of God, just like he said here. "…These are the words which the LORD has commanded, for you to do them."

Now for the building of the tabernacle, very important to understand:

Verse 2: "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a Holy Day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD.…"

God is not going to have His commandments broken by people working on Sabbath to build His tabernacle, as important as the tabernacle really was. That's something to always remember.

I remember a church that was building a so-called temple to God, and what they did, they had a 'slight of hand.' They deeded the property during construction to the construction company, so the construction company could then have legal title to it so that the workers then could work on the Sabbath. Which I think really set the principle as to why that that really never worked. As beautiful as it was, it never worked. They didn't follow the command of God of resting on the Sabbath! They could have told them that. They could have said, 'Look, we're a Sabbath-keeping group. Whatever it costs to do it, because you can't work on the Sabbath, it will have to be considered in the cost of it.' But they didn't do it.

Verse 3: "You shall kindle no fire throughout your living places upon the Sabbath Day." This doesn't mean you can't have a fire going, but they were not to work, nor to kindle a fire to melt down the gold, the brass, the silver, and so forth.

Verse 4: "And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel saying, 'This is the thing which the LORD commanded. He said, "Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart…"'"(vs 4-5).

So even God doesn't want anything from you unless you're willing. I mean, there are so many things here showing God's love and God's goodness and mercy all the way through. He wants us to love Him and serve Him, and do things with a willing heart. That's what's so important.

"…let him bring it, an offering of the LORD: gold, and silver, and bronze, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and bleached linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and tanned leather, and acacia wood, and oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, and onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate" (vs 5-9). We'll see what that looks like!

Verse 10: "And every wise-hearted one among you shall come and make all that the LORD has commanded: The tabernacle, its tent, its covering, its clasps, and its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets. And make the Ark and the staves of it, the mercy seat, and the veil of the covering, the table, and its staves, and all its vessels, and showbread, also, the lampstand for the light, and its vessels, and its lamp, with the oil for the light, and the incense altar, and its staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging of the door at the entering in of the tabernacle. And make the altar of burnt offering, with its bronze grate, its staves, and all its vessels, the laver and its base, The hangings of the court, its pillars and their sockets, and the hanging, for the door of the court, the pegs of the tabernacle, and the pegs of the court, and their cords, the woven garments to do service in the Holy place, the Holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office" (vs. 10-19).

This was really quite a thing that God had them undertake to do. All according to the instructions and the plans of God.

Verse 21: "And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whose spirit moved him.… [sometimes we have to do that; we have to be inspired and be stirred up] …They brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all His service, and for the Holy garments. And the men came in together with the women, as many as were willing-hearted, bringing bracelets and earrings and rings and ornaments, all jewels of gold; and everyone who dedicated offered an offering of gold to the LORD" (vs 21-22). Then it goes and lists all of them!

Verse 25: "And every wise-hearted woman spun with her hands. And they brought spun yarn, blue and purple and scarlet and fine-twined linen."

It was something. The offering was so much, so much that Moses had to say, 'Whoa! You sent in more than we need.' This was quite a thing!

Verse 30. "And Moses said to the children of Israel, 'See, the LORD has called the son of Uri the son of Hur, by the name Bezaleel, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of work'" (vs 30-31).

He was the one who was in charge of it, to do all of the things listed down here.

Verse 35: "He has filled them with wisdom of heart to work all kinds of work: of the smith, and of the skillful worker, and of the embroiderer in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in bleached linen, and of the weaver, of those who do any work, and of those who work out artful work."

Let's see something else. It was from that time clear until the 1st day of the 1st month of the 2nd year that the tabernacle was raised up.

Exodus 40:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'You shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation on the first day of the first month'" (vs 1-2).

Verse 17: "And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first of the month, the tabernacle was set up."

Everything that was there Moses took and put in the tabernacle of the testimony. He lighted the lamps as God had commanded.

Verse 34: "And the cloud covered the tabernacle of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

God put His presence in there, just like we saw on the Feast of Trumpets how God filled the temple with a cloud to show His presence was there, so likewise He did here.

Verse 35: "And Moses was not able to enter into the tabernacle of the congregation because the cloud stayed on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

I don't know if that means that there was a cloud, and there was light, and there was lightning, or anything like that. I don't know what it means. "…the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." Whatever that meant it was a spectacular event to see.

Verse 36: "And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel journeyed on in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey until the day that it was taken up; for the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel in all their journeys" (vs 36-38).

So, all the way through the 40 years and the wandering in the wilderness they knew that God was there. In addition to that, they had the manna 6 days a week, every week for 40 years. No dispute, no question about which day was the Sabbath then!

Let's see what else happened after the glory of the LORD filled the house. There was a whole series of events that happened every day, all the way down for twelve days.

Numbers 7:1: "And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it and sanctified it, and all the vessels of it, both the altar and all its vessels, and had anointed them and sanctified them, and the leaders of Israel offered…" (vs 1-2).

Here's the offering that they brought. Each one of the twelve tribes brought the same identical offering, because we are going to see the Levites needed all of this offering to do and carry on the work.

Verse 3: "And they brought their offerings before the LORD: six covered wagons…"

So they had 72—6 times 12—covered wagons altogether {note that Fred corrects his statement about Kohath} It's just how they were divided down.

"…a wagon for two of the leaders, an ox for each one. And they brought them before the tabernacle. And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Take it from them so that they may be used in doing the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. And you shall give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service.' And Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites" (vs 3-6)—and divided them all down!

Verse 10: "And the leaders offered for the dedication of the altar in the day that it was anointed, even the leaders offered their offering before the altar.

Verse 12:. "And he that offered his offering the first day… [of the first month] …was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah. And his offering was…" (vs 12-13). The other offerings then were all identical from that time!

Verse 13: "And his offering was one silver dish, and its weight a hundred and thirty shekels; one silver basin of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering."

That means meal offering; wherever you see 'meat' offering in the King James that really means meal offering!

Verse 14: "One golden pan of ten shekels full of incense; one young bull, one ram and one lamb of the first year for a burnt offering; one male of the goats for a sin offering; and for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five lambs of the first year. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab" (vs 14-17).

Then it lists every day, each one of the princes came and brought their offering until the twelve days were completed.

Verse 84: "This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed by the leaders of Israel: twelve platters of silver, twelve silver basins and twelve golden pans."

Then it totals the whole thing up; this was all for the operation of the tabernacle of the congregation. We're going to see that it talks about the anointing of Aaron (Num. 8) and having him ready for the service, and then the anointing of the Levites.

The Levites were all dedicated on that day. I just want to make one point concerning the Passover in Num. 9. Here they had the tabernacle all set up, they had the Levites all dedicated, the priests dedicated, everything there dedicated ready to go. But they did not offer the Passover Sacrifice at the tabernacle! Though it was all set up, they did it according to all the instructions that God gave, and it was a domestic Passover, and they kept it at their tents.

Well now, at this time we're going to go ahead, and I'm going to show the slides of the tabernacle of the congregation. Sorry for those of you who are on audio-land, and not video-land. You won't be able to see them, and I'm not going to try and describe it because it is so detailed that it would be very awkward to try and describe it to you.

As we go through I want you to understand the detail and the work that God inspired to be in this for a tabernacle that He would dwell with the children of Israel. When we're going through and you see all the beauty of it and realize this was a tent, think of what God is preparing for you, because Jesus said:

If I go again, I will prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you to Myself so that where I am you may be also.'

We are going to take quite a detailed study now, of the tabernacle in the wilderness, and we will see that this is just kind of like a little teeny, teeny bit of what it's going to be like to live in New Jerusalem.

{showing of the slides at this point—watch video message}

The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, and wherever they moved they would set up the tabernacle when they would stay there however they would stay there all during the 40 years. It came the time when Moses was going to die, and Joshua was going to take over. Moses lived to be 120-years-old.

Deuteronomy 34:5: "And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD…. [God took Moses up, he couldn't go into the land but God showed all the land] …And He… [the LORD] …buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor. But no man knows of his grave to this day" (vs 5-6).

We read back in the book of Jude that Satan was disputing Michael over the body of Moses, because just think the religion that Satan could make if he would have had the body of Moses to be preserved in honey and a glass casket.

Verse 7: "And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor any of his natural strength abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. And the children of Israel hearkened to him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses" (vs 7-9).

The last three verses were written in, I believe, by Ezra when he finally canonized the Bible.

Verse 10: "And there has not arisen a prophet like Moses since then in Israel, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel" (vs 10-12).

Now, let's go forward with the Ark from that time up until the time that the temple is built by Solomon. They came into the land, and let's see what happened,

Joshua 5:13: "And it came to pass, when Joshua was beside Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked. And, behold, there stood a Man in front of him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, 'Are You for us or for our foes?' And He said, 'No, but I have come as the Commander of the army of the LORD.'…." (vs 13-14).

So this was actually Christ, the One Who became Christ!

"…And Joshua fell on his face to the earth. And he worshiped and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant?' And the Commander of the LORD'S army said to Joshua, 'Take your shoes off your feet for the place on which you stand is Holy.' And Joshua did so" (vs 14-15). We have the same thing here; here is what they were to do:

Joshua 6:1: "And Jericho was completely shut up because of the children of Israel. None went out and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua, 'See, I have given Jericho into your hand, and its king, and the mighty men of war. You shall go around the city, all the men of war. Go around the city once. So, you shall do for six days…. [this was psychological warfare] … And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram's horns in front of the Ark. And the seventh day you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall be when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet…'" (vs 1-5).

All of the trumpets that we discussed on the Feast of Trumpets, the silver trumpets were blown as well as the ram's horn.

"…all the people shall shout with a great shout. The wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up, each man straight before him" (v 5).

That's how they conquered Jericho. Now, the thing to understand is this, is that whenever they went to battle, God wanted them to know that He fought the battle for them. And so that's why He had the priests go out and lead the way.

Let's go to Jos. 18 and see where the tabernacle of the congregation ended up. It stayed there for a good number of years. That is in the place called Shiloh.

Joshua 18:1: "And all the congregation of the children of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them."

Then all during the time that it was at Shiloh, all the children of Israel would go up to Shiloh to worship for the Feast of Tabernacles, and so forth.

We will see that also God was very, very, how shall we say, when the people served God, God blessed them. When the people didn't serve God, they brought the curses upon them, and it affected the house of God. It affected the tabernacle of the congregation. Now we find this right here in 1-Sam. 1. We find the mother of Samuel, in this particular case.

1-Samuel 1:1: "And there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim from the hills of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. And he had two wives, the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the second, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. And this man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh…. [remained there all that time from Joshua until this time in Shiloh] …And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there" (vs 1-3).

Well the account tells us that Hannah went up and the LORD had closed her womb and the other wife was just nit-picking on her because she didn't have any children. So, Hannah went up, and she was praying earnestly to God, 'O God, please help me to have children."

Eli the priest came by, and he castigated her for being drunk. And she said, No, my lord, I'm not drunk, but in the bitterness of my soul I'm making my complaint known unto the LORD.' Eli said, 'Your request of the LORD be granted.'

So, she bore Samuel, and Samuel was given as a dedicated present to God, to the tabernacle, which at this time—because I'm sure of the things that they had done on the outside—was also called the Temple of the LORD. But the temple had not yet been build in this particular case.

When Hannah brought Samuel up, she prayed and she thanked God, and every year she would bring him a little ephod, a new coat, every year as he would grow. All of Israel knew that he was the one to succeed Eli.

Now let's pick it up here in 1-Sam. 3, and see what happened. I also want us to understand that if we look at the Church as the Temple of God, which it is today, what happens when the Light of God is ready to go out in the Church? Well, exactly the same thing that happened here when the light was ready to go out. The children of Israel sinned, and we'll see what happened because of those sins and how terrible it was indeed.

1-Samuel 3:1: "And the child Samuel served the LORD before Eli. And the Word of the LORD was precious in those days. There was no open vision…. [not even with the Urim and Thummim] …And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was lying down in his place and his eyes began to become dim, that he could not see, And the lamp of God had not yet gone out. And Samuel was lying down in the Temple of the LORD where the Ark of God was" (vs 1-3)—that's where God was, before the Ark!

That's where Samuel came in. He went in and he was the one who assisted Eli in lighting the lights. We saw the candelabra there. But as it were, the sins of Eli were so terrible that God told Samuel what was going to happen and He said that the sons of Eli, and Eli are going to die in one day. Here's how it happened, and it happened when they didn't expect it. It happened in a way that they didn't think would happen, but it did.

1-Samuel 4:3: "And when the people had come to the camp, the elders of Israel said, 'Why has the LORD beaten us today before the Philistines?'…."

What happens is the enemies of God always triumph when the people of God sin!

So, they said, "…Let us fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies" (v 3).

They went to Shiloh, they got the Ark, they went out to the battle and the battle didn't go well. As a matter of fact they lost the battle, they lost the Ark, the two sons of Eli were killed, Hophni and Phinehas. They died in the battle, and when they came back and told the news to Eli, notice what happened.

Verse 14: "And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, 'What is the noise of this tumult?' And the man hurried in and told Eli. And Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see. And the man said to Eli, 'I am he who came out of the army, and I fled today from the battle.' And he said, 'How did the matter go, my son?' And the messenger answered and said, 'Israel has fled before the Philistines, and also there has been a great slaughter among the people. And also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the Ark of God has been captured.' And it came to pass when he spoke of the Ark of God, Eli fell backward off the seat by the side of the gate. And his neck broke, and he died…" (vs 14-18)—and God fulfilled His word!

The Philistines had the Ark, they took it as a triumph of war. They took it into the temple of their god Dagon. You know what happened. Well, first of all the image of Dagon fell down, and the hands broke, and then the head broke on several different occasions there. God also afflicted them with hemorrhoids. Now that is a painful thing. The whole land was afflicted with hemorrhoids and mice. So, they wanted to know what to do to get rid of this.

1-Samuel 6:1: "And the Ark of the LORD was in the field of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, 'What shall we do to the Ark of the LORD? Tell us, what shall we send with it to its place?'" (vs 1-2).

So they said, 'You take the Ark of the LORD and you put it in a cart, and you point it over toward Israel and let it go. Put in there the offering of golden hemorrhoids and golden mice and send it on to the LORD.' So, that's what they did.

The Ark came back now, 1-Samuel 7:1: "And the men of Kirjath Jearim came and brought up the Ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill. And they sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Ark of the LORD."

These had to be Levites in order to be able to handle the Ark in order to take care of it.

Verse 2: "And it came to pass from the day the Ark began to dwell in Kirjath Jearim, the days became many; yea, they were twenty years. And all the house of Israel yearned after the LORD."

Then many different things happened. It came to pass that it stayed there and it waited until the time that David was going to bring it back.

Now let's see what happened after that in bringing the Ark back. Remember that we saw in the pictures how that the Ark of the Covenant had the staves in it, and it had to be carried. David should have known better, but he didn't. In 1-Chron. 13 we see his first attempt to bring back the Ark. He didn't do it according to the way that he should have. He did it according to the way he thought was good.

1-Chronicles 13:1: "And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said to all the congregation of Israel, 'If it is good to you, and if it is from the LORD our God, let us send to our brethren, those remaining in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites in their cities and that they may gather together to us. And let us bring again the Ark of our God to us, for we did not inquire at it in the days of Saul'" (vs 1-3).

Verse 7: "And they carried the Ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab. And Uzza and Ahio led the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with lyres, and with harps, and with drums, and with cymbals, and with silver trumpets. And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the Ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the Ark. And he died there before the LORD" (vs 7-10).

Well, David was all upset about this; he was displeased, but he should have known better. They just went ahead and left it there. Left the Ark of God remain there. That was at the house of Obed-edom, because they didn't want anything more drastic to happen. Then David came to his senses!

1-Chronicles 15:1: "And David made houses for himself in the City of David, and prepared a place for the Ark of God…"

Now. this is important! Remember that the tabernacle was at Shiloh, and the Ark left and then came over to Kirjath-jearim. Then was at the house of Obed-edom, and now David, in his house, was building a special place for the Ark of God.

 "…And pitched a tent for it. Then David said, 'No one ought to carry the Ark of God except the Levites, for God has chosen them to carry the Ark of God and to minister to Him forever'" (vs 1-2).

Verse 13: "Now, because you did not do it at the first… [the right way] …the LORD our God broke forth upon us, since we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.' And the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves in order to bring up the Ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders, with the staves on it, as Moses commanded according to the Word of the LORD" (vs 13-15).

So, they brought it there, they put it into the special place that David had made, the special little tent, so it was right there in his house. I think it's interesting that the Church is called the Tabernacle of David, because David had a special relationship with God, having the Ark of the Covenant right in his house. Maybe that helps you understand why the sin with Bathsheba was so grievous. Because right in the house where God was with the Ark, David committed his adultery, plotted the murder of Uriah the Hittite, and all of that. The Ark of the Covenant did not come out of the house of David until after Solomon finished the temple.

Let's continue the story. Let's go on and see what David was doing one day before the Ark. He was there playing before God on the psaltery, and singing, and it came to his mind that he ought to build a temple.

2-Samuel 7:1: "And it came to pass when the king dwelt in his house, and 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, but the Ark of God dwells within curtains.'…. [within this tent]. …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 1-6).

That's something, too, for us to realize that today now we are tabernacling with God. As a matter of fact, it talks about when Christ came, that He came and 'dwelt among them.' It means He tabernacled among them. That's a whole sermon that I gave in 1997 on Christ tabernacling among us!

Now, God continues telling the message here to David.

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?'" No He didn't!

Verse 8: "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. And even from the time that I commanded judges to be over My people of Israel, so will I cause you to rest from all your enemies. Also, the LORD tells you that He will make you a house"'" (vs 8-11). So, the prophecy was that God said:

As long as the sun and moon are there, David, you will have someone to sit on your throne, and I will build a house for you. And as for you, since you're a bloody man, you cannot build a house for me. But your son after you, he shall build a house for Me.

So, God chose Solomon to build the house!

Now let's see that God then gave all the plans. He gave all the plans of the temple to David. David saved up money. David saved up gold and silver, and all the things for the temple so that it would be a grand and glorious temple indeed.

1-Chronicles 28:1: "And David gathered to Jerusalem all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the commanders of the divisions that ministered to the king by division, and the commanders over the thousands, and commanders over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the property and livestock of the king, and of his sons, with the officers and the mighty ones, with all the valiant men. And David the king stood up on his feet and said, 'Hear me, my brethren and my people. I had in my heart to build a house of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations for the building…. [he has everything ready] …But God said to me, "You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood" (vs 1-3).

Verse 4: "However, the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be the ruler, and of the house of Judah the house of my father. And among the sons of my father's house He was pleased to make me king over all Israel. And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons), He has chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. And He said to me, 'Solomon your son shall build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be his Father. And I will establish his kingdom forever if…'" (vs 4-7).

Notice, it's IF, and I want us to understand that that's a mighty important thing, because Solomon did not do that.

 "'…if he continues resolute in keeping My commandments and My ordinances, as he is today.' And now in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, keep and seek… [David is talking to Solomon here] …for all the commandments of the LORD your God, so that you may possess this good land and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you forever. And you, Solomon my son, acknowledge the God of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…" (vs 7-9).

This is showing us the whole setting of what it's going to be like in the Millennium. What Solomon did was a foretype of the coming Millennium, which the Feast of Tabernacles pictures. David wanted Solomon to really seek God, to have a willing heart. This is what we want to teach through all the Feast of Tabernacles, through all the 1,000-year reign and rule of Jesus Christ. This is what we want, no question about it.

"…for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Take heed now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and do it" (vs. 9-10).

So, he did! David died and Solomon built the house. Now let's see what happened after David died. At this time the Ark was still in the house of David, and the tabernacle had moved from Shiloh to Gibeon. We find that right here:

2-Chronicles 1:1: "And Solomon the son of David was made strong in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and magnified him exceedingly. And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers. And Solomon and all the congregation with him went to the high place at Gibeon, for there was the tabernacle of the Congregation of God…" (vs 1-3).

From the time that the Ark of the Covenant was taken from the tabernacle in Shiloh, then the Ark and the tabernacle were separated. The Ark was with David, and the tabernacle and everything, and the altar of burnt offerings was over in Gibeon. Then when it came time to bring it all together, let's see what happened.

Everything was made ready. The temple was finished and ready for the dedication.,

2-Chronicles 5:1: "And all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated. And he put the silver and the gold, and all the vessels, among the treasures of the house of God. And Solomon gathered the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel to Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion" (vs 1-2). It stayed there in the house of David!

Verse 3: "And all the men of Israel gathered themselves to the king in the feast in the seventh month…. [which was the Feast of Trumpets] …And all the elders of Israel came. And the Levites took up the Ark. And they brought up the Ark, and the Tabernacle of the Congregation…" (vs 3-5).

They went over to Gibeon and brought the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and then they retired the Tabernacle of the Congregation into the subterranean areas below the temple to store it.

"…and all the Holy vessels that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought these up.

Verse 6: "And King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were gathered to him before the Ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen which could not be counted nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD to its place, to the Holy of Holies in the house, into the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim" (vs. 6-7).

In building the Holy of Holies in the temple, it was made on the inside exactly like the tabernacle in the wilderness. You had the Ark of the Covenant there, and then engraven right into the walls were the wings of the cherubim overshadowing the whole thing. Then the wings of the cherubim over the Ark of the Covenant.

Verse 9: "And the staves were so long that the ends of the staves of the Ark were seen from the Holy place looking toward the Holy of Holies, but they were not seen outside. And they are there to this day"—when this was written! I don't know if Ezra wrote this or not.

Verse 10: "Nothing was in the Ark except the two tables, which Moses put in it at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt."

Of course, at the dedication we saw how they were all playing the trumpets and singing, and the power of God with the cloud came and filled the whole house. There the Ark was until that time, and it stayed there. When it came time for the temple to be destroyed during the days of Jeremiah, we don't know exactly what has happened to the Ark. That has been a mystery!

The Ark, some people say, is in Ethiopia, but that is a counterfeit ark. Any stories of it being in Ethiopia are just sheer folly. I believe that the Ark was placed, as it was written in the Apocryphal Book of Baruch, that an angel of the LORD told Jeremiah to take the Ark of the Covenant and bury it in the subterranean parts of the temple area, and I think that's where it is buried. Now maybe they will find it there, I do not know.

But from that time forward Israel did not have the Ark of the Covenant within the temple. When they came back out of the captivity and built the second temple, it was a small little temple. It was so small and so little that it was a pathetic little thing compared to the glorious one that Solomon had built. But nevertheless, God placed His name there. However, there was not the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. So, from the time of Ezra on down there was no Ark in the Holy of Holies, even down to the time of Christ.

We don't know where it went, but we do know this: Whenever God is upset with His people He will not dwell with them. God will not dwell where there is not righteousness.

  • we need to understand that with the Church.
  • we need to understand that with the things that we are doing

That's why with the Feast of Tabernacles, this shows that there is going to come a time when we are going to dwell with God. We are going to be the priests and the Levites. We are going to be the kings. Judgment is going to be given to us.

Rev. 20 is at the beginning of the Millennium. We are going to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The temple that is going to be built at that time, we don't know what it's going to be like. Just exactly how it's going to be, Ezek. 44 through 47 does not show the Millennial temple. What they actually show is the second temple of Ezra, then it comes down to the time of Christ and on out into the preaching of the Gospel unto the whole world. But it doesn't show the temple that is going to be built there in Jerusalem. I imagine that it's going to be a special one, because this one God is going to oversee.

Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them… [we're going to understand what righteous judgment is] …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."

God is going to have a place to dwell with His people. A Holy nation, a royal priesthood, and we are going to have the government, it's going to be 'on the shoulders of Christ,' The Government of God is going to be, and we're going to be part of bringing it out to the whole world.

Verse 5: (But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection."

We'll talk about the fulfilling of the thousand years, and so forth, as we go through the Feast.

Verse 6: "Blessed and Holy…" This shows that we're going to be the very sons of God, because only God is Blessed and Holy!

Verse 6: Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power.… [you'll be living and dwelling forever] …But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

So, it all goes back to the very first tabernacle that God had Moses and the children of Israel build there in the wilderness. That God wanted a place to dwell with His people!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:33-43
  • Exodus 25:1-8
  • Exodus 31:1-11
  • Exodus 33:7-11
  • Exodus 35:1-19, 21-22, 25, 30-31, 35
  • Exodus 40:1-2, 17, 34-38
  • Numbers 7:1-6, 10, 12-17, 84
  • Deuteronomy 34:5-12
  • Joshua 5:13-15
  • Joshua 6:1-5
  • Joshua 18:1
  • 1 Samuel 1:1-3
  • 1 Samuel 3:1-3
  • 1 Samuel 4:3, 14-18
  • 1 Samuel 6:1-2
  • 1 Samuel 7:1-2
  • 1 Chronicles 13:1-3, 7-10
  • 1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 13-15
  • 2 Samuel 7:1-11
  • 1 Chronicles 28:1-10
  • 2 Chronicles 1:1-3
  • 2 Chronicles 5:1-7, 9-10
  • Revelation 20:4-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Numbers 28
  • Revelation 22
  • Numbers 8; 9
  • Ezekiel 44-47

Also referenced: Books {truthofgod.org}:

  • The Christian Passover
  • The Seven General Epistles
  • Lord, What Should I Do?

(original transcriber unknown)
Reformatted—bo: 6/2023