Fred Coulter - September 21, 2002

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

pdficon small - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download

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 two years from, not even two years - 15 months from the year 2000, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to get things ready for the year 2000. And 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 and serve Him, and keep His commandments, and keep His Sabbath, and His holy days.

Now we’ve gone progressively through the years, all the way down through the time now for the Feast of Tabernacles, and let’s turn to Leviticus 23, because that’s where God has all of the feasts listed, including the Feast of Tabernacles.

Well, let’s pick it up here, Leviticus 23:33. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,…” Now there’s one thing that’s always important to remember, which is this: 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. “…Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:33-34). Now again, 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. Well no, we are not keeping the Jewish feasts, we’re keeping the feasts of God. Now some Jews may keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and other people who are not Jews may keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Well, the church of God certainly should keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and it’s unto the 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, and inspiring, and uplifting, and educational, and spiritual growing time as well.

Verse 35, “On the first day shall be an holy convocation [which is today]: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD:…” (vs. 35-36). Now we are told to, whenever we come before the Lord, we are not to come before Him empty. And we are to give as the blessing of God has given us. And so whenever we do this, when we have the holy days, we do take up an offering. And 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 Passover book, the second edition done. And let me tell you, that is going to really be a complete work. It’s going to be over 400 pages. It’s going to have very detailed instruction. We have, there, four new chapters in it. Three concerning Abraham and the covenants, and one concerning the Passover of the exile. And we have rewritten the whole thing to put it in a better format, and so you won’t be able to go from page to page, to page, to page to try and compare one with the other. And I think you will find that this is going to make the first edition look like it was what it was, just the very first edition. This second edition, we hope, is going to have a broader outreach to more people. So 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 General Epistles book, and Lord, What Should I Do? And we’ve been able to send these out free, no cost to anyone. And so 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.

Now I could go through and read many scriptures as to what you should do, and how you should be generous, and how you should give not grudgingly, but I’m not going to do that because we know that. And also 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. So we’ll take a break right now and we’ll go ahead and take up the offering.


Let’s continue right on here in Leviticus 23 and see the rest of the command for the Feast of Tabernacles. And 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. And 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. And there are many aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles. And 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.

So it continues on, “…On the eighth day shall be an holy convocation…” Now eight is the number of completion. Seven is complete, but eight then completes it and is a new beginning. Just like with the scale: do-ra-me-fa-so-la-ti---do, and the eighth is a new beginning. And we will see how the eighth 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 it says, “…and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD:…” Now if we were to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord it would be either a bullock, or a heifer, or a lamb, or a goat, or a turtledove. And 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, aren’t you? No question about it. Continuing now, “…it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein” (vs. 36).

“These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations,…” So really when you get down to it, we have no alternative, if we are going to love God and serve Him and keep His commandments, but to proclaim these as holy days of God, set appointed times. And in these times God comes to fellowship with us. And so during this Feast of Tabernacles and 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. Because 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.

Now let’s continue on here, verse 37. “These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:…” Now if you go to Numbers 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, “…Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land [the final harvest], ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath” (vs. 38-39). And 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 day Sabbaths. One goes with the other. You can’t have one without the other. And 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, and our part in it.

Verse 40, “And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.” Now, someone sent me some pictures of Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. And 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. And 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 ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” (vs. 41-43). And so today we have the temporary dwellings. We leave our homes. We go and all assemble together where we can keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And let’s understand something: the buildings that we are in, they are all temporary, aren’t they? Now they may last longer than booths, but they’re still all temporary.

Now there’s a tremendous lesson for us for the Feast of Tabernacles having to do with the tabernacle of Israel. Because 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.

Let’s go to Exodus 25, please. Let’s see why a tabernacle. Let’s see why God wanted to build a tabernacle. And of course, just like the children of Israel lived in a tabernacle, God dwelt in a tabernacle. And we’re going to see that that has a tremendous amount of understanding for us as we’re going along. And we’re going to see how much God has done for us, and just think about the things as we go through and understand the detail and the preparation that God gave. Now we know, as we come here to Exodus 25, 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 forty days and forty nights. He began with the instructions.

Exodus 25:1, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood [now shittim wood is acacia wood], oil for the light, 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;…” And we’re going to see all the details of this tabernacle in the wilderness and the sanctuary. And 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: “…that I may dwell among them” (Ex. 25:1-8). And that’s the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles. God wants us to know that He wants to dwell with His people. And when we come all the way to the end of Revelation 22, when we come to the Last Great Day, we are going to see that God is going to fulfill that to it’s fullest. That God is going to dwell with His people. Tremendous and wonderful time that is going to be.

So then He gave all of the instructions. Now we’ll come back and as we see the slides 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 come to Exodus 31 and 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 spake unto Moses, saying, See 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,…” So 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. Now 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. He says, “…I have filled him…in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship” (Ex. 31:1-5). So he was the one who was in charge of doing the whole thing. And then he would take the plans that God gave to Moses and he would begin to put it together.

“And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;…” (vs. 6). And so 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, inspired them to do, so that they could walk in His way. Notice it wasn’t out of the goodness of their heart that they decided to go to God and say, “Well, I will build this”, and “I will build that”, and “I will do the other thing for you God.” No, we’ll see a little later, as God told David, He said, “You will build a house for Me?” God says, “No, I’ll build one for you.” And that’s what God is going to do for everyone of us.

Now verse 7, “The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, and the cloths of service, 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 thee shall they do” (vs. 7-11). So that was really quite a lengthy instruction here. So 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.

Now, let’s come over here to chapter 33. Now 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 forty days and forty nights and we don’t know what happened to him. So Aaron, make us gods.” Now you 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. And that was sin before God. Now something else happened when that occurred. And there was a time, then, that God stayed away from the children of Israel. Now 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 he would meet with God in this tent of the meeting, or tent of the congregation.

Now, we find right here in Exodus 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 here, verse 7, “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp,…” Outside the camp. So this is a total separate thing than what we had with, as we’re going to see, the sanctuary that God would have him build, because this is way before the tabernacle was ever finished. So 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 Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass,…” So 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, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” And that’s where the judgment seat of Moses was, and he would then render his opinions at that particular place. “And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses [watched after Moses], until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses” (vs. 7-9). So here 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.

“And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.” And then 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 He would be able to see him. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua,…” Now we’re going to see Joshua figures into this a little bit later. “…The son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle” (vs. 10-11). So he stayed there to guard it, and watch it, and whatever was in there, apparently there was nothing in there at that particular time. This has nothing to do with the tabernacle which was to be built later.

Now we find, coming over here to chapter 35, we find what they did. And here’s all the preparation for building of the tabernacle. Now remember, that tabernacle of the congregation was different than the tabernacle of the sanctuary. Verse 1, “And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them” (Ex. 35:1). Now as I mentioned before, you might find this interesting as you go through and read all the things in Exodus, and Leviticus, and Numbers, and Deuteronomy, find one place where Moses gave his own words aside from the words of God. And 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 all the words that the LORD has commanded you.”

Now for the building of the tabernacle, very important to understand, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD:…” (vs. 2). Now 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. So 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 was 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.

Now let’s continue on here, verse 3. “Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.” Now 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, to melt down the brass, and silver, and so forth. “And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart,…” So even God doesn’t want anything from you unless you’re willing. I mean, there are so many things here brethren, showing God’s love, and God’s goodness and mercy, all the way through. And 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 brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goat’s hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badger’s skins, and shittim 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. 3-9). And we’ll see what that looks like.

“And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; the tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets [we’ll see what all of those are], the ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the veil of the covering, the table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread, the candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light, and the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle, the altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot, the hangings of the court, his pillars, and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court, the pins of the tabernacle [we’ll see what those are], and the pins of the court, and their cords, the cloths of service, 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). So he lists it all out. So this was really quite a thing that God had them undertake to do. All according to the instructions of God. All according to the plans of God.

Now notice verse 21, “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up,…” And sometimes we have to do that. We have to be inspired and be stirred up. “…And every one whom his spirit made willing, and 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 they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.” And then it goes and lists all of them. “And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and [made it and] brought…” (vs. 21-22, 25) it all together. And so it was something. The offering was so much, so much that Moses had to say, “Whoa. You sent in more than we need.” So this was quite a thing.

Let’s come over here to verse 30. “And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name…” So then he names them again. “And He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;…” He was the one who was in charge of it, to do all of the things listed down here. Verse 35, “Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work” (vs. 30-31, 35). So we’re going to see that in just a minute. But let’s see something else.

Let’s come here to Exodus 40. Now it was from that time clear until the first day of the first month of the second year that the tabernacle was raised up. Now let’s come here to Exodus 40:1. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.” Ok, now let’s come over here to verse 17. “And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up” (Ex. 40:1, 17). And everything that was there Moses took and put in the tabernacle of the testimony. He lighted the lamps as God had commanded.

Let’s come over here to verse 34. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” So 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. “And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” Now 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”, but whatever that meant it was a spectacular event to see. “And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till 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, throughout all their journeys” (vs. 34-38). So all the way through the forty years and the wandering in the wilderness they knew that God was there. And in addition to that they had the manna six days a week, every week for forty years. No dispute, no question about which day is the Sabbath then.

Now let’s come over here to the book of Numbers. Numbers 7, and 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. Let’s begin in verse 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 instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them; that the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who were the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered:…” (Nu. 7:1-2). So 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.

“…And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons,…” So they had 72 covered wagons altogether with the exception of the Kohath, because Kohath…so they actually had 6 times 11, which then is 66 covered wagons, because the twelfth tribe, the sons of Kohath did not get any wagons because they had to carry the implements. No they all brought the wagons. Sorry about that. It’s just how they were divided down. “…A wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service. And Moses took the wagons and the oxen, and gave them unto the Levites” (vs. 3-6). And divided them all down.

Then we have here verse 10. And the princes, then they dedicated their offering, and everyone gave their offering. Now 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…” No, beg your pardon. I’m all mixed up on the number of wagons. They had twelve wagons altogether, not 72. Beg your pardon. The other offerings then were all identical from that time, ok? So, “…His offering was one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them were full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering:…” And that means meal offering. Wherever you see meat offering in the King James that really means meal offering. “…One spoon of ten shekels of gold, full of incense: one young bullock, one ram, one lamb of the first year, for a burnt offering: one kid of the goats for a sin offering: and for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab” (vs. 10-17). Then it lists every day, each one of the princes came and brought their offering until the twelve days were completed.

Now let’s come over here to chapter 7, verse 84. “This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, by the princes of Israel: twelve chargers…”, and then it totals the whole thing up. And then this was all for the operation of the tabernacle of the congregation. And we’re going to see then, it talks about here in chapter 8, the anointing of Aaron and having him ready for the service, and then the anointing of the Levites. The Levites were all dedicated on that day. And I just want to make one point concerning the Passover in chapter 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. But 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. And 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.” And so 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.

Now let’s go ahead and turn to Deuteronomy 34. 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 forty years. Now it came the time when Moses was going to die, and Joshua was going to take over. Moses lived to be 120 years old. And he said here, Deuteronomy 34:5, “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.” He took him up, he couldn’t go into the land but God showed all the land. “And He [that is the LORD] buried Him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day” (Deut. 35:5-6). Now 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 an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so 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 upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses” (vs. 7-9).

Now here’s a very interesting, the last three verses here. And this was written in, I believe, by Ezra when he finally canonized the Bible. “And there arose not a prophet since [that is since Moses] in Israel like unto Moses, 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 shewed in the sight of all Israel” (vs. 10-12).

Now, let’s go forward with the ark and let’s go from that time up until the time that the temple is built by Solomon. Now we come over here to Joshua 5. They came into the land, and let’s see what happened here beginning in verse 13. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him [or that is opposite from him] with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” So this was actually Christ, the one Who became Christ. “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so” (Josh. 5:13-15). So now we have the same thing here.

Then we have in chapter 6, and here is what they were to do. “Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.” So this was psychological warfare. “And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet,…” So all of the trumpets that we discussed on the day of 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; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Josh. 6:1-5). And so 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.

Part 2

Now let’s continue on.  Let’s go to Joshua 18 and see where the tabernacle of the congregation ended up.  And it stayed there for a good number of years.  And that is in the place called Shiloh.  Joshua 18:1, “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there.  And the land was subdued before them.”  And so 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.

Now let’s come to the book of 1 Samuel and 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 Samuel 1.  And we find that the mother of Samuel, in this particular case.  Now let’s read in verse 1.  “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephriam, 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 other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.  And [they] this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh:…”  So it 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” (1 Sam. 1:1-3).

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 Hanna went up, and she was praying earnestly to God.  “Oh God please, help me to have children.”  And 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.”  And so Eli said, “Your request of the LORD be granted.”  So then she bore Samuel.  And Samuel then, 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.

And when she brought him 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.  And all of Israel knew that he was the one to succeed Eli.  Now let’s pick it up here in chapter 3, and let’s see what happened… and I also want us to understand this 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.

Chapter 3, verse 1, “And the child Samuel ministered unto 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 laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; and ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was [that’s where God was, before the ark], and Samuel was laid down to sleep;…” (1 Sam. 3:1-3).  So 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.  And here’s how it happened.  And it happened when they didn’t expect it.  And it happened in a way that they didn’t think would happen, but it did.

Let’s come over here to 1 Samuel 4:3.  “And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to-day before the Philistines?”  Because you see what happens, 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” (1 Sam. 4:3).  Well you see what happened, 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.

“And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, what meaneth the noise of this tumult?  And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.  Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.  And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to-day out of the army.  And he said, What is there done, my son?  And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.  And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he [that is Eli] fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died:…” (vs. 14-18).  And so God fulfilled His word.

Now then the Philistines, they had the ark.  So they took it as a triumph of war.  And they took it into the temple of their god Dagon.  And 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.  And 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.

Now, 1 Samuel 6:1, “And the ark of the LORD was in the country 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 wherewith we shall send it to his place” (1 Sam. 6:1-2).  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.

And the ark came back now, chapter 7, verse 1.  “And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.”  Now these had to be Levites in order to be able to handle the ark in order to take care of it.  “And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.” (1 Sam. 7:1-2).  And so 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.  Let’s see what happened in bringing the ark back.  Let’s come to 1 Chronicles 13.  Now remember we saw in the pictures how that the ark of the covenant had the staves in it, and it had to be carried.  Now David should have known better.  But he didn’t.  We’ll find here 1 Chronicles 13 when his first attempt to bring back the ark.  And he didn’t do it according to the way that he should have.  And he did it according to the way he thought was good.

Now notice 1 Chronicles 13:1.  “And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.  And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: and let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at  it in the days of Saul” (I Chron. 13:1-3).  And so they went, it seemed right.  David gathered all of Israel.  They went down with a great party.  They loaded it up on a new cart, verse 7.

“And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.  And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and He smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God” (vs. 8-10).  Well, David was all upset about this, and he was displeased.  But he should have known better.  They just went ahead and left it there.  Left the ark of God remain there.  And that was at the house of Obed-edom, because they didn’t want anything more drastic to happen.

So then David came to his senses.  Let’s turn over to 1 Chronicles 15:1.  “And David made him houses 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 for it a tent.  Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto Him for ever” (I Chron. 15:1-2).

Now come over here to verse 13.  “For because ye did it not at the first [the right way], the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought Him not after the due order.  So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.  And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, 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.  Now 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.  Now maybe that helps you understand why the sin with Bathsheba then, was so grievous.  Because right in the house where God was with the ark, David committed his adultery, plotted his murder, the murder of Uriah the Hittite, and all of that.  Because you see, this did not come out of the house of David until after Solomon finished the temple.

Now let’s continue the story.  Let’s go on here to 2 Samuel 7, and let’s 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 sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; that the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains [within this tent].  And Nathan said to the king, Go do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.  And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go, and tell My servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build Me an house for Me to dwell in?  Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle” (2 Sam. 7:1-6).  And so that’s something too, brethren, 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 where it says, “dwelt among them”, it means He tabernacled among them.  And that’s a whole sermon that I gave last year on Christ tabernacling among us.

Now, God continues telling the message here to David.  “In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying, Why build ye not Me an house of cedar?”  No He didn’t.  “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto My servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be the ruler over My people, over Israel: and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.  Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them [that’s a prophecy of what we know as Israel in prophecy today], that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies.  Also the LORD telleth thee that He will make thee an house” (vs. 7-11).  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.”  And so God chose Solomon to build the house.

Now let’s come over here to 1 Chronicles 28, and 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.  Now let’s pick it up here in verse 1.  “And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.  Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:…”  So he has everything ready.  “…But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for My name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood” (1 Chron. 28:1-3).

“Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for He hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father He liked me to make me king over all Israel: and of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) He hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.  And He said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build My house and My courts: for I have chosen him to be My son, and I will be His father.  Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if…”   Now 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 be constant to do My commandments and My judgments, as at this day.  Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek [now he’s talking to Solomon here] for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind:…” (vs. 4-9).

Now this, brethren, is showing us the whole setting of what it’s going to be like in the millennium.  Because Solomon, and what he did was a fore-type of what the coming millennium, which the Feast of Tabernacles pictures.  And so David wanted Solomon to really seek God, to have a willing heart.  And this is what we want to teach through all the Feast of Tabernacles, through all the 1000 year reign and rule of Jesus Christ.  This is what we want brethren.  No question about it.

“…For the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: I thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.  Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it” (vs. 9-10).  And so he did.  David died, Solomon built the house.

Now let’s come to 2 Chronicles 1 and let’s see what happened after David died.  By this time the ark was still in the house of David, and the tabernacles had moved from Shiloh to Gibeon.  Now we find that right here.  Let’s come here to verse 1.  “And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.  Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.  So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God,…” (2 Chron. 1:1-3). So 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, the altar of burnt offerings was over in Gibeon.

And so then when it came time to bring it all together, let’s see what happened.  Chapter 5:1.  Now everything was made ready.  The temple was finished ready for the dedication of the temple.  And verse 1, “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.  Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.” (2 Chron. 5:1-2).  So it stayed there in the house of David.

“Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was 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,…”  So 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, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.  Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.  And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:…” (vs. 3-7).  So 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.  And then the wings of the cherubim over the ark of the covenant.

“And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen [outside of that] without.  And there it is unto this day.”  Now when this was written, “they are there this day”, I don’t know if Ezra wrote this or not.  “There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.” (vs. 9-10).  And then, 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.  And there the ark was until that time. And it stayed there.  And then 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.  And 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.  So 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.  And we need to understand that with the church, brethren.  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.

Let’s go to Revelation 20 and let’s see that.  This is at the beginning of the millennium.  We are going to live and reign with Christ a thousand years.  And the temple that is going to be built at that time, we don’t know what it’s going to be like.  And just exactly how it’s going to be, the book of Ezekiel, chapters 44 through 47, do 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.  But I imagine that it’s going to be a special one, because this one God is going to oversee.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 4 of Revelation 20.  “And I saw thrones,…”  We’re going to cover that a little later.  “…And judgment was given unto them:…”  And we’re going to understand what righteous judgment is.  “…And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reined with Christ a thousand years.”  So now then, 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, then it’s going to be on the shoulders of Christ, as we saw, but then the government of God is going to be then, we’re going to be part of that in bringing it out to the whole world.

Now notice, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection.”  We’ll talk about the fulfilling of the thousand years, and so forth, as we go through the feast.  “Blessed and holy…”  Now this shows that we’re going to be the very sons of God, because only God is blessed and holy, you see.  “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,…”  You’ll be living and dwelling forever, you see.  “…They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (vs. 5-6).  And 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.