Fred Coulter - October 10, 2003
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And welcome, brethren, to the Feast of Tabernacles, 2003. This is the welcoming message, which generally is played on the evening as the day begins, so this should be Friday evening. And of course when you go out and look at the moon you’ll find there’s a full moon. And the reason that is, is because there has to be a full moon on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and on the fifteenth day of the first month. And you will see that through the calculated Hebrew Calendar that there always is a full moon. And so, brethren, here we are at the time, the season that God has said we are to be. And we’re going to learn a lot about the Feast of Tabernacles all down through the sermons that we will be covering for all the days, and then the Last Great Day. So the theme of this feast is “The Beginning and the Ending.” And Jesus said “I am the beginning and the end. The first and the last. Alpha and Omega.” So let’s look at some of the things concerning the beginning, and then we’ll just take a little brief look at the things concerning the ending.
And since this is the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles it’s very appropriate for us to understand what God did in the beginning. And of course when we understand the scriptures and we put them together properly, and we keep the holy days of God, God gives us the understanding as we obey. That is a key and important thing to understand. As you obey - you understand. That’s provided that you have the right attitude, you have the Spirit of God, and all of those things being equal. But when people do not obey, they do not understand. And the carnal mind will have hostility toward God and toward His way, and so therefore it will be very difficult for them to understand. But the things that we are going to cover, and what God is doing, and the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles is laid out in the scriptures for those who know His Word that He will give them understanding.
So let’s begin in Genesis 1:1, and there’s a reason why there’s a whole Bible, and there’s a reason why the Bible starts at Genesis, which means “beginning.” And there’s a reason why Revelation is the last book of the Bible, showing the ending. Because the beginning shows how God started out. And it also shows some very important things. So let’s read it beginning in verse 1. “In the beginning God…” And we know that’s Elohim, and that means that there was the one Who became the Father, and the one of Elohim Who became the Son. “…Created the heaven and the earth.”
Now it doesn’t tell us exactly when. And so the Bible does not really show us the exact time. Now I have seen the evidence that it’s only 6000 years old. I’ve also seen the evidence that the universe is way beyond 6000 years old. And one of the things I’ve found in looking at the supposed scientific evidence that the earth was only created 6000 years ago is this: the main premise was that the gravitational force of the earth is gradually deteriorating. And so if it’s gradually deteriorating, therefore then we can measure exactly how old the earth is. Well, about an hour and a half into the presentation by this very scientific man he said, “Oh, by the way. There are times when the magnetic field regenerates itself.” Well, you know what that does to his theory. It completely destroys it because you never know at what time or when that through the magnetic powers of the sun and Saturn and the universe with the force against the earth, you never know when the magnetic field is going to increase. And of course every time there are what are called sunspots, and sunspots are huge magnetic flares that take place on the sun, and they send out magnetism into the whole solar system, and this is to maintain a steady magnetic force, because see without a proper magnetic force human life couldn’t live on the earth, and it has to be maintained otherwise the orbit of the earth in space would not remain in the same place. So it’s very important that it does. And furthermore there are indications that the magnetic fields have reverse themselves several times in the course of the history of the earth. And so it doesn’t tell us if this was millions of years ago, billions of years ago. Do you think God, Who lives forever, was doing nothing until 6000 years ago? Now that doesn’t seem reasonable. And besides, if it was only 6000 years ago there’s no time for Satan and his rebellion with the angels. So a lot of things are missing in that. So what we need to understand is in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
And verse 2, “And the earth was without form, and void;…” And of course we know that means that the earth became in chaos and confusion. And there’s every reason to believe that this was because of the rebellion of Lucifer and the third of the angels that followed him. There’s no other reason for it to do that because if God here is going to set out and He is going to create it for mankind, then it’s not going to become in a state of confusion and destruction.
So let’s go on. The point that I want to make here is this: when God began to recreate the surface of the earth for mankind there was nothing here. It was covered with water. “…And darkness was upon the face of the deep.” And then we know the rest of the story of how God created everything on each day. And then we come to the place where He says, which we will cover in the beginning part of the Feast of Tabernacles and the theme “The Beginning to the Ending,” God had a plan, God had a purpose, God had something that He was going do. And that involves mankind. And that involves God.
Now there are some things which are very important for us to realize. Let’s go to Ephesians 3, and let’s see the knowledge and understanding that God has given us, has not been known, and was not known. And even though it was partially understood by the Apostles at the time that they were writing these things, especially the epistles of Paul, here in Ephesians 3, this is what is important. God did not reveal it because Adam and Eve sinned, were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and then you know the story of it. We’ll cover that as we get through the Feast of Tabernacles. But God did not reveal it to anyone. Now He gave little snippets of it. A little bit to David. And remember what David said, “Oh LORD, how magnificent You are, and what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You do visit him.” So even David, though he was one of the most prolific writers of the Bible for the Old Testament and was a man after God’s heart, he didn’t understand. God didn’t give him the understanding. And so what we need to realize is that what we have with the New Testament is an absolutely fantastic thing, brethren. And to be involved in what God is doing with His plan, as pictured by all of His holy days, and pictured by this Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, is really fantastic.
Now let’s begin here in Ephesians 3:1. “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” In other words he was given this so that it would be given to the saints. And that’s what’s important in it. And notice verse 3, “…how that by revelation…”, divine revelation. And we’re going to see that He made this known to all the Apostles, but especially to the Apostle Paul. And then the finality of it is the book of Revelation, which He gave to the Apostle John. “…How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery [or that is the secret, the purpose and the plan of God]; (as I wrote [to you] afore in [a] few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men [they didn’t know], as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles [that includes all of them] and prophets…” Now the prophets were those who delivered inspired speaking to encourage, to teach, to uplift, to bring forth understanding of God’s word. So this was not just done in a corner and to Paul only. It was to all the Apostles and it was to the prophets. And it says here, which is important, “…that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power” (Eph. 3:1-7). So this is something as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2 that, “The eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9, paraphrased). And of course that’s the whole key in understanding the plan of God, which began before the foundation of the earth.
Well when we look back at the beginning there in Genesis 1, after God had created the heavens and the earth, or reformed the earth, made it habitable for man, did all the things to prepare it, and then on the sixth day created Adam and Eve, and then rested on the seventh day. It started out with Adam and Eve, just the two. Now they didn’t know God’s plan. God did not reveal it to them. And so here we have a world perfectly made for man, but only Adam and Eve. And God dwelt in the Garden of Eden, and dwelt there until the time of the flood. So God has a plan where He wants to be with His people and to have His people be with Him. And that’s the whole theme and the story of the Feast of Tabernacles from beginning to end. And God is going to accomplish and do this purpose, and no one – no one is going to set his hand against it and stop it.
Now since we’re right here in Ephesians let’s just turn over to Colossians. Let’s go to Colossians 1, because there’s a very important series of scriptures here which shows us something. You see, let’s also understand this: that not only can men not figure out what they are going to do, what God is doing, who God is, where God is, and what God is, and what His plan is. Carnal minded men, though religious in the world, cannot know. And when they turn to the inspiration of Satan and his demons, they have a false understanding of it. And all you have to do is just look at all the religions in the world and understand that that is deceiving human beings so that they won’t have the knowledge of God. And God has not only has allowed it, God has purposed it of the great cause that He is going to save them. That’s why He’s blinded their minds, and blinded their hearts so that they couldn’t understand. But in God calling us, and all of those that He has called down through the centuries, and all of those who love God and serve Him, He is qualifying them to be with Him, to be in the first resurrection as we’ve learned with Pentecost. And now through the Feast of Tabernacles we’re going to learn how God is going to expand His plan even more, because God is going to do and accomplish what He is going to do. And we are an important and an integral part of that plan right now. That’s why God reaches down and personally selects those that He calls to understand His Word, to give them His Spirit, to reveal to them His plan. And so what we have here brethren, is one of the most fantastic things and the greatest understanding that we can have as human beings, that we can understand the Word of God and understand the plan of God. Now that is just absolutely a marvelous thing that God has done for us.
Now here, let’s pick it up in verse 9 – Colossians 1:9, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;…” And that’s an ongoing thing. And just like I said before, it is automatic that if you do not obey God you will not have understanding because the Psalms and Proverbs tell us a good understanding have they that do His commandments, you see. But not only that, you have to go beyond just the mere letter of the law of keeping the commandments. You have to love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your being. And then let God’s Spirit lead you, and guide you, and help you to change and overcome. That’s what is so important. Now in that process then, we are going to see what God is doing as revealed here.
“Strengthened with all might,…” So that you have spiritual strength to resist all the battles and the wiles of Satan the devil. That you have enough physical strength, regardless of your age, to know and to understand. And he says, “…according to His glorious power,…” So whatever God is doing in you and in all those that He has called and given the Holy Spirit to, He’s doing a glorious work, you see. “…Unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us [qualified] meet…” (vs. 11-12). That’s what it means. Not “meet.” It means “made us qualified.” God the Father has done that.
Now I want you to understand as we go through these scriptures, what God the Father Himself has done through Jesus Christ. And remember that one of the things that we learned concerning the Passover night, which is part of the New Covenant through Jesus Christ is this: is that we have direct access to God the Father. We pray directly to Him. Jesus said, “Don’t ask Me so I can ask the Father. No, you ask the Father directly, for the Father Himself loves you.” And we need to understand that. So regardless of the trials or difficulties, or the problems of your life, remember God loves you and that’s why He has called you. You know, that’s why it says in one place in Hebrews 11, “Wherefore pick up the hands that hang down,…” (Heb. 12:12, paraphrased), you know, because of discouragement or whatever, and go forward.
Now continuing here, “…hath made us [qualified] meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:…” And that’s with Christ Who’s the firstborn among many brethren. Now I’m going to read this the way that it should be in the Greek. “…Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…” God, in calling every one that He calls – you, and me, and all the brethren wherever they are, and untold thousands that we do not even know of, and untold millions down through the centuries that we’re completely unaware of that are waiting the resurrection – that He personally rescued them from the power of darkness, that is from Satan the devil. “…And has transferred us unto the kingdom of His dear Son” (vs. 13, paraphrased). Now that’s a tremendous thing. That God Himself has done that. And this is part of the revelation that God has given to us.
And part of it is, as we see, let’s come over here to verse 26. “Even the mystery which [God has] hath been hid from [the] ages and from generations, but now is made manifest [or, revealed] to His saints:…”, you know. And this is what is so fantastic. You have God’s Spirit. You understand God’s Word. God loves you. God has called you. And there is a mysterious thing that is going on in your life as far as the world is concerned. And what is that? That is Christ in you. God dwelling in you. Now granted it’s the earnest of the inheritance. It’s the earnest of what God is doing, but nevertheless that is the whole reason and purpose as to why we are here and why we keep these days and what God is doing.
Ok now, let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15 and let’s learn something very important. Why did God make us physical in the first place? Well, for the very reason that He is not going to have rebellion in His kingdom any longer as He did with Satan, with spirit beings. He’s given us a physical body, a temporary tabernacle, as Paul says. We’ll cover that a little bit later. And for the purpose of growing and overcoming. But you see since God has qualified us for the inheritance, that is the inheritance of eternal life, to be raised from the dead, to have a body just like Christ is, to have glory and share in the glory of Christ. And as we’ll see of the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, to help rule and reign on this earth. And God knows He needs the sons of God to rule and reign on the earth because look what human beings are doing with it now, and look what they’ve done all down through history. Nothing but war and mayhem, and death, and slaughter, and all of this sort of thing, because man said to God, “Look, we don’t need You. We’ll figure it out on our own.” And you know, God says, “All right, try. You do that. You do that, you have the sentence of the law of sin and death within you and you’re going to die. You’re going to return back to the dust.” But even in spite of that, God can work things according to His will with His Spirit.
Now here, in 1 Corinthians 15 here is something that is important. And here is something to realize. Verse 44, talking of the resurrection, “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” Now I want you to know the sequence of it, you see. Natural and then spiritual. “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” And we know from Pentecost that Christ is going to transform our bodies from flesh to spirit in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. But the thing that is important is there is the physical first and then the spiritual. There was the physical creation of the earth, the physical creation of human beings and the progeneration of human beings from Adam and Eve all down through history until this time. And you’ve got to understand that God’s plan is so great and fantastic that He’s got room for all of those who choose His way and repent, which will eventually, in the final analysis, be billions, and billions, and billions, and billions of sons of God. So what God is doing is absolutely marvelous. And what you have a part of is you have a part on the, how shall we say, the first floor with the first resurrection to receive your spirit body at that time. But God has made the physical body first, then the spiritual.
So likewise it says as we go on here. “The first man [was made] is of the earth, earthy [or, made of the dust]: the second man is the Lord from heaven [that is, Jesus Christ Who was resurrected from the dead]. As is the earthy [or, those made of dust], such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly” (vs. 47-48). Now here’s a promise and a guarantee, right here, which we’ve also covered on Pentecost. But remember, beginning with Passover coming all the way through Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost, and Trumpets, and Atonement, and now Tabernacles, and then the Last Great Day, all the holy days of God connect together and have meaning and purpose of the unfolding of God’s plan and those who love God and obey God He gives the understanding of His plan. And so that’s why we’re here. We are here to learn more of God’s way. We are here to learn more of God’s plan. We are here to see how God’s going to work things out with the Feast of Tabernacles.
Now notice, He gives this guarantee. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy,…” You’ve got a physical body. As long as you’re faithful, regardless if this body corrupts, regardless of this…of course it’s going to grow old and die. God intended that. But nevertheless you have this guarantee. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (vs. 49). And that is we will look just like Him. We will be just like Him. We will live forever.
Now after God is done with His whole plan during the millennium, which we’ll cover every day during the Feast of Tabernacles, then God is going to do something new. Because you see, spirit beings have to have a spiritual place to live forever. And that involves the end. So that’s why the theme of this feast is “The Beginning and the Ending.” So now before we close let’s go to the ending, and let’s look at the end and see the fulfilling of the plan of God, which even though Paul and the Apostles had some understanding of it by the revelation that was given to them, even the words that were written in the book of revelation were not written until 95 AD, so this information was not available to all. And down through history, you know even the Vaticanus Greek text does not have the book of Revelation in it. So it should come as no surprise that the Catholics don’t have a clue as to what the plan of God is. And the Protestants, who are only reformed Catholics, only have an understanding of the grace of God, and they understand nothing more, and they always stay at the beginning. They never go beyond, as Paul said, that we need now to go beyond the basic principles of the beginnings of the teachings of Christ and go on to perfection. And so part of what we are doing here in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and the holy days of God is this, we are going on to perfection. We are understanding more of God’s way. We are understanding more of God’s plan. And so that we can have inspiration and conviction so that we can have a stick-to-itiveness with God’s way so that we always remain faithful. And here’s the thing to look to, right here, Revelation 21, and this is the ending. And so we’ll read these verses to set the stage for what the ending is going to be. And then just like a giant puzzle… You know if you have a puzzle, at least I don’t know about you but what I do, I figure out and do the whole border first and then I fill in the pieces. Of course as you go along you can put some pieces together so you have some pieces here, and you have some pieces there. And what you do, you look at the pattern of the puzzle on the box it came in to give you an idea of how to put it together. So what I’m doing here is I’m creating the border, which is the beginning, and then through the Feast of Tabernacles we will fill in all the missing parts and put them together so when we come to the ending we’ll understand it.
Now Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:…” Because you see when everyone… now this is after the Last Great Day so this ending is a new beginning. And every time there’s an ending it is a new beginning. Just like in the beginning, as we read in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and then Lucifer rebelled, and the end of the age of Lucifer’s rule came to an end with the first blood which covered the earth. Then when God renewed the surface of the earth that was a new beginning. So likewise when all the plan of God is finished and all human beings that are going to enter into the kingdom of God, enter into the kingdom of God and are spirit beings, now then there’s a new beginning. And this new beginning is the beginning of the rest of eternity. And what that is going to be, you have to make it to the first resurrection to find out. God doesn’t tell us but He just gives us a little snippet here of it.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Then it talks about new Jerusalem, God tabernacling with His people, and let’s come here to verse 5 and we will finish with verse 5 and 6.
“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” And we can just put there in parentheses, (for My spiritual family grown great). “And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful [which they are]. And He said unto me, It is done.” There’s going to come a time when the plan of God is going to be finished. The beginning and the ending, and a new beginning and then on into eternity. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of water of life freely” (Rev. 21: 5-6). And that’s what God wants to give to us.
And then He says, verse 7, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things;…” Showing that we have to keep at it. Showing that in order to reach the end we have to overcome and endure to the end, and then wait the resurrection when Jesus Christ returns. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.”
Have a good Feast of Tabernacles, brethren.
Opening – Feast of Tabernacles–2003
|1)||Genesis 1:1-2||5)||Hebrews 12:12|
|2)||Ephesians 3:1-7||6)||1 Corinthians 15:44, 47-49|
|3)||1 Corinthians 2:9||7)||Revelation 21:1, 5-7|
|4)||Colossians 1:9, 11-13, 26|