Book: God's Plan for Mankind

September 30, 2004

And welcome brethren, to the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2004. Now we’re going to start a little differently here. Let’s come to I Corinthians 1, because you see, more and more the holy days are coming under attack, especially by the Protestants. And they have been by Seventh Day Adventists, and they have been by the Church of God Seventh Day. And we’re going to understand something here very important concerning the holy days from the point of view of how we understand.And welcome brethren, to the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2004. Now we’re going to start a little differently here. Let’s come to I Corinthians 1, because you see, more and more the holy days are coming under attack, especially by the Protestants. And they have been by Seventh Day Adventists, and they have been by the Church of God Seventh Day. And we’re going to understand something here very important concerning the holy days from the point of view of how we understand.

Now here, I Corinthians 1:17. The apostle Paul writes: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with the wisdom of words [that is, the words and philosophies of men], lest the cross of Christ be made void. For to those who are perishing, the preaching of the cross [and of course that includes the whole plan of God] is foolishness; but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will nullify the understanding of those who understand.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Did not God make foolish the wisdom of this world?” And you compare the holy days of God and the whole plan of God to everything that the world has and their religions and their holidays—it is foolishness and yet they think it is wisdom. And they look at what we do and think we are foolish, and think that we are going back under the law. That’s not the case because you see, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 14:12) go hand in hand. [They think that] He’s destroyed them. Verse 21: “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its own wisdom did not know God, it pleased God to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching” (I Cor. 1:17-21). Now how are we going to understand not only the preaching, but the writings, the Word of God, what the apostles have written and preserved for us, what God inspired and had written and preserved for us in the Old Testament?

Now let’s come here to I Corinthians 2:9. “But according as it is written, ‘The eye has not seen…’ ” So people are not going to understand these things by just sitting down and reading alone. “ ‘…Nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ ” And God is preparing for us. And God is preparing for this world. “But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…” So there is an absolute dividing line, and that dividing line is determined by the Spirit of God. You understand the things in the Scriptures by the Spirit of God. And as we have seen: Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and rightly dividing the Word of God to put it together. And also to have the understanding and the attitude that the Word of God teaches us His plan. Now that has to be revealed. “…For the Spirit searches all things…” Not just the New Testament, but all things: the Old Testament; each individual that comes into being in the world; all of those that God calls—searches all things. “…Even the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:9-10). And the holy days, and the understanding of the holy days are part of the deep things of God.

“For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God [now the holy days are part of the things of God] no one understands except by the Spirit of God.” And we’ve seen the problem that has happened in the church here in recent years. They begin bringing in the spirit of the world. And as they brought in the spirit of the world they brought in the world and their beliefs and pushed out the Spirit of God and the truth of God. That’s why Paul says here, verse 12: “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means” (verses 11-13). And that’s why the holy days are important because these are the appointed times of God, the appointed seasons of God. And these are commanded convocations.

Now let’s come to Psalm 119 and let’s see another thing that God wants us to know to understand. And this is important because you see, the Word of God is inspired by God. And as Jesus said: “ ‘The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life’ ” (John 6:63). And so when we come here to Psalm 119 we also see where David was inspired to write something very profound. He says: “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” (Psa. 119:18). And that’s what we are going to do with the holy days. We are going to see the wondrous things out of God’s law, out of God’s Word—Old Testament, New Testament, put it all together and see and understand the plan of God and the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles.

So let’s first of all go, as we always do, to Leviticus 23, because one of the secret things of God that He has hidden, where He says that it is God’s honor to hide something, or prerogative to hide it. But it is the honor of the king to dig it out. So that’s what we have with all the holy days in Leviticus 23. Because it’s awfully easy bringing in the spirit of the world, bringing in the spirit of the worlds religions to say: “Well, look at that, that’s in the Old Testament.” See, well they take that attitude because they do not understand and realize that Jesus Christ (Who they say they love, Who they say they follow, which they do not); that “The God of the Old Testament was harsh and mean. And these laws and these things we no longer have to do.” And by that very thing they cut themselves off from God.

So let’s begin here, Leviticus 23:33. Now you see we started out: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and now here we are at the Feast of Tabernacles. And all of these things we have seen portrays a step-by-step revelation of the plan of God. And this is what we are to know, what we are to understand, and how we are to live our lives. And in these days, if we love God, if we serve God, if we are faithful to God and have God’s Spirit in us, He will reveal more and more of His will out of His Word just like David said: “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Word.” And as Paul wrote, they are revealed by God’s Spirit.

So let’s begin here, verse 33: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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. 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 [now we’re going to look at that in Numbers 29 in just a minute]: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein” (Lev. 23:33-36).

Now verse 37. Let’s pay clear attention to this because one of the ways that people attack the Word of God and attack what we do, try to discredit what we do is because they say that we are keeping the feasts of the Jews. And that is an abominable lie. Notice what God says here: “These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations…” This is a summary of the whole chapter up to here. The Sabbath commandment sanctifies the Passover and all the holy days. That’s why it’s given in the first part of the chapter. Now notice: “…to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat [meal] offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: 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” (verses 37-38).

Now let’s come to Numbers 29 and let’s see the commanded offerings that they were to give. These were the official offerings to God for the whole nation of Israel. Now the Feast of Tabernacles is different in relationship to the offerings that are given on the other days. First of all He showed in Numbers 29 that there was to be the morning and the evening sacrifice. And of course then they had the meal offering and the wine offering and the incense that would go with it. Then on the Sabbath they had special Sabbath offerings in addition to the continual burnt offering. And then He goes right through all of the holy days (the new moons, the holy days) and it is very interesting that there is no commanded sacrifice at the tabernacle or temple for the Passover day because it was (as we have written extensively in The Christian Passover book) a domestic home kept feast.

Now let’s come to Numbers 29:12. Let’s see the tremendous offerings that were given. Now we also know this: that during the days of Solomon they had, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets, then they had (including the Feast of Trumpets) seven days dedication of the temple. Then they took a break so they could have Atonement and so forth, and then they come to the Feast of Tabernacles. And they had so many thousands of people there, and so many thousands of sacrifices that were offered that they had to make smaller altars in different locations on the temple grounds. And it was literally a fantastic and mammoth feast.

But here were the required offerings. Let’s begin in Numbers 29:12: “And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: and ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks [one for every tribe], two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish…” (Num. 29:12-13). And then their meal offering and the wine offering and so forth and a kid goat for a sin offering. That’s besides the continual morning and evening sacrifice and their meal and drink offerings.

Now each day of the feast the number of bullocks (while all the rest would remain the same) was decreased by one. And each one of these things shows a type of fulfillment and a progression in the plan of God. Now let’s come over here to verse 32: “And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish [their meal offering, their drink offering and so forth, and a goat for a sin offering]...” (verses 32-36). Now it says then on the eight day it reverts back to one bullock.

Now let’s come down here to verse 39 and let’s read this again. “These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat [meal] offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings.” So there are the freewill offerings, there are the vows, and there are many things to consider.

That’s why God says when they would come to a feast they were not to appear before the Lord empty. Now let’s see here (Deuteronomy 16) the command for an offering. And we’ll take up the offering here in just a bit. “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks [which is Pentecost], and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: every man shall give as he is able…” (Deut 16:16-17). Now this is in addition to the burnt offerings, the peace offerings, the meal offerings and so forth that they were to give. Just like we find in Deuteronomy 14, that if the way was too far they were to go ahead and sell the bullocks, and sell the lambs, and the rams and so forth, and take the money and come to Jerusalem and then use that money on whatever their soul desires. And of course, as we see in Luke 21, which was the time leading up to the Passover when Jesus was crucified, there were many coming and giving gifts into the treasury. And so it wasn’t just animal sacrifices and meal offerings and incense and wine offerings. They also had monetary offerings. And so since Christ, in fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, the part that He fulfilled in the law was all the rituals and all the sacrifices that were given under the Old Covenant. But the whole thing of freewill offerings and giving to the Lord, especially on the holy days, continues through till today.

Now you see, the daily offerings given, that was at the temple for the priests to do. That didn’t mean that everyone was to come in and give an offering: part of an offering on one day, part of an offering on another day, part of an offering on another day all through the eight days. That had to do with the commanded sacrifices for the whole nation of Israel. So when we come to the New Testament it carries over because there is no temple, there is not a priesthood—Christ is our High Priest. And when we come together we are still to honor God by bringing an offering to Him. And so I just bring this out in a way so that you understand how then we can go into the Old Testament, how with the Spirit of God we can understand what needs to be done.

So at this time we’ll take a pause and take up the offering. And be sure and put your full name and address on the envelope please.

The Feast of Tabernacles is what the whole world is waiting for. That is, the rule of God on earth. The kingdom of God governing the whole world. Now in the world today we are seeing that God is letting man, under the guidance of Satan the devil and also by His plan and purpose, just exactly like He told the Jews before they went into captivity that He raised up Nebuchadnezzar for the very purpose of taking them into captivity. And that if they fought against him, God would fight against them. And at the time that Jesus came the Jews were actually looking for the Messiah. They knew He was the Messiah. But you see, they didn’t want to accept Him because He did not align Himself with them. See, they were expecting the Messiah to come to align with all of their institutions—the temple, the sacrifices, the government, throw out the Romans, and fight for them. Well, when Jesus came the first time that’s not what it was.

Now let’s come here to John 18 and let’s see what Jesus told Pilate when he was questioning Him before He was scourged and sent out to be crucified. Let’s pick it up here beginning in verse 33: “Then Pilate returned to the judgment hall and called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Do you ask this of yourself, or did others say it to you concerning Me?’ Pilate answered Him, ‘Am I a Jew? The chief priests and your own nation have delivered You up to me. What have You done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ ” (John 18:33-36). See, because God had a greater plan. God has a greater purpose. God knows that the world cannot be run in the kingdom of God unless there is planning, unless there is preparation, and unless the fullness of the plan of God comes to fruition.

And He said: “ ‘If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, so that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. However, My kingdom is not of this world.’ ” So Pilate couldn’t understand that. Because you see, one of the reasons that they delivered Him to Pilate was because He said He was king. And so then the Jews falsely accused Him of wanting to usurp authority over Caesar. And so, it put all the pressure on Pilate as to what to do. So therefore verse 37: “Pilate therefore answered Him, ‘Then You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘As you say, I am a king. For this purpose I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, that I may bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ ” (verses 36-38). That’s exactly where we are today with the death of truth in this world. So then he said he found no fault in Him.

Now let’s look at another thing concerning the kingdom of God because the scribes and Pharisees were expecting it to appear immediately. And they didn’t understand that this was going to be a spiritual kingdom run by spiritual sons and daughters of God over the human beings on the earth. They wanted their own human power to be right under the Messiah so they could exercise the authority. Well you see, God is not going to leave the kingdom to people—only the sons and daughters of God, and they didn’t understand that.

Let’s pick it up here in Luke 19:11. “Now as they were listening to these things, He went on to speak a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.” They thought He was going to Jerusalem to take over; announce that He was the Messiah; rally all the armies of the Jews around; supernaturally with their armies and the power that He had, to destroy the Romans and get them out, and set up the kingdom of God on earth. So He wanted them to know it wasn’t going to be that way.

“Therefore, He said, ‘A certain nobleman set out to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and to return’ ” (verse 12). Now they understood this because Herod went to Rome to be coroneted (this is Herod the Great), and then when he came back, it took him three years to come back and conquer the Jews to be the king over Judea, as the Romans had sent him. So they understood what He was talking about here.

Now verse 13: “ ‘And after calling ten of his servants, he gave to them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘ “Trade until I come back.” ’ ” Now this tells us a little bit about what we are going to do that I’m going to talk about tomorrow—how do we prepare to rule and reign with Christ. He said: “ ‘ “Trade until I come back.” But his citizens hated him and sent an ambassador after him, saying, ‘ “We are not willing to have this man reign over us.” ’ ” (verses 13-14). One of the very first things that has to be is Christ has to rule over you. But they didn’t want Him to rule over them.

“ ‘And it came to pass that when he returned after receiving the kingdom, he directed that those servants to whom he had given the money be called to him…’ ” (verse 15). Then it went through one gained ten pounds, one gained five pounds, and the other one gained two pounds and so forth. Then we have someone who didn’t do what they were supposed to do. And he said, verse 21: “ ‘ “For I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man.” ’ ” Isn’t that interesting? Isn’t that what the Protestants accuse the God of the Old Testament of being? And is that not one of the reasons that they don’t do the things that Jesus has said? Is that not one of the reasons why the Catholic Church exists? Yes, they don’t want Christ to rule over them in their lives. They want a pope to worship and to rule over their lives. Absolutely amazing, isn’t it? “ ‘ “You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow [see, because it’s spiritually built].” ’ Then he said to him, ‘ “Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant!” ’ ” (verses 21-22). Now that’s something you need to understand. Every single one of us are going to be judged according to our works, and what we say, and what we do. And there are times when we say things that you better be very, very careful what you say because God may take you up on what you say as your judgment, just like here.

“ ‘ “You knew that I am a harsh man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, so that at my coming I might have received it with interest?” ’ And he said to those who were standing by, ‘ “Take the pound from him, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.” ’ (And they said to him, ‘ “Lord, he has ten pounds.” ’)” And Jesus said, verse 26: “ ‘ “For I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given; but the one who does not have, even what he has shall be taken from him.” ’ ” Now verse 27: “ ‘ “Moreover, bring my enemies, those who were not willing for me to reign over them, and slay them here before me” ’ ” (verses 22-27). Now that’s just a very good short summary of the return of Christ—slay them.

Now we also know that the apostles, the very last thing just before Jesus ascended into heaven for the final time, they said, “Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?” And He says, “It’s not given to you to know the times and seasons which the Father has put under His authority. But you go…” (Acts 1:6-7, paraphrased). In that case, go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. But for all of us we are to do that. We are not only to learn and know and understand the Word of God, but we are to go and we are to do, and we are to preach, and we are to teach, and we are to do these things, and we are to occupy by doing these things until Christ returns.

We are also going to see something very important here. Because when Jesus told Pilate that “to this end was He born,” He was making very clear that He fulfilled this prophecy. Now He didn’t make it clear to Pilate because Pilate didn’t understand it. But as we go back and as we know and understand the prophecies and read them and put all the Scriptures together, then we understand that’s precisely what Jesus was talking about because He was born to be a king. We’re going to see you have been born, and I have been born, and all of those that God has called have been born, and having been converted, we are called to be kings and priests. And that’s a tremendous thing as we will see.

Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder [He is going to reign, He is going to rule into the ages of eternity as it says in the book of Revelation]: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Because only Christ can bring peace. And when Christ returns He is going to become a father by those who are converted (as we will see as we go down through the Feast of Tabernacles) by those who were converted during the Millennium as we rule and reign on this earth.

Now notice verse 7: “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end…” So God’s plan is going to go on into the ages of eternity. Quite a tremendous and magnificent thing that God is going to do. “…Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it … from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7). There’s no getting around it. This is going to be done. It doesn’t matter whether people believe or not, whether they understand or not—it is going to happen.

Now as we saw, the resurrection is on Pentecost, and we are there to receive our rewards and to receive our new name, the marriage of the Lamb and all those things that take place. Then the seven last plagues are poured out. Then Christ and all of the saints on the sea of glass return to the earth. And He’s going to be King over all the earth. And that’s going to be a tremendous day indeed.

Now let’s see something else here—we share in that. Now let’s look at this. Let’s come to Revelation 20. Let’s follow that progression down. After Satan has been put away, and during the Millennium Satan won’t be around. Now on the seventh day of the feast we’ll talk about why Satan is loosed for a short season. There’s a purpose in that. So Satan is taken, he is bound, cast into the abyss. The next thing to take place is this, verse 4: “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev.20:4). Now that’s quite a thing. This is the whole purpose and goal as to why we are called—so that we can be with Christ, so that we can rule and reign with Him. That’s the most important thing for us to understand. And tomorrow we’ll cover what is the most important thing we need to have and develop now so we can rule and reign with Christ.

Then it says: “(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)” Then referring back to verse 5 it says: “This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy…” Now that’s quite a thing, isn’t it? Who is also called blessed and holy? God is. And as we know, we are to share the very glory of Christ. So it says: “Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (verses 5-6). So that’s going to be a tremendous thing. Absolutely marvelous.

Now let’s come back here to Revelation 2 and let’s see that’s one of the promises. When we come to Revelation 2 and 3 even though there’s a message to each one of the churches it always ends with “he that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” So let’s read it here. Revelation 2:25: “But hold fast what you have until I come. And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end [so there are works to be kept], I will give [power] authority over the nations; and he shall shepherd [rule] them with an iron rod, as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father…” (Rev. 2:25-27). Now you see, we are going to have full authority and control. Christ is going to be King. The twelve apostles will be sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And beyond that of Elijah and Moses, we don’t have too much of an inkling of who’s going to be doing what. But don’t fear, God has it all planned out and it’s going to be all according to His will.

Now here just recently we have seen the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi’s. And we also have seen, leading up to it and afterward, the terrorists attacks and so forth. And we’ve had all the bleeding hearts in the press say, “Oh, things went terribly wrong. Oh, there have been great mistakes that were made,” and so forth. I think we need to understand: you cannot—it will be impossible to have a oneworld government unless the Islamic nations are tamed and brought into the modern world. That’s what all of this is going to lead to. But yes, there are those things that took place in killing, and bombing, and kidnapping, and beheading and things like this.

Now I saw a very interesting documentary when it was leading up to the memorial of D-Day, and there were more mistakes and more casualties made on that first day on D-Day when the troops landed there. They had 5000 casualties just the first day alone. And some of them landed at the wrong place. And some of the supplies didn’t get to them the way that they should have. But never the less they overcame all those mistakes and they went in and the invasion was a success. And they said as it got to the end of the war, “Now how are they going to democratize Germany and Japan?” Well, it hasn’t been reported very much but right after the Germans surrendered, do you know what the German renegades (or what we would call today, insurgents) were doing? They were blowing up railroad tracks, blowing up trucks, they were cutting telephone lines. And it took a total of three more years before the occupational forces got it underhand to where they could work with the Germans to bring about peace. And that finally wasn’t resolved until the Cold War ended and the wall was torn down.

Now from that we’re going to learn a lesson. And that lesson is: What is it going to be like when the Millennium begins? Because we’re going to rule and reign with Christ a thousand years, are we not? And we are going to enforce and bring the government of God, are we not? And are we not going to have authority over the nations to rule them, or shepherd them with a rod of iron? Yes, we are.

So let’s come back here to Isaiah 2 and let’s see what it tells us about this. And let us see something very important and then we will look at the Scriptures which show how then it will be done. Now many times we read these things and go over them and we don’t really fully expound them, or go through them in detail. But we’re going to today.

Now let’s pick it up here, Isaiah 2:1: “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house…” Now as we know, it’s a type of God’s government. And we read in Isaiah 9 that the government is going to be on His shoulders and He’s going to delegate to all the saints who are in the first resurrection so that they can rule and reign with Him. That’s what it says—will reign a thousand years with Him. “…Shall be established in the top of the mountains…”, because there will be other nations, but this is going to be the leading one. The sons and daughters of God in the kingdom of God ruling on earth will be with Christ ruling over the whole world. “…And shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isa. 2:1-2).

And also as we have seen in Zechariah 14, one of the first things they are going to do is keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And if they don’t keep it, what’s going to happen? For those nations who don’t keep it, then they aren’t going to get any rain. And the Egyptians who don’t come up, if they don’t come up they’re going to get the plague. Now that’s what it means to shepherd with a rod of iron. And God has weapons far better than any army. God has power to execute these things far better than bombs, and tanks, and planes, and all of the specialty things that men have developed for war.

Now notice, continuing: “…and all nations shall flow unto it.” Jerusalem! And it says here Judah. Isn’t it interesting? Because it will be filled with resurrected sons of God who are considered spiritual Jews. Isn’t that correct? Yes, indeed. Very interesting how these Scriptures come together.

Now let’s continue on. Isaiah 2:3: “And many people shall go and say…” Now notice it doesn’t say all people. Now that’s important. So there will be those who will want to yield to God, the kingdom of God, and as we will see, it will start with Israel first. “…And say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law…” The very law that the Protestants hate. And the law of God has never changed. You need to understand that. Only the rituals and sacrifices have been superceded by greater [By the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His priesthood]. Now notice: “…and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people…” Why? “…And they shall beat their swords into plowshares…” See, so there’s still going to be these insurgents, and terrorists, and remnants fighting against the implementation of the kingdom of God on earth. And just like everything else that God does: He gives man choice and He gives man leeway to see whether they will obey or not. And if they will not, after a given period of time, then He’s going to exercise His power and His authority over them so they are going to learn, because God is not going to be mocked. “…And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:1-4). See, so He’s going to judge the nations afar off. That’s exactly what He’s going to do.

Now let’s see, since we have seen the kind of attitude and the kind of things that we have in the Middle East, and with the Muslim religion and so forth, let’s come to Ezekiel 38 and see one of the most profound things that’s going to take place after the return of Christ, after Israel is brought back from captivity and in the land. And it’s going to take a number of years. How long that will be we do not know. But all of those nations to the north and to the east, out of which came the army of 200 million that fought against Christ, as we saw there in Revelation 16 with the seven last plagues. Just remember there are billions, and billions, and billions of people over there and they’re not all going to die. God has a plan. He knows that just like a lot of these insurgents that were after WWII in Germany, and that are in Iraq now after the transfer of sovereignty and all the things that have been going on there, they have to be ferreted out and they have to be put down, and they either have to repent or be exterminated. That’s how God is going to handle it. That’s what He means “rebuke them afar off.”

Now let’s see what happens here, and what it’s going to do for the Millennium. The beginning of the Millennium is going to be a very difficult time indeed. Some people will come and say, “Oh, let’s go up and learn God’s way.” A lot of other people are going to say, “Well, we don’t know about this. This looks like these are the aliens from outer space. We better go up and we better fight against them. We better take back the world to ourselves.” And that’s exactly what they’re going to try and do.

Now Ezekiel 38:1: “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him…” (Ezek. 38:1-2). Now we’re going to see… Come over here to verse 11 so that we understand the time setting. “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages…” Now you can’t call Jerusalem unwalled villages. As a matter of fact they’re building walls, aren’t they? Yes. “…I will go to them that are at rest…” Because you see God deals with Israel first, then the rest of the world. So God is going to deal with Israel first, and those nations who volunteer to come under the sovereignty of the kingdom of God and the rule of Jesus Christ and the saints. There will be some who won’t want to. And as it says, great nations afar off He’s going to rebuke. Well all these nations we’re talking about here are afar off from Jerusalem.

Now back here to verse 3 and let’s follow the story flow. “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya [which actually means Kush and Phut from India] with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited…” (verses 3-8). So God is going to rule on earth beginning in Jerusalem; bring back the captivity of the children of Israel out of their captivity; establish them in their land. They will be building. They will be planting. God will be blessing them. And then these nations out there who don’t want to submit, they’re going to know what’s going on.

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste [that is, since the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD]: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil…” Because you see, they are going to be prosperous, they are going to have plenty, God is going to be blessing Israel, and they are going to want to take it. “…And to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations [so Israel is back in the land], which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (verses 8-13). “Are you going to come and take away the blessings that I God have given to the children of Israel who are at rest? Are you going to resist the kingdom of God? Are you going to resist the rule of Christ and the saints? Are you going to come with your power and your armies and think that you are going to conquer and take back and take away?”

God has something special for them. Verse 14: “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when My people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army [a reoccurrence of Genghis Khan, if we could put it that way]: and thou shalt come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against My land…” Here’s the purpose. Why does God do all of this? Because you see, He wants everyone to submit through repentance and choice voluntarily. Those who won’t He’s going to make an example that there will never ever, ever again during the Millennium (except at the end as we will see) will war, rebellion, and anarchy, and killing rule again. He’s going to make this an example. “I will bring thee against My land, that the heathen may know Me…” They don’t know God. They know Buddha, they know Confucius, they know Mohammad, they know Islam. They know whatever kind or form of religion that they have, but not the true God. And in India they’ve got so many gods that there is hardly any naming of them all. They don’t know God. “…That the heathen may know Me…” God is going to do this for a perpetual and everlasting lesson that is going to carry right through the Millennium. “…When I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes” (verses 14-16).

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that My fury shall come up in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all My mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (verses 17-21). So they’re going to get all there and then God is going to set them in confusion. They’re going to start fighting among each other and killing each other. You know, God has done that before. That’s one of the weapons that God does. He puts it in their minds to fight against each other. Now that won’t be too terribly hard to do. I mean, all you have to do is just look at the radicalism of the different groups that are out there today. They fight against each other. So it’s going to be something.

“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” So when they come up and they’re going to go and try and attack and take over the land of Israel with Israel back in the land living in peace and prosperity, and worshipping God and keeping the Sabbath and the holy days, and all the things that God wants them to do, and they’re going to come up and want to take over. So God is going to fight with the same weapons He’s always fought with. You can read this in the book of Exodus when He freed the children of Israel from Egypt. You can read of this in the book of Revelation with the seven last plagues and so forth. These are the weapons of God that He uses against men. Now notice what this is going to do: “Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (verses 22-23). Well, that’s going to be pretty powerful, isn’t it? And if there are any left back in the homeland, they’re going to go back and say, “It is God! Forget everything you’ve ever thought that you’re going to do. Repent and submit.” So that will be something, won’t it? I mean you think about it.

Now let’s look at the first few verses in Chapter 39. “Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee…” (Ezek. 39:1-2). So out of all of those that are left, even subtracting out all of those that were killed in the seven last plagues and the battles leading up to it, then He’s only going to leave one sixth left. See, God is not going to put up with rebellion and anarchy. When the kingdom of God, with Christ ruling, comes to this earth it is going to rule in love, in peace, in understanding. But for those who rebel it’s going to be power, and force, and pestilence, and fire, and brimstone, and hailstones. So that’s going to be what they’re going to be faced with. I couldn’t help but think of that when I saw the documentary about what happened in Germany after WWII, and then seeing what is happening after the conflict here in Iraq and the supposed war on terror. And it’s also another lesson: a few sinful men can do a great deal of damage. And God is not going to allow that. That’s why He says in Revelation 2 that we are going to rule them (that is shepherd them, but rule them) with a rod of iron. And if they don’t do the will of God, they’re going to be broken in pieces just like you take a pot and just bust it into shards. Because Jesus Christ is going to show that no one can come against Him. No one can come against the spiritual saints of God that are ruling this world. Look at the weapons. That’s going to be something. A sixth part of you.

“…And will cause thee to come up from the north parts…” Just like everything else, God raises up the evil ones by letting them do their own thing. And they think that they have power and success because they are accomplishing these things and they don’t know that they are on their way to meet their Maker. And He says: “…[I] will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.” So immediately God sends in the animals and birds, which are His servants to clean up all the flesh. “Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.” So when the last rebellion is put down then there will be universal peace. But God is going to let them go their own way. God is going to rebuke them. God is going to set them up for the fall. Because the word will go out. They will know. They will have been told that Christ is here ruling from Jerusalem. They will have had an opportunity to go up like the other nations, but refuse to do so. They will have an opportunity to repent so that they can receive the Spirit of God, and that they can stop all of their hateful warmongering and just bloodthirsty and barbarous ways. But they refuse to take it. Now we’ll finish here with verse 7. “So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (verses 2-7).

Now let’s go on. Let’s see what happens. There has to be a tremendous clean up program after all the birds and animals clean up all the rotten flesh and so forth. And as we read these prophecies and God has given us understanding on how these things unfold through His word, and I just imagine that down through time, from the time of the death of the apostles on down until the beginning of what we would call the modern age, it was really difficult for them to understand these Scriptures. So brethren, we need to be thankful that we can understand it. But also know and realize that with this understanding also comes a responsibility. Because no man is given the truth of the knowledge of the Word of God so that it can be taken lightly, or that it can be looked upon as a thing of human discovery, rather than as we started out as God’s revelation through His Spirit.

Now verse 8: “Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons…” You know, just like they are doing in Iraq today. There are great truck convoys going out of Iraq into Turkey carrying weapons; rifles, cannons, bombs, to be all melted down. And so: “…both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years…” Now you stop and think about that. How huge is this army going to be? And I’m sure that not only on the mountains of Israel but as these armies spread back toward the homelands in the north and the east there’s going to be those things there too. “So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD” (verses 8-10). Now that’s something.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers [because right at first, because of the stink of it]: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.” Just like we’re seeing in Iraq today. How long is it going to take to search out and get all these weapons? Because they now know that what was said of the representatives of Iraq trying to get uranium from the country of Niger was true! And they are finding weapons of mass destruction here and there. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, it’s going to be the same way here. They are going to have to go out and cleanse all of that. “Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD” (verses 11-13). And so here it is, they’re going to have continual employment, verse 14 and so forth. And so that’s what’s going to happen.

So it’s going to be when we’re dealing with human beings, and the problems of war, and the destruction of the earth (which we are going to be confronted with when we come back to this earth with Jesus Christ and set up the kingdom of God), we’re going to be confronted with massive real human problems. And we’re going to have to correct all of them. Christ is going to have to give us guidance and understanding so we know what to do. But God is going to really make a name for Himself with this. You stop and think about the mammoth proportions of what’s going to happen with Gog and Magog, and it’s really a fantastic thing. There won’t be a rebel left. That’s how God is going to solve the problem.

Now let’s come to Psalm 47. Let’s look at some of the psalms here and see how these things fit in with what we found there in Ezekiel 38 and 39. And I tell you—it’s going to be something. God isn’t going to allow or tolerate rebellion. But what He’s going to do is gather up all the rebels together and let them come, and take care of them all at once.

Now Psalm 47:1: “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” That’s what Israel is going to do when they see how God has fought against Gog and Magog, and Meshech and Tubal, and all of the countries of the north and the east and everything. They’re going to shout with joy. “For the LORD most high is terrible [awesome—look what He did]; He is a great King over all the earth.” Literal fulfillment. “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.” And that refers to us who are going to rule and reign over the heathen. Amazing thing, isn’t it? There it is right in the Word of God. “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved.” And of course Jacobs name was changed to Israel, and we are spiritual Israel. “God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding” (Psa. 47:1-7). Now you know how He’s going to be King over all the earth, and the great power He’s going to exercise, and our part in it. And the part of the children of Israel, the physical children of Israel brought back out of captivity.
Now notice verse 8: “God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness [ruling out of Jerusalem].” Now remember what we read in Isaiah 2: The throne of God is going to be there and many people are going to come and say, “Let us learn of His ways.” The law is going to go forth out of Zion. Here it’s explaining it right here. “The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham…”, which then are what? The spiritual children of God ruling with Jesus Christ. Now you put that together with the understanding of the covenant that God gave Abraham back in Genesis 15. So you see, the plan of God goes way back before the creation of the earth. But it is solidified through Abraham and comes down through the children of Israel, and then down to the church—the spiritual children of Abraham. And that’s what it’s talking about here. “...Even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted” (verses 8-9). Now then there will be the peace which will come.

Psalm 50:1: “The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” In other words around the whole earth. That’s what it’s talking about. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people [and judge the world]. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Now we’ll expand on that tomorrow because that has to do with our relationship with God and how we prepare to be kings and priests. “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.” (Psa. 50:1-5, 7). So we need to listen to what God has to tell us.

Now let’s come over here to Psalm 98. So this is what it means—the Millennium. This is the fulfilling of the Millennium. And day one pictures the institution of the Millennium. Christ is on the earth, Satan is put away, and now the kingdom of God begins. The government of God begins.

“O sing unto the LORD a new song; for He hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.” We just went through and described it, didn’t we? Yes, indeed. “The LORD hath made known His salvation…”, and the heathen know Him. And now has been sanctified in Gog and Magog, and all the earth will be under the control and power of Jesus Christ and the saints of God. Marvelous thing. “…His righteousness hath He openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God” (Psa. 98:1-3). And that’s what this day is going to picture when Gog and Magog have been put down and destroyed, and the last human enemies against the imposition of the kingdom of God on earth.

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for He cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity” (verses 4-9). Amazing thing, isn’t it?

Brethren, let’s understand we have been called to the greatest calling possible. We have understanding that as Jesus said that other people do not have. And with that comes a great responsibility that we serve God with love, with joy, with zeal, with loyalty, with determination, with understanding, with faith, with hope, with all the attributes of the Holy Spirit because this is the greatest thing that we could possibly be involved in, in ushering in the rule of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God on earth.

Now notice Psalm 99: “The LORD reigneth…” Now there are several psalms that say “the LORD reigns.” “…Let the people tremble: He sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The LORD is great in Zion; and He is high above all the people. Let them praise Thy great and terrible name; for it is holy” (Psa. 99:1-3). That goes right back to Psalm 2, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. It’s going to be an amazing thing.

Now let’s see, after we get all of this done, what is going to be the outcome of it? Let’s come to Isaiah 11. We’re going to see what happens. See, God has the power. God is going to change and recreate and reform the earth, and with His Spirit with Israel, with bringing conversion to the heathen, bringing His way to the whole earth, then we are going to see what will happen here.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding…” This is going to be the rule that we are also going to bring in, and it has a lot to do with how we prepare to be kings and priests, which we’ll cover tomorrow. “…The spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth [just like it says back there in Revelation 2—“smite them with a rod of iron”], and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isa. 11:1-5). And then everything is going to be changed—human nature, animal nature. The way that the earth is, is going to be beautiful, and marvelous, and harmonious.

And not only are they not going to learn war anymore, there’s also going to be a change in the nature of the animals. Verse 6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Boy, entirely different, isn’t it. I look at that and every time I read that I think, “Hey, there are not going to be very many plastic toys for the children to play with, right?” Yes, sure there will be some toys. But not like it is today. They’re going to have the real thing. They’re going to have lions and tigers and all of these things. “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.” Now that’s to show the contrast of the world today with the kingdom of God tomorrow. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain [which ties right in with Isaiah 2, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be exalted]: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (verses 6, 8-9). That’s something, isn’t it? Yes. So that’s how the Millennium will start.

(End of Sermon)

Transcriber: Carolyn Singer

The Feast of Tabernacles—Day 1—Holy Day
September 30, 2004
Scriptural References

  1. I Corinthians 1:17-21
  2. Revelation 14:12
  3. I Corinthians 1:9-13
  4. John 6:63
  5. Psalm 119:18
  6. Leviticus 23:33-38
  7. Numbers 29:12-13, 32-36, 39
  8. Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  9. John 18:33-38
  10. Luke 19:11-15, 21-27
  11. Acts 1:6-7
  12. Isaiah 9:6-7
  13. Revelation 20:4-6
  14. Revelation 2:25-27
  15. Isaiah 2:1-4
  16. Ezekiel 38:1-23
  17. Ezekiel 39:1-13
  18. Psalm 47:1-9
  19. Psalm 50:1-5, 7
  20. Psalm 98:1-9
  21. Psalm 99:1-3
  22. Isaiah 11:1-6, 8-9

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