Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles

Fred R. Coulter - September 18, 2013

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles, 2013. Time marches on—doesn't it? Here we are at another Feast of Tabernacles, and we realize as we see the events transpiring and taking place in the world, that it looks like there is going to be a lot of trouble and a whole lot more time.

This is what the world has been waiting for. The world wants peace, but they don't know the way of peace. The world wants blessings and abundance, but they don't know how to receive it. Now that Satan has been removed, the earth, the people, the Family of God are now ready for God to begin carrying out His great plan as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. That God is on earth dwelling with His people!

Not only that, all of those who are in the first resurrection are going to rule and reign with Him. Let's go back again to the prophecies that have taken place, and we see in Isaiah 9—a good place to start—that this is known from the 800's B.C. forward. It was a prophecy that God would come in the flesh. I am sure that this was most difficult for the Jews to understand. As we read this, we see about Jesus, we see about His ministry, and then it blends right on into the government of God.

Remember, the government of God today is not the ministry. The government of God is God ruling in you, the peace of God ruling in you. We are to be

  • led by the peace of God

  • let by the Holy Spirit of God

  • filled with His Word and Truth

This is how we are to be ruled.

You've heard the old saying, 'In order to rule you have to learn how to be ruled.' That was applied to the ministry, that the ministry is now going to rule over you. If you submit to the ministry, now you're guaranteed salvation.

No! That's not true! If Christ can't rule in your heart; if God the Father cannot lead you, then you're not learning how to be ruled by God. Think on that for a minute. God wants us to develop the character of God, as laid out step-by-step in 2-Pet. 1 and Gal. 5:22—all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

  • That's why we're here!

  • That's how we grow!

  • That's how we overcome!

Today we have all the tools necessary:

  • the Word of God

  • the time

  • the ability

Now we find the Scriptures being fulfilled one after the other.

Living in these end-times gives us a unique perspective, that all of those who were successful Christians before us, who were faithful and endured unto the end, are all dead and buried in the ground awaiting the resurrection when Jesus returns.

So, here we are that much closer. We don't know how much time we have left. We don't know how long it's going to be. But we do know that it's going to happen. As long as we're in he flesh, and as long as there is time, we will depend on God to show us the understanding of the Scriptures when we need to know. Otherwise, we can't know, and if we're not yielded to God we won't know.

Let's begin by going to Isaiah 9, and let's see the prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. This tells so many, many things:

Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder… [that means He's going to be King of the earth] …and His name shall be called Wonderful… [all these names refer to God] …Counselor, the Mighty God…"

How can a little infant become the 'Mighty God'? That's the whole story of the New Testament, that God came to the earth, gave up His glory and power to become a pinprick of life, to be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary and to be born. A work of God, not the work of man!

Then we have all the prophecies of His growing up, His ministry and His final crucifixion and death, and then His resurrection from the dead. All of these things were prophesied in the Prophets and the Psalms.

"…the Mighty God…" (v 6). He's called the Mighty God because when He returns He is going to use all the might and power of God to bring this world into subjection to His government.

"…the Everlasting Father…" (v 6). At this time, with those converted during the Millennium, Christ and His bride will be bringing many children into the Kingdom of God. He will be—since He lives forever—an everlasting Father. We will have God the Father—He is our Father; and Christ is our friend and brother. Then when the wedding of Lamb takes place the whole work of Christ and His bride and those resurrected to serve with Him is going to be to carry out the work of bringing many people into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ being the Everlasting Father.

"…the Prince of Peace" (v 6). He's going to bring peace to the whole world. Men can never bring peace to the world. It is not in them. As long as Satan the devil is here, there will never be peace.

Now the Feast of Tabernacles begins and the fulfillment is the one-thousand-year rule of Christ. He has the government; He is going to rule, and we are going to share in that rule. If you have ever thought in your heart and mind that you would like to really do something to help and save the world, then you'd better be really busy about growing, changing and overcoming, because that's exactly what God has called us to do.

Verse 7: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end…" It's going to go on into the 'ages of eternity'; that's what we find in Rev. 21-22. We're going to be part of that.

Brethren, that's why we keep these Feasts of God. This Feast of Tabernacles tells us that we have been called to the greatest, most wonderful, most awesome and most satisfying thing that can ever happen:

  • to become the children of God

  • to rule and reign with Christ

  • to bring salvation to the world

  • to see all of those during the Millennium who will come into the Kingdom of God

—and we are going to have a part in that!

"…upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom… [that's the whole world] …to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever…. [on into the 'ages of eternity'] …The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this" (v 7). This is what we have been called to.

We will even see that there's a prophecy in the book Psalms concerning Rev. 20:4—what it's talking about, what it means, how these things are going to be carried out.

Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them…"

  • we have to learn how to judge

  • we have to learn how to be righteous

  • we have to learn how to understand the Word of God

Then after we are born again at the resurrection we will have a spirit mind, a spirit body, and we will have the wisdom of God given to us so we will know how to do these things.

"…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" (v 4)—that is a millennium.

It's going to be with Christ. Let's also understand that the power behind the beast will be Satan the devil. Satan has been around even before the Garden of Eden, so this includes everyone!

  • all the saints in the Old Testament beginning with Abel

  • all the saints in the New Testament beginning with the apostles

  • all of those that God has called down through time in history

to prepare a mighty family, a mighty army, to rule this world. It shows that we're going to be ruling over nations, cities, people, and we're going to

  • show them the way of God

  • teach them the Truth of God

  • teach them the love of God

That's going to be a fantastic thing, brethren. It's going to be the greatest thing for us to see how the world was meant to be if Adam and Eve had not sinned. Just think of how absolutely wonderful that is going to be, and we have a part in it.

Now then, a parenthetical statement—inset here—v 5: "(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)…. [We'll cover that after the Feast of Tabernacle on the Last Great Day.] …This is the first resurrection"—referring back to v 4.

Notice about those of the first resurrection, v 6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection… [we are going to be as God is; we're promised and told that we will see Him 'as He is' because we will be 'like Him.'] …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."

Let's see where it talks about the glory of God and His rulership over the world, and what an awesome thing, indeed, this is going to be. Let's remember what Jesus said for those who are the children of God, that they are those in the resurrection and they will 'shine as the sun' with the glory that God is going to give us. I can't imagine what that's going to be, but Jesus said it would be!

Psalm 93:1: "The LORD reigns…" Just like we saw at the last trump (Rev. 11:15) that He rules and reigns over the kingdoms of the earth.

"…He is clothed with majesty…" (v 1)—and we will be, too. Wonder what that's going to be like? Spirit beings need spirit clothes; just like physical human beings—made of the dust of the earth—have physical clothes. All of what we have is part of the physical dust of the earth that then is grown into different plants and things, or fibers and minerals, and then we turn them into cloth and they are made special for us. Think what it's going to be like.

Sidebar: I've often thought of going clear into New Jerusalem; we're going to live there, so we need to think big, way beyond even the Feast of Tabernacles, brethren. I've thought this: Jesus said He's going to 'prepare a place' for us; that's got to be New Jerusalem. Since we're spirit beings and New Jerusalem is made of spirit and we're going to live there, we're going to have a place, we have to have clothes. Is not God clothed? He's clothed with majesty! He is clothed with strength!

I've often wondered what it's going to be like when one of the angels takes us to our abode in New Jerusalem. You go into this fantastic city and—I don't know how high up or how far down we're going to be or whatever it may be—we come to the place where we are going to have our place, where we will live and exist. We go into it, like going into a great apartment. The angel opens the door and we walk in and look at the beauty and everything that has been created, that Jesus made for us in the place that He prepared.

We come to the garment closet and He opens the door and here are all these clothes that we're going to be able to wear, made of spirit! I've often wondered what that will be like, especially after reading this:

"…He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength. He clothed Himself and the world also is established; it shall not be moved" (v 1). It's going to be under the control of Christ! Yes, that's something!

Psalm 95:1—this also talks about the same time we're ruling and reigning with Christ: "O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation."

I wonder what it's going to be like. You read of it in Rev. 5 that thousands and thousands of angels and everything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, and under the water are saying, 'Blessing, power, honor, glory and riches belong to our God.' Imagine what that singing is going to be like! For all of those of you who make 'joyful noises' now, you'll really be able to sing.

Verse 2: "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms, for the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods" (vs 2-3).

Psalm 99:1: "The LORD reigns…" That's going to be the simple and first message that we are going to carry when we go out to bring the people of the world under the government of God and help them heal from all the wars and all the end-time events. We are going to let them know that the beast and the false prophet no longer rule. Satan the devil no longer rules; he is put away!

Verse 1: "The LORD reigns; let the people tremble. He sits between the cherubim; let the earth quake. The LORD is great in Zion, and He is high above all the people. Let them praise Your name as great and awesome; Holy is He. The strength of the King also loves justice; You established uprightness; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy" (vs 1-5). That's going to be an awesome thing, all of these things taking place and what is going to happen here.

Remember how it talked about psalms of thrones in Rev. 20; here is where it comes from: Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the LORD.'"

We're going to be out ruling various cities and nations and we'll be there for Sabbath and Holy Day services, but there will be times when we will go back to Jerusalem. Think of what it's going to be like when we come to Jerusalem. It's going to be a great tabernacle. We will see that in one of the messages during the Feast. We will see Christ and all of those who are there at Jerusalem.

Verse 2: "Our feet shall stand within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built like a city that is all joined together as one where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD" (vs 2-4).

Notice what else is there, because remember: What did Jesus tell the 12 apostles? You are going to sit on 12 thrones judging the tribes of Israel!

Verse 5: "For there were set the thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David." How about that! Then it goes out from there, the various thrones of rulership that have been given to us. What a wonderful and tremendous thing this is, and how great and marvelous that this will be. Yes, indeed!

Let's understand some very important and powerful; things that are going to be. Psalm 68:1[transcriber's correction] talks about the establishing of the Kingdom of God. Christ is going to have to do this. This is what the final Battle of Armageddon is all about. But we also know that all the enemies of God are going to be put down.

Psalm 68:1: "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; also let those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish in the presence of God" (vs 1-2). That's what happens when Christ returns. We're going to put it all down.

Verse 3: "But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God. Yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides upon the clouds Whose name is the LORD, and rejoice before Him" (vs 3-4). That's really going to be something when that takes place.

Psalm 66: "Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth." We're going help bring in

  • the government of God

  • the peace of God

  • the laws of God

  • the Truth of God

  • the teaching to the people

There's going to be

  • forgiveness

  • healing

  • every evil undone

We'll make a joyful noise to God.

Verse 2: "Sing forth the honor of His name; make His praise glorious. Say to God, 'How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power, Your enemies submit themselves in obedience to You. All the earth shall worship You and shall sing praises to You; they shall sing praises to Your name.' Selah" (vs 2-4).

Psalm 67 also fits into the Millennium. What a glorious time this is going to be. Always remember, we are part of it! That's why we have been called. This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles, because it reminds us of the great plan, power and purpose of Almighty God for us so that we can, at this time,

  • focus in on this

  • set aside all the problems of the world

  • set aside all the grief, all the disasters and everything

  • focus on what we are going to be

  • how we are going to serve the world

We have been called to do it!

Psalm 67:1: "May God be gracious to us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. Selah." Think on that! That's what God is doing; that's what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about!

Verse 2: "So that Your way… [God's way] …may be known on earth… [that's what we are going to do] …Your salvation among all nations." It has never been known by all the nations of the world. We're going to do it! We are going to teach them!

Verse 3: "Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You shall judge the people righteously and govern the nations upon earth. Selah." (vs 3-4). Isn't that something!

Notice how great this is going to be! Think and mediate on this. So, we'll be doing that during this Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 5: "Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. The earth shall yield its increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him' (vs 5-7). That is a tremendous and wonderful thing that's going to happen.

Psalm 68:32: "Sing unto God, you kingdoms of the earth…" Isn't that going to be something? I wonder how that's going to be. You start out the Sabbath Day when the Sabbath Day begins.

Sidebar: The International Dateline is undoubtedly inspired by God, and for this reason: Remember, all the Feasts begin with the calculation of the new moon. The moon rises in the west. That's why it begins and includes New Zealand and comes from there around the world.

How is a full day, looking down from heaven, 48 hours, instead of 24? Because wherever you are on the earth it's 24 hours. But if you start in New Zealand at sundown, it is the night before here on the west coast of the United States. They're a day ahead of us. Sabbath begins at sundown, and that sundown comes around until it comes to us on the west coast of the United States, for us to begin the Sabbath where we are, and the sun continues on because the earth is turning. When sundown comes to New Zealand again it ends the Sabbath and then whenever the earth is turning and the sun is setting, it's ending the Sabbath. This whole cycle takes 24 hours—24 hours for the Sabbath to begin around the world and 24 hours for the Sabbath to end around the world. Looking down from heaven, that's a total of 48 hours. I hope you understand it.

Let's see how all of this is going to be. Come back to Isa. 4[corrected]. This tells us about what the tabernacle of God is going to be like. Ezekiel is given a vision of the temple in Jerusalem just before it was destroyed (Ezek. 40-48). He was given the measurements of it. Why was that? You go back and understand that God gave David the plans for Solomon to build the temple, so a temple built to God must have God's plans.

The first temple was destroyed, so before it was destroyed—because the captivity was to be 70 years and then they would be brought back—God gave to Ezekiel, in vision, the measurements of the temple. That's why there are sacrifices there at the temple in Ezekiel because it's the second temple, which continued to exist until it was destroyed in 70A.D.

When we come to Isa. 4, what kind of structure are we going to have? Well, God said that He dwelt in a tent or tabernacle—correct? Yes! That's exactly what's going to be over Jerusalem. It's going to be a tabernacle of God, not a physical building. There will be places, yes, that is true; but let's look at it.

Isaiah 4:5: "And the LORD will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion… [that's where the temple was, and that's where this is going to be] …and over her assemblies… [because people will gather there; the sons of God will gather there for Sabbath services when we go to visit Jerusalem] …a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy. And there shall be a tabernacle for shade by day from the heat, and for refuge, and for shelter from storm and rain" (vs 5-6). That's going to be the tabernacle of God.

How it's going to be where Christ is going to dwell, where the 12 apostles are going to dwell, where other people in Jerusalem are going to dwell—probably out from the tabernacle—but Christ will be living under this big tabernacle. There is no need for a temple.

Sidebar: When we come to Rev. 21 and New Jerusalem, it says there is no temple there, 'for God and the Lamb are the temple of it.' When you go back to Rev. 3 and those that have the name of God the Father and will be at the temple of God, it will be referring to this tabernacle. It will be a tabernacle, not a building.

Let's see what else is going to be brought to the world; that it cannot have now, and how only we can do so. God is going to bring back Israel. They're going to be given the Word of God and so forth. Here is a plea, which is also a prophecy:

Jeremiah 3:11: "And the LORD said to me, 'The backsliding Israel has justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and cry these words toward the north, and say, "Return, O backsliding Israel,"' says the LORD; 'and I will not cause My anger to fall on you; for I am merciful,' says the LORD, 'and I will not keep My anger forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity… [we will see that they will] …that you have transgressed against the LORD your God and have scattered your ways to strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,' says the LORD. 'Turn, O backsliding children,' says the LORD; 'for I am your husband; and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion'" (vs 11-14). This is a great and tremendous thing.

Verse 15: "And I will give you shepherds according to My heart… [that is us] …who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it will be when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days,' says the LORD, 'they shall say no more, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD!" nor shall it come to mind; nor shall they remember it; nor shall they visit it; nor shall it be made any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. Nor shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart'" (vs 15-17). They will be converted, and we are going to help bring about that conversion beginning with Israel first, and then the rest of the whole world.

Verse 18: "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance to your fathers." That's going to be quite a thing!

As you look out at this world and all the difficulties and problems that are going on, let's see the promise that is given to us. Let's see what God has inspired Paul to write concerning the world and the troubles and the vanity and all the things that have been going on in the world since time immemorial. It's amazing!

Sidebar: I've got a book called Langer's Encyclopedia of World History. It is a short summary of the history of man. It is war after war after war, and plague, ruin, disaster, and we know that all comes from sin.

God turned them over to that, which He calls vanity. Men have wanted to go their own way beginning with Adam and Eve. If men choose to go their way, then God let's them do it. During the Millennium it's not going to be that way, because we will be here and the government of God will be here. Christ will be King, and there will be rule, love, goodness, mercy, plenty. But it has to be rescued from the corruption that it is today, and that's why God has called us. That's why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Let's see:

  • the promise

  • that we have inheritance

  • the goal

  • that we have a purpose

Romans 8:14[transcriber's correction]: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." Yet to be born at the resurrection.

Verse 15: "Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.'" This is to inspire us that in this life there can be nothing against us, nothing to keep us from God, because we have been called to the greatest purpose:

  • to be the sons of God

  • to be rulers

  • to be kings

  • to be priests

  • to serve God

  • to serve the people of the world

  • to rescue the world

  • to bring salvation to the world

Verse 16: "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—…" (vs 16-17)—which means eventually the whole universe!

We need to think big! We need to understand the plan of God! This is not of church of religion to make yourself better. This is a Church of God with the Spirit of God, so God can recreate Himself in you through His Spirit, to be His very children.

"…if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him" (v 17). To be in glory!

Notice how we are view the world, and notice the goal, v 18: "For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God" (vs 18-19). They're waiting for us!

There's a song that says, 'The world is waiting for the sunrise…' Yes, it's waiting for Christ! It's waiting for the sons of God!

Verse 20: "Because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope, in order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (vs 20-21). That's why God has called us. That's why we are here! This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles!

Let's make this a great and wonderful Feast of:

  • loving God

  • learning from His Word

  • fellowshipping with each other

  • spending time together

  • praying for one another

  • loving one another

  • helping each other

  • sharing with each other

So that we can be the children of God and sit on the thrones ruling and judging with Christ and the 12 apostles and all that serve and love God!

Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles, 2013!

Scriptural References:

  1. Isaiah 9:6-7

  2. Revelation 20:4-6

  3. Psalm 93:1

  4. Psalm 95:1-3

  5. Psalm 99:1-5

  6. Psalm 122:1-5

  7. Psalm 68:1-4

  8. Psalm 66:1-4

  9. Psalm 67:1-7

  10. Psalm 68:32

  11. Isaiah 4:5-6

  12. Jeremiah 3:11-18

  13. Romans 8:14-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Peter 1

  • Galatians 5:22

  • Revelation 21; 22; 11:15; 5

  • Ezekiel 40-48

  • Revelation 21; 3

Also referenced: Book:

Langer's Encyclopedia of World History