Feast of Tabernacles 2013

Fred R. Coulter - September 19, 2013

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2013! Time marches on and keeps going and the world is going exactly the way it has been depicted in the Scriptures and according to prophecy. The return of Christ is going to happen right on God's schedule! The setting up of the Kingdom of God is going to be the greatest, most important, most fantastic thing to happen in the history of mankind, since the beginning of the creation of Adam and Eve and all of mankind.

The Bible has laced through it many descriptions of how this is going to come to pass, how it's going to take place. It's very interesting, it always is, that these things get mentioned in Lev. 23. Who would have ever guessed! If you were to ask a Protestant: What chapter is there in the Bible that gives us the very basis for all of what God is doing? He might mention John 3:16, because, yes, God is doing that, but that is not a chapter. That's a verse, maybe one or two before and after.

Where is the chapter that shows it? Lev. 23! All the facts are not given here. We are just given the bare bones of when we are to observe these things, and the meaning of what they are is found in the rest of the Bible. Of course, we've got to put it together exactly like it is in Isa. 28—'line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; precept upon precept.' You put it together as Paul wrote to Timothy, 'rightly dividing the Word of God,' and it paints and incredible, fantastic picture of what God is going to do, and how—when Christ returns—He's going to rescue all mankind.

We know that the Day of Atonement pictures putting away Satan the devil, and we'll visit that again in Rev. 20, then we'll put the Scriptures together and ask: What is God going to do first?

Always remember this: The disciples and Jesus kept the Feast days of God! When it says 'to Israel,' always remember: Israel first, then the rest of the nations! The Church is also called spiritual Israel. Of course, the Law of Moses—remember, there are two versions: God's version and Judaism's version, which has their traditions.

Leviticus 23:33: "And the LORD spoke to Moses saying… [every time God commands Moses something, it comes from God] …'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, "The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD."'" This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days; God says so!

The simplest thing in the world, remember the three words: Obey My voice! You can't get any simpler than that—right? Everything else comes from God; He's spoken it, and He's caused it to be preserved for us.

Verse 35: "On the first day shall be a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein. Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day shall be a Holy convocation to you…. [we'll cover that when we come to it, The Last Great Day.] …And you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly. And you shall do no servile work therein. These are the Feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be Holy convocations to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything on its day; besides the Sabbaths of the LORD… [you have the weekly Sabbath and every single Holy Day is called a Sabbath, as well] …and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a Feast to the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath" (vs 35-39).

We are to bring an offering to God. All the fire offerings mentioned there every day were to be done by the priesthood. We are told in Lev. 16, that during the Feast of Tabernacles we are to bring an offering to God based upon the blessings that He has given us. Also remember that God works in a way that is called reciprocity:

  • you obey God, God responds to you

  • you respond back to God, He responds to you

So, when you give an offering, give an offering that is going to—as it says in the Bible—glorify God. Something that is special, that is precious; and of course, those things are used to carryout what we are doing.

  • to serve the brethren

  • to teach the brethren

  • to preach the Gospel

  • to publish the books

  • to do the videos & CDs

What we are doing with this is preparing the way of the Lord, so to speak, for His return to this earth!

(pause for offering)

Let's pick up the flow of events in Zech. 14. We know that Christ is going to return and with all the saints with Him. He is going to setup the Government of God, and rulership of the world will come from Jerusalem. We are going to be given thrones; we are going to rule and reign with Christ a thousand years (Rev. 20). Then, after that, all eternity!

Let's see what's going to happen, because the earth has to be healed physically, and also spiritually. The key thing to always remember: There can never be any peace as along as Satan is around!That's why he is put away and bound in the abyss all during the Millennium so there will be peace. Here comes first the healing of the physical earth, because people cannot be healed and maintained unless the earth also is healed.

Zechariah 14:8: "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them shall go toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea…." Water is a type of the Holy Spirit of God. When we come to New Jerusalem, out from under the throne of God comes the crystal clear water.

"…In summer and in winter it shall be. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name shall be one" (vs 8-9).

Let's see what's going to happen. What's one of the first things that's going to transpire after Christ returns. We will see bringing with Israel, and then the other nations, and we will see how that will take place.

Verse 16: "And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."

How important is this going to be for the people in the Millennium. Stop and think for a minute, since God gave those Feasts to Israel, and we can go back and find that it also applies to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and since the early New Testament Church kept the Feast days of God, and God is going to enforce it all during the Millennium. Does this not show that these are requirements for salvation and worship of God? Yes, indeed! Notice what it says if they don't come up to worship God:

Verse 17: "And it shall be, whoever will not come up from all the families of the earth to Jerusalem…" this means they have to have the representatives sent. You can't have everyone in the world come up to Jerusalem, but you better have a representative who verifies that back home they're keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Of course, that will be all verifiable—won't it? Yes, indeed!

"…to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain" (v 17). God is going to, again, use weather:

  • to correct

  • to warn

  • to bring repentance

Also this shows that even though God is going to enforce it, they have to choose to do it, just like us, choices are set before us all the time.

Notice what happens to Egypt. Poor ole Egypt, they always get it, v 18: "And if the family of Egypt that has no rain, does not come up to present themselves, this shall be the plague with which the LORD shall strike the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be Egypt's punishment, and the punishment of all the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (vs 18-19). After that you would certainly have to say, 'Yes, the Feast of Tabernacles is important, so let's see what God is going to do.

  • He's going to take over the earth

  • He's going to rule the earth

It's interesting that there are an awful lot of Psalms that show what's going to happen during the Millennium, which show how the earth is going to be run. It's going to be entirely different than the way it is today.

Psalm 46:4: "There is a river whose streams make the city of God rejoice… [We just saw that. The river coming out, flowing to the east and flowing to the west.] …the Holy dwelling place of the Most High." God is in the midst of her.

Just like we saw last night, it's going to be a covering, a tabernacle. There's not going to be a physical temple. There are going to be places for all of us to live there. Of course, that's going to be quite a thing, indeed! That is, those who will be there with Christ at Jerusalem, I don't mean everybody.

Verse 5: "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her at the approach of the morning…. [God had to have all the nations submit]: …The nations raged, the kingdoms were shaken; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah" (vs 5-7).

Here's what's going to happen: This earth, at the beginning of the Millennium is going to be in utter desolation and destruction. We've seen some examples of this with these tsunamis and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. We've seen this with tornados in the United States. We've seen this with earthquakes, so there's going to be a lot that needs to be done.

Verse 8: "Come, behold the works of the LORD who makes desolations upon the earth, Who makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth." There won't be any wars anywhere. That's a lot different than it is today. It seems like there are wars, revolutions, upheavals and commotions as the Bible tells us there are going to be. It says, 'How the heathen rage.' Yes, certainly something!

Verse 9: "He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire." Going to get rid of all war implements. Think about what that's going to do to all of those industrialists who make their money on inventing killing machines, instruments, substance, guns, planes and tanks. That's going to be something! Going to melt them all down. There will be nothing left of what this world was like. It's all going to be rebuilt.

There's going to be so much shaking of the earth, that all of those underground things that men have devised and made, they're all going to be eliminated. Every idol is going to be smashed; every cathedral is going to be destroyed, every pagan temple is going to be abolished, decimated, never again to rise.

Verse 10: "Be still… [not talking back to God] …and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." That's going to be a total change—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

Verse 11. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." God is going to dwell on the earth, and all the sons of God—resurrected on Pentecost, coming back on Trumpets with Christ to take over the earth—will be there.

God has called us to the most important thing that there is, brethren: To be able to make all of this take place, we will all have a frontline, important part in bringing the Government and Kingdom of God to this world. What a change that is going to be!

Psalm 47:1: "Clap your hand, all you people; shout to God with the voice of triumph, for the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth" (vs 1-2). Of course, there's going to be a grand re-education program; a grand teaching of

  • the Sabbath and Holy Days

  • the laws of God

  • how to run farms and ranches

  • how to run businesses

  • how cities need to be

It's going to be a great and marvelous thing that's going to happen.

  • we'll be right there

  • we're going to teach them

  • we're going to help them

  • we're going to encourage them

  • we're going to help heal them

  • we're going to show them what is the purpose of life and why we are here

This is a great and marvelous thing! There aren't going to be any renegades around, because He'll subdue them. It may take some time for that to happen.

Verse 3: "He shall subdue the people under us… [the resurrected saints] …and nations under our feet."

Let's see the promise that is given, what we are going to do, Rev. 2. This is to all the churches. Remember, the seven letters to the seven churches are to the churches. We can learn from every one of the seven churches.

Revelation 2:26: "And to the one who overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end…" Very interesting verse, indeed—isn't it? If you have a Protestant friend that says, 'You don't need to do any work.' You can tell them, 'You're correct, we're not do our works; but notice what this verse says: "…and keeps Myworks unto the end..." Salvation is depending upon works—isn't it? Yes! The right ones!

"…I will give authority over the nations; and he shall shepherd them with an iron rod…" (vs 26-27). That's the full authority of God. If they rebel, what's going to happen? Well, we can execute that authority! Of course, in justice, judgment and everything the right way.

"…as vessels of pottery are broken in pieces; as I have also received from My Father" (vs 27). That's exactly what we're going to be doing, bringing peace.

When you get disgusted with the news that you watch every night on your television, or listen to whatever it may be, say to yourself and remember this: God has called us to solve those problems, God's way!

  • with God's solution!

  • with God's Spirit!

  • with God's laws!

  • with Christ as King!

Psalm 47:4: "He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah." We're going to see the first thing we are going to do, we are going to help Jesus Christ bring back all the exiles and establish Israel in the Promised Land, in the land that God gave to them. It's going to be a wonderful and beautiful place at that time. But everyone is going to have to work. Everyone is gong to have to apply themselves. We'll see how that's going to take place. It's going to be something!

Verse 5: "God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a horn. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises, for God is King of all the earth…" (vs 5-7). There it is again. This is the emphasis that we're going to find as part of the message for today.

Verse 8: "…God sits upon the throne of His Holiness. The rulers of the peoples are gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham for the shields of the earth are God's; He is greatly exalted" (vs 8-9). That's something.

First of all, Jerusalem has to be established; Jerusalem has to be taken care and the area right around there. Of course, the first thing, before Christ puts His feet on the Mt. of Olives, there's going to be a great earthquake and the Mt. of Olives is going to split in two. The whole geography is going to be entirely different.

Never thought that these things would be in the Psalms—would you? But they are!

Psalm 48:1: "Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised in the city of our God, in His Holy mountain. Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of all the earth is mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (vs 1-2). That's going to be something! That is really going to be great when we see that! Just think:

  • God is beautiful!

  • God is wonderful!

  • God is perfect!

  • God is love!

  • God is magnificent and glorious!

  • God is clothed with majesty!

And so will we! It says that in our glorified form we will shine like the sun. Think what it's going to be like to go up to Jerusalem. Think what it's going to be like to sit down and talk to Jesus, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the apostles. Work with them; work together with them! That is going to be absolutely something to understand.

Verse 8: "As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God. God will establish it forever. Selah." When we get done with the Millennium—the Last Great Day—there is New Jerusalem, the new heavens, the new earth, which are going to be so fantastic that it's almost beyond description.

Verse 9: "We have thought of Your loving kindness, O God, in the midst of Your temple. As is Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice! Let the daughters of Judah shout for joy because of Your judgments!" (vs 9-11). So fantastic, indeed! Wonderful!

Let's see how all of this is going to transpire; here's what's going to happen.

  • truth

  • light

  • power

  • magnificence

  • beauty

  • understanding

  • strength

  • love

  • faith

  • wonderful kindness

Psalm 43:3: "Oh, send out Your Light and Your Truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your Holy mountain and to Your tabernacles. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; yea, upon the lyre I will praise You, O God, my God" (vs 3-4). Oh yes, that's going to be quite a time!

Psalm 96 is quite a Psalm, then we will see what God is going to do with Israel, and how He's going to redeem Israel and what He needs to do. What He does to Israel He's going to do to all the nations of the world. We're going to usher in a time of peace and prosperity, abundance, wealth and goodness untold! It's going to make everything that men have done under Satan the devil look like a rubbish heap. There's going to be plenty of singing during the Millennium; lots and lots of singing!

Psalm 96:1: "O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth." I wonder what some of those psalms are going to be? I wonder how magnificent it's going to be? Think of the voices of the men and the women and the children. Let's add in the angels. We hear some of these wonderful choirs that human beings have put together, and they can sing wonderful things. Of course, the greatest thing that they have done is has been The Messiah; that's certainly one that God inspired Handel to do; talking all about the life of Christ and what He went through and everything, and the Kingdom of God. Think what it's going to be like when we're here on the earth. As spirit beings, for us life is going to be completely new, completely different! Think about that! All of those of you who can only make a 'joyful noise' now, you will be able to sing!

Verse 2: "Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day." Which is going to be taught everyday, every Sabbath. The knowledge of God is going to be so magnificent and so wonderful.

Verse 3: "Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people, for the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods" (vs 3-4). The first thing we're going to do is say, 'Hey, all of you people down there…' First thing we're going to do is go out and destroy every idol that you see, grind it into powder and cast it away, never to be made again!

Verse 5: "For all the gods of the nations are idols… [they're going to be gone, disappear] …but the LORD made the heavens…. [look at how wonderful this is going to be] …Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary" (vs 5-6).

Remember what God told Job when He was speaking to him? Now, Job, if you can array yourself with glory and majesty, and if you can correct those who do evil, and if you can cast your rage abroad to stop sin, then I will admit to you that you can save yourself! But he couldn't!

Verse 7: "Ascribe to the LORD, O you kindreds of the people; give to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of Holiness…" (vs 7-9). What is the "…beauty of Holiness…"? I would have to say that's when you come before God and Christ is right there, and you are a spirit being.

  • you have beauty and Holiness

  • God has beauty and Holiness

  • our thoughts, our emotions, our minds and everything are all one, spiritually

That's how to worship God in the "…beauty of Holiness…"

  • No sin!

  • No wrong thoughts!

  • Everything perfect, righteous and good!

Verse 8: "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of Holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations…" (vs 8-10).

This is the message that will go out from Jerusalem. It starts at Jerusalem and goes out to the whole world, "…'The LORD reigns, and the world shall be established…'" It's going to be made right:

  • come and be healed

  • come and let your emotions be purified

  • receive the Spirit of Holiness from God

  • to change your life

  • to repent

  • to be baptized

  • to be what you ought to be and have God's purpose for your life

That's the message! "'…it shall not be moved; He shall judge the people with righteousness.'" (v 10).

I don't know how this is going to happen, but, v 11: "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness of it." To show the love and power and magnificence of God! That's going to be something!

Verse 12: "Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy." I don't know how they're going to sing, but they have discovered scientifically that plants react to positive or negative emotions and thoughts of people.

What it's going to be like with the Spirit of God covering the whole earth:

  • the power of God

  • all of us having the Spirit of God

  • all of us as spirit beings

  • Satan put away, all evil

  • we're overcoming

  • we're rebuilding

  • we're constructing people's lives

  • we're going to see that they build cities, they're busy and prosperous and do things

Yes, they're going to all "…sing for joy before the LORD; for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His Truth" (vs 12-13).

That's going to be quite a thing that God is going to do. Remember, every one of these things that we read, that we go over with the Word of God, tells us what it's going to be like during the Millennium; we will have a part in that!

That will be something that God is going to give to us. Think of the joy of it. I think we're going to see:

  • children born

  • the curse removed

  • the blessing of children

  • everything restored right

  • everything plenteousness

We're going to make this world, this way, and these things that we have on the earth today look like absolutely nothing.

Everything that the world wants in the way of God's plan, explaining about what it's going to be when God is reigning on earth, all of the things that are here are talking about the Feast of Tabernacles:

  • the age to come

  • the reign of God

  • the rule of God

But how ironic it is that the Protestants say it's all been fulfilled and we don't need to worry about it. Yet, they're missing the whole point! Isn't that going to be something? When they're resurrected in the second resurrection we talk to them and say, 'Hello, now that you're living a second life in the flesh, let's tell you something about what you were blinded to, though you thought you were doing well.' And show them what God has done! Show them the prophecies of it.

After Satan has been put away, and at the beginning of the Millennium, Jeremiah 30:8: "For it shall be in that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'I will break his yoke…'"—the yoke of the enemy; that yoke is the yoke of Satan the devil. He also has to break the covering of deception. Let's see, because we know that the world is in the grips of terrible, terrible oppression and deception.

Isaiah 25:6: "And in this mountain the LORD of hosts shall make a feast of fat things for all the people… [that's what this Feast of Tabernacles pictures] …a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of refined wines on the lees. And He will destroy in this mountain… [the governing of the earth] …the face of the covering which covers all people, and the veil that is woven over all nations" (vs 6-7). That's going to be something! He's got to break that deception, that grip—spiritual grip—that Satan has on the mind of every human being.

Jeremiah 30:8: "'…I will break his yoke from your neck and will burst your bonds. And strangers shall no longer enslave him, but they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them'" (vs 8-9). That has to be during the Millennium.

Imagine what that's going to be like. A lot of people have tried to figure out who is going to be where, doing this, that and the other thing. But we can't really know. God is the One Who is going to do it. He tells us that David is going to be there. We understand that, because He told us.

Verse 10: "And you, O My servant Jacob, do not fear,' says the LORD. 'Do not be terrified, O Israel. For lo, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. And Jacob shall return, and shall be at rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid."

Let's finish off some of the verses in Isa. 25 that explains how it's going to happen. This is our job. We are reading our future job description. This is why we are here. Listen, brethren, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in this world to be compared to what God is doing, and the plan of God. Yet, isn't it something? The world is blinded! Yet, we see!

Isaiah 25:8: "He will destroy death forever…"—beginning with us being resurrected. Think on that! What is the most grievous thing that happens in this life? The ones you love die! He's going to destroy death forever! Of course, that will also have to take place during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment and afterward. Of course, forever means on into the ages of eternity!

"…and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces. And He shall take away from all the earth the rebuke of His people, for the LORD has spoken it. And one shall say in that day, 'Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation'" (vs 8-9).

That's going to be quite a thing that God is going to do—isn't it? Yes, indeed! The understanding and knowledge of the Word of God and what He's going to do for the fulfilling of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium is absolutely awesome, indeed, beyond belief!

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Let's continue on with our redemption of Israel at the beginning of the Millennium. This is going to really be something!

Jeremiah 30:22: "And you shall be My people, and I will be your God." They're going to see all the things that take place; they're going to live through it; this is going to be absolutely marvelous for them.

Verse 23: "Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD'S wrath goes forth, a sweeping whirlwind; it shall whirl on the head of the wicked." Going to get rid of all of the wicked; they're not going to be around. They're either going to repent or it's over with.

Verse 24: "The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return until He has done it, and until He has fulfilled the purposes of His heart…. [Enumerated in His Word for us to know. Not all of them; of course not! But what we do know.] …In the latter days you shall understand it."

Jer. 31 is really quite a chapter, because we're going to be part of this, bringing them back. Jeremiah 31:1: "'At that time,' says the LORD, 'I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.' Thus says the LORD, 'The people who were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness… [they're going to survive it] …even Israel, when I will go to give him rest.'" (vs 1-2). We're going to see that the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ is called a rest. There's going to be:

  • a rest from enemies

  • a rest from sin

  • a rest from the evils of carnal nature

We're going to see that God is going to give them a new heart, convert them.

Verse 3: "The LORD has appeared to me from afar, saying, 'Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love…'" The whole Millennium is going to be based upon the love of God! That is going to be so magnificent, so great. Of course, we know the greatest of everything is love, and that God is love, we understand that. But just think of what this is going to be for the whole world, beginning first with Israel.

"'…I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore, with loving kindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel. You shall again put on your drums, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things'" (vs 3-5). That's going to be awesome—isn't it?

We're going to see that God is going to change the whole way that the world is setup. I wonder what the world is going to be like without deserts? Think of that! Think how many physical people can live on the earth if all the desolate areas of the earth were habitable. Billions and billions and billions! God has a great plan, so fantastic, and we have a part of understanding the very beginnings of it. We are going to all be integral parts in carrying out the plan of God for all mankind, beginning with Israel.

Verse 6: "'For there shall be a day that the watchmen on Mount Ephraim shall cry, "Arise and let us go up to Zion to the LORD our God!"' For thus says the LORD, 'Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations. Cry out, give praise and say, "O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel"'" (vs 6-7). That's going to be the message, and God is going to do it.

He's the only One Who can bring salvation; He is the only One, with His Family. That's why we are in God's Family; that's why God the Father is our Father and Jesus Christ is our older Brother. We are friends and we are going to rule with God.

  • Think about that every time things start getting tough for you!

  • Think about that every time you start getting discouraged!

  • Think about it!

  • Pray about it!

Realize that, yes, it will happen! Here's what's going to occur:

Verse 8: "Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the corners of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; a great company shall return there." They're going to be coming repenting, thanking God, in great relief

  • that the trouble is over

  • that the wars are over

  • that the evil is done, that Satan has been bound

Verse 9: "They shall come with weeping, and with prayers I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way; they shall not stumble in it, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn." Think about how wonderful that is going to be, brethren. We're going to help Christ do this. That is absolutely astounding!

Maybe this will help you understand why God hates religion—because it's a counterfeit of the Truth; why God has such a great plan, and we need to be looking forward to it and anticipating it greatly.

Verse 10: "Hear the Word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off. And say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him, as a shepherd keeps his flock.'" What did we read in Rev. 2? We're going to shepherd them! Christ is going to teach us. We're going to know what to do. Isn't this going to be something? The greatest, most wonderful calling that there can be!

Verse 11: "For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of the one stronger than he. Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and the herd. And their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not pine away any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them and make them rejoice from their affliction" (vs 11-13). That is going to be absolutely marvelous! Think of that, brethren! This is just astounding.

Notice what will happen, v 14[transcriber's correction]: "'And I will fill the soul of the priests with fatness… [That's us! This means all the good things of God. We're going to be kings and priests and reign with Christ!] …and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,' says the LORD."

That's quite a thing for us to understand! Let's see how God is going to bring all of this about. There's going to be a New Covenant established. This will be the Millennial Covenant with Israel. We have the New Covenant for this age, that we will be resurrected and changed into the very sons and daughters of God at the resurrection. That's the New Covenant established with Christ for the Church. But this is the New Covenant that God will establish when the Millennium begins, beginning with Israel.

Verse 31: "'Behold, the days come,' says the LORD, 'that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them,' says the LORD. 'But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' says the LORD. 'I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts…'" (vs 31-33). That's conversion! Today they are

  • hard-hearted

  • stubborn

  • rebellious

  • reject the Word of God

But here the very thing that they rejected, they are going to gratefully receive and love. "…'and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'" (v 33).

Then something is going to take place, v 34: "And they shall no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, "Know the LORD"; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' says the LORD…." From the smallest to the greatest, they shall all know God! Think of what the world is going to be like then:

  • everyone converted

  • everyone filled with the Spirit of God

    • loving God

    • worshiping God

Think of what every Sabbath is going to be like. Whatever setup the villages will be, or whatever the cities will be, there will be buildings on so many corners, the communities are going to be completely different than they are today. Use the buildings for Sabbath services, use the same building for teaching. They're going to be taught God's way. Yes, they are going to know more about science and technology and things like that than we have today, but it's going to be in right measure and used the right way. Not used to destroy people and make war.

Here's what He's going to do: "…'For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more'" (v 34). That is going to be really a fantastic thing!

God guarantees that He's going to do it. Notice how God bound Himself with this, v 35: "Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea when its waves roar; (the LORD of hosts is His name), 'If those ordinances depart from Me,' says the LORD, 'the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.' Thus says the LORD, 'If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be searched out, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,' says the LORD." (vs 35-37). There's a guarantee it's going to happen, and He wants us there to do it. Think about that!

Let's see also where it talks about their repentance. God is going to forgive them. He's going to call them:

Ezekiel 36:22: "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My Holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations where you went."'" This is to help them repent!

Verse 23: "And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their very eyes." That's why He is going to save Israel first; so the rest of the nations can see what God is going to do.

Verse 24: "For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all countries, and will gather you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean waters upon you, and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. And I will give you anew heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances and do them" (vs 24-27).

Great conversion! Just think what society is going to be like with that! What a wonderful thing that's going to be, even greater than the greatest thing that we can have in the Church. It's going to be universal, all the children of Israel.

Verse 28: "And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness, and I will call for the grain, and will increase it, and will lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruits of the tree and the increase of the field, so that you shall never again receive the curse of famine among the nations. And you shall remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations" (vs 28-31). Yes, they're going to. That's going to be something—isn't it? That is breathtaking!

Verse 32: "'I do not do this for your sake,' says the Lord GOD, 'be it known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.' Thus says the Lord GOD, 'In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the wasteland shall be tilled, instead of being desolate before all who pass by'" (vs 32-34). All the waste places of the world will be made habitable for people; productive! That's going to be something!

Verse 35: "'And they shall say, "This land that was desolate has become like the Garden of Eden…. [we go back to what God had originally intended] …And the wasted, desolate and ruined cities now are fenced and inhabited." And the nations that are left all around you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places and planted that which was desolate. I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.' Thus says the Lord GOD, 'I will yet be sought by the house of Israel to act for them. I will increase them with men like a flock. As a Holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed Feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. And they shall know that I am the LORD'" (vs 35-38).

That's really a tremendous thing. Notice—we will come to this on the Last Great Day—the next chapter (Ezek. 37) is about the second resurrection. The question is going to come about, 'Lord, You've done this for us, what about all of our ancestors who have died?

Let's see how all of these things are going to be accomplished. As a matter of fact, you could say that much of Isaiah is really a document about the coming Millennium of God, full of prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled, full of things that have never been done. Pick out some of these Scriptures, and if you have some Protestant friends around just say, 'Tell me about the Old Testament.' Oh, you don't have to worry about that anymore, because that's all been fulfilled. Really? Then bring out some of these Scriptures.

Isaiah 58:8: "Then shall your light break out as the dawn, and your health shall spring out quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call… [notice the communication here: prayers] …and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, 'Here I am.'…." (vs 8-9). That's what we'll do, too, because we will help fulfill all their prayers.

"…If you take the yoke away from among you, the pointing of the finger, and speaking malice; and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in darkness, and your gloom shall be as the noonday" (vs 9-10). That's what we're going to tell them. That's all part of repenting of their sins.

Verse 11: "And the LORD shall always guide you and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make your bones fat… [the fat of the marrow of the bones is going to be producing life within you] …and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Paths to Dwell in." (vs 11-12).

Then it talks about keeping the Sabbath. You talk about Sabbath-keeping during the Millennium. WOW! That is really going to be something—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

  • we're going to have our presence there

  • we're going to be teaching

Just think what it's going to be like. It's going to be totally different than what we have today. We can look forward to that!

Isaiah 60:1: "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you." Coming out of all the clutches of Satan the devil and evil. Now building, which is going to last a thousand years, because God said so! It's going to be a great and wonderful time.

This is the way it was before, v 2: "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. And the Gentiles shall come to your light…" (vs 2-3). This is including the priests and kings, the sons/daughters of God at that time.

"…and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see. All of them gather themselves together; they come to you. Your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall throb and swell for joy; because the abundance of the sea shall turn to you, the wealth of the Gentiles will come to you" (vs 3-5). Isn't that something?

Remember, we're going to receive the tithes and offerings of the people, as well. Think about that! Think about all of those things! It's going to be an amazing thing, indeed!

Verse 10: "And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall serve you; for in My wrath I struck you, but in My grace I had mercy upon you. Therefore your gates will always be open; they will not be shut day nor night, that men may bring unto you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession, for the nation and kingdom that will not serve you… [this is talking about those of us as kings and priests] …will perish. Yes, those nations will be completely wasted" (vs 10-12). WOW! God is going to enforce His authority here—isn't He?

Verse 15: "Instead of being forsaken and hated, so that no one passes through, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. You will also suck the milk of nations, and suck the breast of kings… [this is poetically speaking, to receive the riches and blessings] …and you shall know that I the LORD am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob" (vs 15-16).

Let's look and see what kind of economy that there is going to be. Nothing like we have today.

Verse 17: "For bronze I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver; and for wood I will bring bronze, and for stones, iron. I will also make your overseers to be peace, and your rulers to be righteousness." That's us! We're going to be the overseers and we're going to be the rulers, teaching them.

Verse 18: "Violence… [which is all there is in the world today in many place, and particularly on television] …will no more be heard in your land, neither wasting nor ruin within your borders; but you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise."

There can also be some of these things that are alluding to the coming New Jerusalem and the coming new heavens and new earth, as well. The Word of God is so deep and rich and has so many things in it that it just goes on and on and on.

Verse 19: "The sun will no more be your light by day; nor the brightness of the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to you for an everlasting light, and your God your glory." That has to be getting into New Jerusalem at that particular point.

Verse 20: "Your sun will no more go down, nor your moon withdraw; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended." Isn't that something? When you stop and think about it, in spite of all the suffering, in spite of all the evil, in spite of all the problems and difficulties—wars, sickness, disease, death—isn't that what people really, really long for? They want peace! They desire goodness! But it flees away from them because of the evil that abounds in this age.

Verse 21: "Your people also will all be righteous; they will inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, so that I may be glorified. A smallest will become a thousand, and the least one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in its time" (vs 21-22). Isn't that something? Think about that, brethren! This we're going to be an integral part of.

Isaiah 61:4—this is really magnificent; this applies to us as well as to Israel: "And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the desolations of former times. And they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers will stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the stranger will be your plowmen and your vinedressers" (vs 4-5).

Verse 6 applies to us; what we are going to be doing, because everything that we read of that is going to happen to Israel, we are going to bring it about with the instructions from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 6: "But you shall be called the priests of the LORD; it will be said of you, 'The ministers of our God;' you will eat the riches of the Gentiles, and you will boast in their glory. For your shame you will have double…" (vs 6-7). For all the difficulties and problems that we go through, we'll receive double in blessings!

"…instead of dishonor they will rejoice in their portion; therefore, in their own land they will possess double; everlasting joy will be theirs" (v 7). What a time that is going to be! Absolutely!

Let's see what's going to happen, Micah 4 gives us an overview. God has to bring this about. Micah 4:1: "But it shall be in the last days that the mountain of the house of the LORD…" Remember where we started? He has to break that grip that was weaved over this earth, referred to as this mountain.

Now the mountain of the Lord "…shall be established in the top of the mountains…" (v 1). Above all nations, all the governments that will be there, because they will be all under God, under Jesus Christ and under the saints.

"…and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it" (v 1). They're going to desire to learn the way of God, because they'll understand that eternal life will be the result of the end of their lives.

Verse 2: "And many nations shall come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths'—for the Law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

Here's what He's going to have to do. He works first with Israel, then the rest of the nations. Some of them will willingly come, some will not. Just like we saw at the beginning, that if they don't keep the Feast of Tabernacles they're going to have a plague come upon them, the withholding of rain.

Verse 3: "And He shall judge among many people, and will rebuke strong nations afar off…" What does that rebuke going to be like? What are the weapons of God?

  • power

  • earthquakes

  • weather

  • sickness

  • disease

Right at the start of the Millennium, there're going to be some that are not going to want to submit to the Government of God.

"…and they shall… [they're going to learn] …beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (v 3). Think of that! That's all that this world has experienced and gone through—war after war after war! Think about it in our lifetime:

  • WWII

  • Korean War

  • Vietnam War

  • War in Iraq

  • all of the so-called little wars

But when there are wars, people die. They're going to learn.

Here's what there will be: there will be property rights, v 4: "But they shall sit each one under his own vine and under his own fig tree; and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken." God is going to guarantee it.

Let's see where it says that His rest is going to be glorious. Think what it is going to be like. My mind wanders on this every once in while: What is it going to be like with a thousand years of what we have just described here? We've only just begun. Isaiah 11 talks about how everything is going to be carried out in the Millennium, and it has to start with Christ.

Isaiah 11:1: "And there shall come forth a shoot out from the stump 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, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. And His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. And He shall not judge according to the sight of His eyes, nor after the hearing of His ears. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth…." (vs 1-4). Everything is going to be this way.

"…And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked." (v 4). That's how He's going to get them to beat their spears into pruning hooks, and their swords into plowshares, and so forth.

Verse 5: "And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. Also the wolf shall dwell with the lamb…" (vs 5-6). Because with the sin of Adam and Eve, the whole earth was cursed:

  • the environment

  • the nature of animals

Now it's all going to be changed and brought back to the original that God created.

"…and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the cub lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (v 6). How is that for some fine pets? Think of that! That's going to put all the toy companies… they're not going to be around! Everyone is going to have the real thing. Want a lion? You better learn how to take care of it!

Verse 7: "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox…. [I don't know if he's going to get a new set of teeth or not.] …And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper's den" (vs 7-8).

But in spite of all of that, notice v 9: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy mountain…" He's saying that all people, all animals of all kinds, are going to be changed and be peaceful.

"…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (v 9). That's something! That's what the Millennium will be like!

So, just as we're starting out the Feast of Tabernacles, we'll continue on tomorrow and see how everything progresses in the way that God wants it to. This will be your life!

Scriptural references:

  1. Leviticus 23:23-39

  1. Zechariah 14:8-9, 16-19

  2. Psalm 46:4-11

  3. Psalm 47:1-3

  4. Revelation 2:26-27

  5. Psalm 47:4-9

  6. Psalm 48:1-2, 8-11

  7. Psalm 43:3-4

  8. Psalm 96:1-13

  9. Jeremiah 30:8

  10. Isaiah 25:6-7

  11. Jeremiah 30:8-10

  12. Isaiah 25:8-9

  13. Jeremiah 30:22-24

  14. Jeremiah 31:1-14, 31-37

  15. Ezekiel 36:22-38

  16. Isaiah 58:8-12

  17. Isaiah 60:1-5, 10-12, 15-22

  18. Isaiah 61:4-7

  19. Micah 4:1-4

  20. Isaiah 11:1-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 3:16

  • Isaiah 28

  • Revelation 20

  • Leviticus 16

  • Revelation 2

  • Ezekiel 37