(Opening Night)

Fred R. Coulter—October 9, 2022

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles!

My oh my, how time flies! I guess the old saying is true: 'The older you get the faster time goes.' I look back on my first Feast of Tabernacles in 1961, how about that? That's 61 years ago! Every year when we keep the Feast of Tabernacles, we learn and more about what we are to do.

It's very interesting that Jesus said, 'It sufficient that the disciple become as his teacher.' I want you to think on that! That's what God wants us to do.

Let's look at some Scriptures. We will cover the things of the commands of the Feast of Tabernacles tomorrow in the message. But we know we are to keep it on the 15th day of the 7th month for seven days, and the Last Great Day is the 8th day.

  • Why are we here?
  • What does this have to do with Christianity and God's plan?

There's hardly anyone in the world who knows anything about the plan of God!

  • Why?
  • they don't keep the Sabbath
  • they don't keep the Passover and Holy Days
  • they don't have the Spirit of God so they are not taught of God

Let's go back and I want you to think about when you first came into the Church. Then I want you to look at what your situation is today. When you first came into the Church, when God first starts dealing with you, we know that in Rev. 1, 4 & 5 that there are seven spirits of God that go to and fro on the earth. 2-Cor. 16 tells us that these are the eyes of the Lord looking for:

  • those who fear Him
  • those who want Him
  • those who cry out to Him

to help them in their troubles and difficulties!

Also, they come directly from Jesus Christ through God the Father to this. This one verse and the one after it we have gone over how many, many times?

Think about this: the more you go over the Scriptures and study all the Scriptures, and come back and study them again and again, which you do in a lifetime. That's necessary, because every time you learn more and you make more connections.

This is important because we're going to be given the most important jobs ever! Think about that! All of those who are encompassed by the plan of God, beginning with the patriarchs, the ones before the Flood and then after the Flood beginning with Abraham.

Abraham didn't know very much at all. He just told God. 'You haven't given me any children, so how about Eleazar being my heir.' God said, 'No, you will have a child from your own loins.' Here he is 75-years-old at this point!

Then God took Abraham outside at night and told him to look at the stars. He said, 'So shall your seed be.' So we have Isaac the physical seed, and the spiritual seed, which is most important for what God is doing, and that's who we are, because we have the Spirit of God!!

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father…"

Let's understand something about our calling. We're not dealing with a religious experience, though there may be a religious experience connected with it. We're not dealing with angels dealing with us. We're dealing with God the Father! He is the One Who is doing it along with Jesus Christ!

Verse 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…"

What made you interested in God in the first place, and wanted to know about His Word in the second place? Then when you find out about it, desiring to do the things that God says? God! The Father draws you! Here's the ultimate goal between the time that you're called and the time that you live however long you're going to live and the resurrection. That's what's important in this life!

"…and I will raise him up at the last day" (v 44).

See how it jumps completely forward to the whole goal that we're going to have, and that goal will be succeeded.

When we study, pray and read the booklets and materials explaining the Word of God in the books that we have, and those are very important that you know and read them. You can't skim along and learn very much by doing that.

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'.…"

  • Who made you the way that you are?
  • Who gave you the mind that you have?
  • where you can think and put things together?
  • where you can understand the Word of God?

Then God gives His Spirit to you on top of that so that you will be able to discern things. That's important because Jesus add this:

Verse 63: "It is the Spirit that gives Life…" Without the Spirit the body is dead; the Spirit:

  • gives Life
  • gives understanding
  • connects you with God
  • is the begettal by God the Father for you be a son or daughter of God

All of that is the action of the Holy Spirit!

"…the flesh profits nothing…." (v 63).

Think about all the religious rituals that people have in Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, in all the religions of the world:

  • they're all fleshly
  • they're all carnal

They have idols, statues, and things like this, as if that will make them more righteous! It doesn't! All of that is flesh. "…the flesh profits nothing…"

"…The words that I speak to you…" (v 63).

Not only what He spoke to them during His ministry, but since He was God manifested in the flesh, also in the Old Testament; the O.T. is not old in the sense that it's outdated. It is old in the sense that it was written before the New Testament, but the two Testaments connect together; you need both!

"...they are Spirit and they are Life" (v 63)—that is if you yield to God!

It can't be done without loving God and obeying God, and so forth. This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Let's look at the quote that we will all be taught of God! This is New Testament doctrine in the Old Testament! Imagine that! I want you to also understand that with the Feast of Tabernacles there's more about Feast of Tabernacles and:

  • what's going to happen
  • how it's going to be
  • who is going to lead it
  • what's going to be done

in the Old Testament than there is in the New Testament!

Isaiah 54:11[transcriber's correction]: "O afflicted one…"

Whoever has troubles, problems and difficulties if you're a begotten son or daughter of God—and we do!

"…storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones among colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires" (v 11).

Think about that! Where does that go to? New Jerusalem!

Verse 12: "And I will make your high towers of ruby, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your borders of pleasant stones. And all your children shall be taught of the LORD…"

Brethren, listen! We are the children of God the Father; His sons and daughters! God the Father direct! They shall all be taught of the LORD!

"…and great shall be the peace of your children" (v 12).

That is talking about the peace that the children of God are going to bring to the whole world! That's the whole thing of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Jesus kept the Feast of Tabernacles, and He did some teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles that is very important. Not only are we to be taught of God, but remember that when Jesus was in the flesh, how was He taught? By God the Father! We've covered that! He [the Father] awakens Me [Jesus] morning by morning (Isa. 50).

Jesus didn't go up the Feast of Tabernacles with His mother and brothers. He wanted to go up on His own and wanted to be at the Feast and no one know that He's there until about the middle of the Feast. People were asking:

John 7:11: "As a result, the Jews were seeking Him at the Feast, and said, 'Where is He?'…. [they were looking for Him] …Now there was much debating about Him among the people. Some said, 'He is a good Man.' But others said, 'No, but He is deceiving the people'" (vs 11-12).

Bringing the Truth of God and people so ignorant that they were thinking He was deceiving the people. Isn't that told of us today in relationship to the Protestants and the Catholics? Yes!

Verse 13: "However, no one spoke publicly about Him for fear of the Jews. But then, about the middle of the Feast, Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching" (vs 13-14).

Remember the phrase: We'll all be taught of God! Jesus was taught of God! There was nothing that He said, and nothing that He did that was not the will of God, and the express commands of God.

Verse 15: "And the Jews were amazed, saying, 'How does this Man know letters, having never been schooled?'" Never went to any of the schools of the rabbis!

No, you don't get in with a bunch of lying religious people stuck on tradition and ritual and learn the Truth of God! Never happen!

Verse 16: "Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me.'"

  • Who sent Him? The Father!
  • Who taught Him? The Father!

Now here is something important in what we do:

Verse 17: "If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from My own self."

You have to check it up with the Word of God! What does it say in the New Testament? Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good!

One thing we need today, as never before, is more knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. That means:

  • by studying and re-studying and putting it together
  • by loving God with our heart, mind, soul and being
  • by keeping His commandments
  • by yielding to God

That's how we learn! All of this is preparing us for the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles!

What is that fulfillment going to be for us? To be priests of God, and kings and rulers over the nations! So, we've been called to the greatest thing possible!

  • that's why we keep the Feasts of God
  • that's why we do the things that God wants us to do

Verse 18: "The one who speaks of himself is seeking his own glory; but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."

Think about that! Our standing before God is that way, IF we yield to God every day! Walk in His way and keep His commandments!

Jesus went on to say; v 19: "Did not Moses give you the Law, and not one of you is practicing the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"—because the Law said you shall not murder!

Verse 20: "The people answered and said, 'You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?'"

Isn't that what carnal people always do? They don't want to believe it, so they accuse you of being demon possessed! There is a such a thing as 'demon possession,' that is true, that's not to deny that.

Verse 21: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'I did one work, and you were all amazed. Now then, Moses gave you circumcision—not that it was from Moses, but from the fathers—and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Law of Moses may not be broken,whyare you angry with Me because I made a man entirely whole on the Sabbath? Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment'" (vs 21-24).

Judgment is going to be given to us! Judgment of the world, the people, under Christ! Christ is going to be King! Christ is going to be Ruler! This is going to be amazing!

Revelation 20:4: "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." Rulership!

That's why we're called! Think about that! We're going to be, as we found out on Pentecost, a crown of life! We're going to rule the nations with 'a rod of iron.' This is why we're here; we're here

  • to learn
  • to love God
  • to love His way
  • to prepare for the coming of Christ
  • to prepare for the resurrection
  • to prepare for the rulership of the world

You can't have any higher calling than that!

I just tell you this: When you get down and discouraged, you get on your knees and repent and ask God to help you connect with the Truth and inspiration that we're going to be the sons and daughters of God and rule the world!

You can look out here and see that the whole world is going crazy! Well, we're the ones, and all the saints, the patriarch—all those in the first resurrection—to straighten out the world and bring the Truth of God. That's the message of the Feast of Tabernacles!

Verse 5: "…This is the first resurrection. Blessed… [of God the Father and Jesus Christ] …and Holy… [because you have been changed from flesh to spirit and now a son or daughter of God] …is the one who has part in the first resurrection…" (vs 5-6).

Think about that; that's where we're headed, but there are a lot of difficult times ahead of us. But we can go through them and have courage and strength, and it doesn't matter what people try to do to us, because we believe in the true God and the true Jesus Christ! And the things that are right, good, true, Holy and the Word of God! Everything in this world is of Satan the devil and of death and destruction!

"…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" (v 6)—and then on into eternity!

As we have seen some of these awesome pictures from the James Webb Telescope up in space that reaches out so far into the universe. In the past even with the Hubble telescope up there, it was blank space. But now it's illuminated with this new telescope that there are literally trillions and trillions of stars and galaxies out there.

What did Jesus say when we are in glory, how will we look? We will shine like the sun and the stars in heaven, as Daniel wrote!

That's why we are here and this is what we are doing. This is why we need to grow in grace and knowledge and everything we need to do!

I want you to have a great and wonderful Feast! Those who can gather together in fellowship groups, do so. Help one another, love one another and encourage one another.

If you're alone, remember that you're not really alone, because God the Father and Jesus Christ are there to help you. This is what we are to do. It's one of the most important things that God wants us to do, right here. That's why we want to spend the time fellowshipping:

  • going over the Scriptures
  • going over the messages
  • talking with one another
  • encouraging one another
  • praying for one another

This is what we are to do! We can make this Feast of Tabernacles a wonderful experience that will:

  • add to our growth
  • add to our understanding
  • give us encouragement
  • give us knowledge
  • give us Truth

to go forward in this evil wicked world that we're going to be facing!

Philp. 2—Paul is writing; he's in jail in chains! Everything to be discouraged about! But He has his mind on the goal and what needs to be done!

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ… [that's where it comes from] …if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit… [from God the Father] …if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy that you be of the same mind, having the same love… [which comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ] …being joined together in soul, minding the one thing" (vs 1-2)—the goal of the Kingdom of God and our calling!

Verse 3: "Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself." That's what it has to be!

Verse 4: "Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others."

Remember what we have covered that Jesus said? The flesh profits nothing, but the Spirit gives Life! The words that I speak to you are Spirit and Life! And you can add to it: Truth, power, knowledge and understanding!

Verse 5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…"

Think about what He did to come to this earth and go through what He did. Willingly laying down His life! He said:

No one takes it from Me. I lay it down. I have commandment from the Father to receive it back.

Here's what He gave up:

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…" (vs 6-7—gave up being God to save His creation!

Whatever God asks us to give up, whatever it is, it's nothing compared to what Jesus gave up to become a pinpoint of life to be born of the virgin Mary!

"…and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death… [that's what we need to do] …even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 7-11).

Verse 12: "So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure" (vs 12-13). That's what God wants!

Brethren, have a great and wonderful Feast of Tabernacles. For those of you who gathered in the evening as the Holy Day began, we will see you tomorrow in the morning. Have a wonderful time of fellowship and love and growing in grace and knowledge!

Scriptural References:

  • John 6:45-46, 63
  • Isaiah 54:11-12
  • John 7:11-24
  • Revelation 20:4-6
  • Philippians 2:1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 1; 4; 5
  • 2 Corinthians 16
  • Isaiah 50


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