Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles

Fred Coulter - October 14, 2000

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Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles, 2000.  This is a tremendous feast, brethren. And the Feast of Tabernacles is the highlight every year and it’s the feast where we all get together, and we come together, and especially those brethren who are scattered.  Now you have a time to fellowship.  Now you have a time to meet brethren.  Now you have a time to spend time together and really have a wonderful time.  And let this feast be for you as a picture of what’s it’s going to be when it’s fulfilled in the kingdom of God after Christ returns to the earth. 

Now let’s go to Leviticus 23.  And I think it’s very interesting, very profound that all of God’s plan and purpose is tied up with the feast days beginning with the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is the key to start, and then the Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and now down to the Feast of Tabernacles, it gives us understanding as to what God wants us to do, how we’re going to do it, what His purpose is.  And it gives us a general flow of time.  And of course God doesn’t keep time the way that we do, and we’re entering into a time that’s very interesting because it says that they will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?”  And that’s what’s going to be jeered to all those who believe in the second return of Jesus Christ.  They’re going to say, “Where’s the promise of his coming?”  And when you look back in the history of all the failed assumptions that have been by men, and even within the Church of God, and when you go back and examine the scriptures, even the apostles of the New Testament did not understand until they were very nearly finished with their ministry, that it was going to be a l-o-n-g time until Christ returned.  But never the less, for each of us in our lifetime, in our life span, when we come to the end of our lives and we die, the next moment we’ll meet our Maker.  And so we need to understand that.  God has His plan, God has His purpose.

Now let’s begin here in Leviticus 23 concerning the Feast of Tabernacles, and let’s begin in verse 33.  “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.”  Now if you are watching this on the night, on Friday night, and the moon is out, you go look at the moon.  And you will see that it is a full moon.  Now if you don’t have all the calendar videos and if you don’t have the booklet “The Feast of Trumpets - 2000 AD”, and if you’re troubled by people trying to bring you some strange calendar instead of the calculated Hebrew calendar, then you write in for it.  We have videos, we have audio’s, we have other material to show you. 

But sufficient to say is this, the calendar calculations were given by God to the Levites.  And those have been calculated out, and you can calculate forward and backward with it, which we have shown in the booklet “The Feast of Trumpets - 2000 AD”, and it is always accurate, it is always on time.  Now then, since it was given by God to the Levites, and the Levites were the ones who then released this knowledge and information concerning the calendar, that we would know when to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, that we would know when to keep the Passover and all the holy days.  Therefore we are following the instructions that God has given where it says back here, Leviticus 23 and let’s read it here, verse 4.  “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”  Now these were directions to the Levites.  So if the Levites and the successors of the Levites after the destruction of Jerusalem were the ones to release this information, so we have it on how to calculate it, then it’s precisely as God has said.  It is the Levites that have proclaimed it by calculation from that time until this time.  Now we need to understand that, and we need to realize it.  God did not give it to anyone to determine how the calendar should be, except to the Levites.  And that’s why they released the information so that people would be able to figure it properly and correctly down through time.  And so that’s something to really keep in mind. 

So if you’re having a Friday night meeting with this instead of a Sabbath morning meeting, you go on out after services and you look at the moon and you will see that it’s a full moon.  And I think you’re going to be surprised how that that is the way that God instructed it.  You read the booklet “The Feast of Trumpets - 2000 AD” and you will see that’s how God has given it back in the book of Psalms. 

Ok, let’s continue here.  “On the first day shall be an holy convocation…”  That is beginning tonight after sunset.  “…Ye shall do no servile work therein.”  That means you’re not going to work for hire.  “Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD…”  Now we take up a holy day offering on the holy day, the first day and the eighth day.  And someone asked the question, “Well why don’t we take it up all seven days?”  Well, the reason is we’re not offering offerings made by fire.  We are to come before God not empty and give according to our blessing which we will see tomorrow, or in the afternoon if you’re playing this in the morning.  “…On the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly: and ye shall do no servile work therein.  These are the feasts of the Lord…”, which then is a summary of everything that has been given, “…which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a [meal] meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day” (vs. 35-37).    Now some of these things include all of the list of the sacrifices that the Levites were to offer when the temple was standing, which you find in Numbers 28 and 29.  Then it goes on and gives some more instructions concerning it.

But these days reveal the purpose of God.  God has a purpose, and it is being worked out.  And let’s understand something very clearly: prophecies don’t speed up and they don’t slow down.  Now, in our perception of them certain events, because we are looking at things, may appear to us to be speeding up or may appear to us to be slowing down, but they’re not.  Everything with prophecy is right on time.  It is never late.  It is never delayed.  It’s never speeded up because God is the one Who is in charge. 

Now let’s show that back here, let’s go to Galatians 4 and let’s see this for just a minute.  Let’s see what it says concerning Christ and His being born, when He came into the world, and of course that includes everything.  When He was born, when He began His ministry, when He was crucified, when His ministry then began at the right hand of God in heaven above.  Here Galatians 4, now let’s read it here, verse 4. “But when the fullness of time was come…”  In other words when it came the time to fulfill the sending of Christ, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under law subject to law.  So everything is in the due time.  At the set time, just like it was here with the feast.  Holy convocation can mean “appointed time”.  And God is the one Who sets the time, and God is the one Who has appointed it, and the Levites through the calculated Hebrew calendar are the ones who proclaim the days, and we are to follow and obey and keep them, and as we do God reveals things to us.  So that’s how it is.  And I think if you’ve been bothered by any of the calendar things…now I know a lot of people have been bothered by the calendar things.  Don’t let it bother you.  You’re just dealing with carnal men who want to invent their own doctrine, who want to bring you back to their way of doing things. 

Now let’s come to Isaiah 14 and let’s understand something.  That God has said that He has His purpose, He has what He is going to do, and He is going to fulfill it.  Now let’s begin.  Isaiah 14:24, “The LORD of hosts hath sworn…”  So when God swears, you know that’s double affirmation that it’s going to happen because God only has to speak and it is.  See, God always tells the truth.  The word of God is so powerful that it creates.  So when God swears you know that it’s going to happen.  “…Saying, Surely as I have thought…”, so this is in the mind of God.  And what is happening through the Holy Spirit that God gives you, and as we’ll see a little later on, God is sharing His thoughts with us.  Now you think on that.  If you kind of are having a hard time…now I know some people are coming back and keeping the feast for the first time in years because they have had so many different things happen in their lives that maybe they’d given up on God for a while.  But think about this: the God Who is the Sovereign of the universe, with Jesus Christ at His right hand, through the power of His Holy Spirit, as we will see, is letting you in on His thoughts.  Now that is marvelous indeed, and that is humbling indeed, that God would call us, that God would make this possible, that He would reveal it.  Not because we’re anything, but because brethren, God is God.  And that’s wonderful to contemplate and understand. 

Now let’s go on.  “…Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”  Now we can have absolute faith in that brethren.  Now continuing, verse 25, “That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.  This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth…”  Now we’re going to see there is a typical fulfillment first, and there is the end-time fulfillment with the beast who’s going to be raised up.  “…And this is the hand [that is God’s hand] that is stretched out upon all the nations.”  Now this is going to be a worldwide event.  “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?” Nobody, because God is God.  “…And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (vs. 24-27).  No one, no one.

Now let’s come to Isaiah 36 and let’s see what happened.  Let’s see how this occurred.  Let’s realize what God did.  Let’s begin right here in verse 1.  “Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.”  And then the representative of the king of Assyria said…and I’ll just kind of paraphrase it.  You can read it all here in chapter 36.  He says, “Now look.  All you Jews, and king Hezekiah, and all you leaders who are there, don’t you understand that the king of Assyria has conquered all the gods of the nations that he has overcome, that he has put them down, and if you think that you’re going to trust in the LORD of hosts, that He’s going to deliver you, you got another thought coming.”  Well you know they didn’t realize that they were taking on God.  They didn’t realize what was happening. 

So when this message came to Hezekiah, Isaiah 37:1, when Hezekiah heard it “…he rent his clothes [just tore them like that], and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.”  This is a good thing to understand and a principle to always follow.  When there is trouble or a severe trial, go to God.  Now here he humbled himself, covered himself with sackcloth.  Now you don’t have to do that, cause it has to be of the heart.  But you go to God and humble yourself in fasting and repentance, and God will hear you.  God will intervene.  God will solve the problem just like He did here for Hezekiah. 

So he sent certain ones to Isaiah, and here’s what they told Isaiah.  They said to him, “Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.  It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God...”  Now you see, you need to understand something.  When you have a trial, it’s a trial for you but it’s God who’s going to fight for you.  Always remember that.  “…And will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.  So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah” (vs. 3-5).  

“And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.  Behold I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land” (vs. 6-7).  So God said what He was going to do, and this was the purpose He said He was He was going to destroy all the armies of the king of Assyria on the mountains of Israel.  Correct.  In this case this being the type, he was not destroyed on the mountains of Israel, his army was, he went back home and he was killed.  But as we saw on the Feast of Trumpets, God is going to take the beast and the false prophet and cast them into the lake of fire, and that will be upon the mountains of Israel.  So that’s something for us to know and really realize and grasp. 

Let’s go on here.  Then the servant of {the king of}Assyria came back and he said, verse 10, “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in Whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”  So God had other thoughts. 

And then he went on, Hezekiah, verse 14, “…received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.  And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth.  Incline Thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open Thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.”  Then he said, “Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries…cast their gods into the fire…”  “Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD, even Thou only” (vs. 14-20).  And so we’ll see what happened here.

Now let’s pick it up in verse 32.  “For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.  Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it.  By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.  For I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake, and for My servant David’s sake” (vs. 32-35).  Now there’s another thing that we need to understand.  When we come before God and we pray to God and we ask Him to help us, we ask Him to do it for His name’s sake, for the sake of Jesus Christ, for the goodness that He has, for the power that He has.

Now let’s continue on.  Here’s what He did.  “Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand…”    His entire army wiped out.  So the king of Assyria woke up in the morning [chuckle] and there was no army.  They were all dead.  Now you talk about fighting a battle for you.  Did not God waste the enemy totally?  No doubt about it.  “…When they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses” (vs. 36).  You know you get up in the morning ready to blow the taps, the trumpet, get ready for battle, get your shields, your spears, your swords, and put on your helmet and get all ready, and you know it’s time to blow the taps and no one blows the taps.  So the king of Assyria gets up there, and he looks around - they’re all dead.  Now you talk about an ultimate defeat.

Now let’s read on.  “So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.  And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Shalrezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia…” (vs. 37-38).  See, God is able to work things out. 

Now let’s apply this to what God is going to do, not only with us, but what God is going to do when Christ returns.  Let’s go to the book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah 51, that’s next to the last chapter in the whole book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah 51:29, “And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon…”  Now that was also done right after the prophecy that Jeremiah gave, but it is going to be done against Babylon the Great, because there is a first fulfillment and there is the second fulfillment.  There’s a fulfillment in the time that it was then, or to be shortly after that, and there is the fulfillment which will be when Christ returns.  All of it together and He’s going to perform every purpose of the LORD, “… to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.”

Now let’s come to Romans 9, and let’s see that God is just going to raise up the beast, and He’s going to raise up those, and yes God is going to allow them to get strong.  God is going to allow them to do just like Pharaoh - be raised up and really think that they are something, and get carried away in their vanity and get all lifted up with Satan the devil possessing them and inspiring them.

Now here, Romans 9:11, “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil [that is concerning Isaac and Esau], that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works…”  That means not of our works, which we have done.  So it’s not going to be because we do something that God is going to fulfill His purpose.  He is going to fulfill our purpose and we need to realize that we are going to be included with it, and in it.   

Now let’s come to Ephesians 1 and let’s see how it is that God is making known this secret.  Now the world won’t know, and the world won’t understand cause the whole world lies in wickedness, and the whole world does not keep any of the feast days of God so they don’t know.  And God has to reveal it through Jesus Christ, which means that, even though there may be some Jews who are not Messianic Jews…  Now some Messianic Jews may have an understanding of some of these things.  But the Jews, even if they keep the Feast of Tabernacles right there in Jerusalem, will not understand because they have rejected Christ.  But you see, God is making it for us that we understand.

Now let’s pick it up here in Ephesians 1:5.  “Having predestinated us unto the [sonship] adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself…”, because He’s our Father.  We will be His sons and daughters, so it is sonship.  “…according to the good pleasure of His will.”  Now this kind of ties in with what I covered on the Day of Atonement.  So this is an extension and an addition to it.  “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.”  And for Christ’s sake and for the calling of God.  “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His [own] will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.”  And God said everything that He has thought and proposed is going to happen.  “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance…”(Eph. 1:5-11).

And the Feast of Tabernacles pictures when we receive the full inheritance.  When we’re resurrected on Pentecost and meet Christ on the sea of glass we have the inheritance of an eternal life, an eternal glorious body.  Then we have the inheritance of the share of the whole kingdom of God, which He’s going to give us, and which we will have when we are ruling as kings and priests.  Now we need to understand that. 

“…Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory” (vs. 11-14).  So we are going to be raised in that, brethren.  And isn’t that something?  God has made it known. 

Now come over here to Ephesians 3:11.  It says, “According  to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  And so His eternal purpose, we’re going to see as we go through the Feast of Tabernacles, come to the Last Great Day, we  will see the fulfilling of the things on the Last Great Day, which then will be a new beginning for us for all eternity according to the plan of God. 

So brethren, we have great things to look forward to.  We have marvelous things that God has given.  It’s says that the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard the things that God has prepared for those that love Him.  And so everything has to hinge on the love of God.  And we’re going to see that’s one of the things, the major thing that we’re going to be teaching during the millennium.  Oh, we have a lot to do.  You know, lot’s of times you sit there and you watch the news at night or you listen to the non-news, and you think, “Boy, if I could just do something about it.”  Well, you’re going to.  Christ is going to.  And you’re going to have a hand in it in God’s time, in His way, according to His plan.  And the Feast of Tabernacles pictures all of that.

Now let’s come back to Isaiah 9 and you’re going to see as we go through the Feast of Tabernacles, we’ll refer to some of  these things again, we’ll come back and look at it from a little different perspective.  But here in Isaiah 9, here’s the very prophecy of what Christ is going to do when He returns, and the very reason why He was born.  Remember when He was being questioned by Pilate, and Pilate said, “Are you then a king?”  He said, “To this end I was born, and for this reason I came into the world.”  And here’s the prophecy that it is all about. 

Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder…”  Now that is true for the Church today because He is the Head, so therefore whatever we do in the Church in whatever organization and things that we need in order to serve the brethren, in order to have everything run decently and properly, it has to be done according to the way that Christ has said.  And it has to be run and governed according to the word of God because Christ is the Head of the Church. 

“…And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller [these are the very names of God], The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end…”   So when the fulfilling of the Feast of Tabernacles begins there is going to be no end of the increase of His government beginning at that time.  Now that’s something to really be thankful for brethren, that Christ is going to do it.  Now notice, “…upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this [according to the purpose of God]” (vs. 6-7).

Now let’s come to the book of Revelation.  Revelation 20, and let’s see that He is going to give us the responsibilities.  We are going to be kings and priests.  We are going to reign on the earth.  And we’re going to begin reigning on the earth at the beginning of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Now let’s read it here.  Revelation 20:4, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them…”  Now we know the apostles are going to sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  We don’t know what the position and reward of Abraham or Isaac and Jacob will be but Christ said they will be in the kingdom.  Now all of these things will be worked out according to what God has planned and purposed, so therefore in faith we can trust God and believe God and rely upon God and ask God to help us to grow and overcome so that we can be in the position that God wants us to be.  Now we’re going to see a little later some are going to rule over cities, some are going to be part of the bride of Christ, some are going to be teachers, some are going to be kings, some are going to be priests.  Let’s read it here, continuing on.  “…And I saw  the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither and received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” 

And you know the Seventh Day Adventists have it wrong.  Now they think that we will be up in heaven for 1000 years examining the judgment books while the earth is desolate down here and nothing is going on, then we come back to the earth.  Well that’s not what the Bible teaches.  But I just will mention it here since some Seventh Day Adventists have been getting in touch with us and they need to get things straightened out according to the scriptures.

Now let’s continue on here.  “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”  And we’ll cover that at the appropriate time.  “This is the first resurrection [for those who have been resurrected].  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [you are blessed, you are holy, you are in the first resurrection]: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (vs. 5-6).  So there it says it twice.  And so that’s what’s going to be happening.

Now, let’s go ahead and finish here by going to Revelation 2, and let’s see the responsibility that God is going to give to us.  Now let’s begin in Revelation 2:26 and we’ll finish here.  “And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give [authority] power over the nations.”  Now that’s something to contemplate.  We are going to rule the world.  Now you think on that.  And just compare this:  there are men and women in this world today at the headquarters of the anti-christ, right there at the United Nations, and out of that is going to come the anti-christ.  They are dedicated they are zealous, they are working hard to fulfill their will to bring a one world government and to rule the government of this world with a tyrannical hand to keep everyone in subjection under them, and all the evil that’s going to come from it.  So can we not have zeal, can we not have drive, can we not be anxious and looking forward to God’s way and be doing here and overcoming, as it says in keeping His works until the end? 

“…To him will I give [authority] power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron…”  Yes we will.  Now I know the word “rule” means also “shepherd” but you’re still going to have a lot of iron indicating the type of authority that God is going to give you.  God is going to give every one of us.  It isn’t going to be something that is just going to be willy-nilly, namby-pamby and just left to chance.  No, when God sets His hand to save the world, and save Israel, and put down all evil, He’s going to do it with full power, and He is going to grant us that full power.  We need to understand that so we can look forward to it and really be inspired by it.

Now notice, “…as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers…”, and we’ll see that tomorrow.  How is the millennium going to begin?  I think you’re going to be a little surprised.  It may not be exactly as you have thought.  It’s going to be a little bit different.  We’ll see that.  “…Even as I received of My Father.  And I will give him the morning star.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (vs. 27-29).

So brethren, thank you for being here for the Feast of Tabernacles.  You all have a good night tonight, if you’re watching this on Friday night.  Or, if you’re going to stop, having this in the morning, have a nice break and come back for the services after this.