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Monday, October 1 2012
The Feast Of Tabernacles In History And Prophecy
"That Rock was Christ"
A vital fact for the understanding of the Holy Bible is that "the LORD God" of the so-called "Old Testament" was Jesus Christ (see Who Is The LORD? and What Does Word of God Mean To You?). The Holy Scriptures plainly and authoritatively state "that Rock was Christ."
"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The one and only true weekly Sabbath had long-before been created, also by Jesus Christ (see When Is The LORD's Day? and Why Observe The True Sabbath?). After the Exodus, the LORD then commanded His annual Sabbaths - created by Jesus Christ as living prophecies of the ongoing process of salvation. Passover is the most-familiar to most people, but there are others, created by Christ, for Christianity (see the Calendar of Christ's Holy Days; also The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week). Among them is the autumn Feast of Tabernacles, seven days long, plus an eighth day, in which the first and eighth days are annual Sabbaths.
"23:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses], saying,
The LORD proclaimed that the Feast of Tabernacles was to be a joyful observance, at the time of the autumn harvest (hence the reason that it is also called the Feast of Ingathering e.g. Exodus 34:22 KJV), during which the people were to live their lives in temporary "booths," or "tabernacles" (see the Fact Finder question below), made from "the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook."
"23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
"Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the Feast which was in the seventh month"
Despite Israel's persistent lapses in obedience to the LORD, the Feast of Tabernacles was observed throughout Israelite history. The Temple in Jerusalem was dedicated by King Solomon during the Feast of Tabernacles i.e. "in the feast which was in the seventh month."
"5:1 Thus all the work that Solomon [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon] made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated [see David's Altar]; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God. 5:2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD [see also Turning The Tables] out of the city of David, which is Zion [see A History Of Jerusalem: The City Of David]. 5:3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
After Solomon died, Israel divided into "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah). Israel was removed to Assyria when they made themselves grossly corrupt; they never returned (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes). Judah did return, from their seventy-year exile to Babylon, in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah) when they rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple. At that time, "they kept also the Feast of Tabernacles."
"3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. 3:2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3:3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening. 3:4 They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; 3:5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD. 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid." (Ezra 3:1-6 KJV)
"Judaism" was born after the return of the people of Judah from their Babylonian exile (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?). But in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, they still observed the Feast of Tabernacles as the LORD actually commanded them to observe it.
"7:73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities." (Nehemiah 7:73 KJV)
The people of Judah at that time observed the Feast of Tabernacles "as it is written." Over the next few centuries however, they changed the Feast of Tabernacles, as they observe it, into a festival of Judaism, rather than the Festival of the LORD, as the LORD originally commanded it. The result, as we will read, was that when the LORD was born as a man among them, they rejected Him - because they rejected what He originally commanded them to do, not only for the Holy Days, but many other things as well.
"8:13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. 8:14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
"Now about the midst of the Feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught"
The Messiah was born as a Jew, of the royal line of David. He nevertheless spoke and taught what He, as the LORD God, originally gave to Israel. By that time, their own "traditions" had superseded that pure Truth however, for which the LORD rebuked them e.g. "15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (Matthew 15:3 KJV). The result was that they "sought to kill him."
"7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 7:2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. 7:3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 7:4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him. 7:6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Due to the threats made against Him, the Messiah waited and then "also up unto the feast, not openly."
"7:10 But when his brethren were gone up [see also The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth], then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 7:11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
When the crowds had grown, "Jesus went up into the temple, and taught." The Messiah never rejected the Feast of Tabernacles that He created.
"7:14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 7:15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
The Messiah's teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles included a prophecy about His Sacrifice, but the self-absorbed religious authorities failed to understand that too,
"7:25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 7:26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 7:27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
The Messiah's lesson on the Eighth Day (see The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?) included a prophecy about how the Holy Spirit, as we will read further below, will cure the carnal minds of the world so that they can see the Truth clearly, again (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant).
"7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Among the religious authorities were some who repented and came to the Truth. Among them was the Pharisee Nicodemus who the Messiah had given the famous "born again" teaching (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"7:45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees [see also The Passed Over Pharisees]; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
"The LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles"
Many regard the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as the other Biblical Holy Days, and even the weekly Sabbath, as "Jewish." But they were created by Jesus Christ, before Israelites or Jews even existed. They have always been "Christian." The Messiah created His Holy Days for all of humanity. When He returns to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, everyone is going to observe the true Sabbaths of the LORD, weekly and annual. Before that happens however, the LORD will remove the "Babylon" of religious confusion that exists in the world (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?).
"14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations [see What Is The Day Of The LORD? and The Coming World Dictator], as when he fought in the day of battle. 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
Lawless and rebellious humanity is going to learn true peace and true freedom. Some will learn their lessons the hard way, but the wrath of the LORD is the means by which they will see the Truth - and the true LORD. At that time, everyone on Earth, not just the Church of God who have been observing it through the centuries, will "keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
"14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 14:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14:14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 14:15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
It is during that time that the famous "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" will be fulfilled - and celebrated, at the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles.
"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it [see The Church In The Kingdom Of God].
This Day In History, October 1
331 BC: Greek forces under Alexander the Great defeated Persian forces under Darius III at the Battle of Arbela in Assyria. The Persian and Greek empires, as well as Alexander and Darius, are all recorded and prophesied in the Bible (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia and A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
959: Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England.
1189: Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, was killed in the Siege of Acre.
1273: Rudolf of Hapsburg was elected emperor in Germany, which became officially known as "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1553: The coronation of Queen Mary I of England.
1795: Belgium became part of the French Republic.
1800: Under the Treaty of San Idelfonso, Spain ceded Louisiana to France - which later sold the territory (known to history as the Louisiana Purchase) in 1803 to the U.S. for $15 million.
1818: The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle began. It lasted until November 15. It was the first of four congresses held by Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and France to discuss and take common action on European problems following the Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815).
1914: During the First World War, Turkey (i.e. the Ottoman Empire) closed the Dardenelles to the Allies (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1936: General Francisco Franco was named head of the Nationalist government in Spain.
1938: German troops crossed into the Sudetenland following an agreement between Britain, France, Germany and Italy to avoid war over Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler's territorial demands ended the next year when Germany invaded Poland, thereby beginning the Second World War (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1939: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous remark describing Soviet foreign policy as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
1945: David Ben Gurion sent a coded message to Moshe Sneh, the Haganah commander, to begin terrorist operations against British forces in Palestine - despite the fact that the British were lawfully there, under a UN mandate, to enable the people of Judah to become free and independent of the Ottoman Empire that had ruled the land of Israel for centuries (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration; also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1946: The first trial of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg ended, which coincided with The Day of Atonement that year on the Roman calendar (it's always the tenth day of the seventh month on the Biblical calendar). Twelve Nazi war criminals were sentenced to be hanged: Karl Donitz, Hermann Goring, Alfred Jodl, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachin von Ribbentrop, Fritz Saukel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Julius Streicher, and Alfred Rosenberg.
1949: The communist Peoples Republic of China was formed with Mao Zedong as leader.
1969: The British-French Concorde airliner broke the sound barrier for its first time in a test flight over France.
1974: The Watergate cover-up trial of the Nixon regime opened in Washington.
1979: The Panama Canal Zone was officially handed over to Panama after 70 years under U.S. control (despite the show of sovereignty, "independent" Panama remains a U.S. military colony).
1990: A small asteroid the size of a two-car garage and weighing about 100 tons entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. At an estimated speed of 40,000 miles per hour (65,000 kilometers per hour) it almost instantly broke apart and exploded about 20 miles (32 kilometers) above the ocean. The blast had a force about equal to the Hiroshima atomic bomb and for a moment must have looked like a second sun in the sky. No one on earth saw it coming, or saw it explode. The only record of the event came from a military satellite that watches for unannounced rocket launches and explosions. That satellite, and others like it, have recorded an average of 9 atmospheric bursts per month since 1975, all from the entry of small asteroids.
1995: A U.S. jury found Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and 9 others guilty of plotting to blow up the World Trade Center, bomb the UN building, kill Egypt's president, and destroy vital highway tunnels in New York.