Let’s be sure we understand what our lives are all about! Here we live in the 21st century; we know we are in the very last decades of the 6,000 years of human life on this earth. And at the end of those 6,000 years Jesus Christ will come in His glory and supreme power!
He is coming to remove Satan from deceiving mankind. He is coming to govern – rule over all nations! And we of the Church – if we remove all our spots and wrinkles (Eph. 5:25-27) -- are to have important positions in the worldwide government to rule all nations for a thousand years!
We keep the Feat of Tabernacles to get a foretaste of that wonderful New World. And it is nearer now than you think!
We need to get our bearings. We need to know what went on before, and where we are today in the events working out God’s tremendous Master Plan!
First, angels inhabited this earth before man. Those angels sinned (II Peter 2:4) under the super archangel Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-15), who was created by God perfect in all his ways until rebellion and iniquity were found in him (Ez. 28:15). Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan.
Then God created man – male and female-- Adam and Eve. God instructed them fully, but they rejected God as revealer of knowledge, as their God and as Ruler. So God shut all mankind off from Him and His Holy Spirit (Gen. 3:22-24) except those infinitesimal few God would specially call for special commission or duty preparing for His Kingdom.
For almost 6,000 years now, no others but those few have been able to come to Jesus Christ (John 6:44), although millions have been misled by Satan to think they are Christians. God has called no one just for salvation! You were called for the special duty of developing God‘s character and help preach the Gospel to the world as a warning and a witness.
We, then, are a special and peculiar people (I Peter 2:9), not of this world. God established a 7,000 year Master Plan for accomplishing His purpose in man! Yet there is duality in everything God does.
God’s work through humans started with the creation of the first man, Adam (and his wife Eve). The physical creation of man began with Adam. But the spiritual creation of man begins with the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Man’s ultimate spiritual creation began with Jesus Christ.
To keep His Church in mind of God’s spiritual creation of man, God appointed seven annual festivals! The first of these festivals is the Passover, which comes on the eve of the 14th day of the first month of the sacred calendar, in the spring.
The second festival, the Days of Unleavened Bread, lasts seven days, the first and seventh of which are annual Sabbaths. The Passover pictures to us the death of Jesus Christ, His shed blood for the remission of our sins upon real repentance. The second festival pictures the coming out of sin, as the Israelites came out of Egypt during those same seven days. Egypt is a type of sin.
The third festival is the “Feast of Firstfruits,” called in New Testament times “Pentecost.” It reminds us that the few of us in God’s Church are only the first small harvest of God’s spiritual harvest.
The fourth festival, the Feat of Trumpets, comes on the first day of the seventh month of the sacred calendar. It pictures to us the return of Jesus Christ to earth in supreme power to rule all nations.
Up to then, the very few called by God have had to overcome Satan and Satan’s world. To attain salvation now is much harder than it will be for the overwhelming majority to be called during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment. But, if we overcome Satan and his world, we shall reign with Jesus Christ.
The fifth festival is the most solemn day of the year-- the Day of Atonement – a holy convocation. It is a day of fasting. It pictures Jesus Christ doing away with Satan, so that Satan cannot tempt those during the Millennium or the Great White Throne Judgment. It pictures At-One-Ment with God.
Then the sixth festival – the Feast of Tabernacles-- pictures the great main harvest of this 7,000 years.
The seventh festival, the Last Great Day, follows the seven days of the Feat of Tabernacles. The first of these seven days is a high Sabbath, and the one day following the Feast of Tabernacles, the eighth day, is a high Sabbath, picturing the Great White Throne Judgment.
The Feast of Tabernacles is intended to be a time of inspiration, a time of rejuvenation! It is the only time in the year that God makes it possible for all His children to rest from their regular duties, to worship and rejoice together, to concentrate on the deep meaning of the age in which we live and renew our personal dedication to the commission we have been given.
Attending this Feast of Tabernacles, you should be refreshed by living eight days in a manner that renews your perspective of God’s coming kingdom and rededicated to go out another year progressively fulfilling the work we have been given to do.
This year, perhaps more than ever before, we need to attend! This strengthening of our resolve to fulfill the great commission of preaching the Gospel to this world is bringing new vigor and new perspective into a more dynamic and dedicated Church. We all need to feel this impact. Pray to become more inspired and more dedicated to the work that yet lies ahead.
This Feast is the time for us to hear the vital messages that relate to the times in which we live and the deep meaning of the prophetic events that are beginning to happen. Sermons portraying the meaning of recent events and the fulfillment of prophecy in our time will be absolutely vital to hear. You cannot afford to miss a single service!
God knows His Church needs new life, new vigor and greater inspiration! The Feat of Tabernacles promises to be jam-packed with just what you need to fulfill the very purpose for which you are on this earth.
Here is the opportunity to be a light to the world by living the picture of the Millennium, the kingdom of God in action on this earth, as a witness to the local people. We can, by our own personal examples during this Festival, be used by God as a powerful witness that may help lead others into the very truth of God and a way of escape from the terrible times ahead!
Think about that as it is a very real responsibility. God expects us to set an example for others. That example is Jesus Christ living His life in you! (Be sure and listen to our DVD, “Attributes of Christ”). At the Feast of Tabernacles we should exemplify the fruits of a totally changed and converted life. That is a very important way in which each one of you can serve!
Christ lived a life of cleanliness; He took care of the property of others! He undoubtedly paid his bills in full and on time. Let’s be aware that our relationship with each individual with whom we come in contact at the Festival is representative of the Church as a whole.
We have been called out of a darkened world to be a light, to shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. Drinking, for example, is a part of this festive week when done in moderation. However, let’s not flaunt this privilege before the community by drinking to excess!
We need not hide what we do but we do need to guard against setting a wrong example in the communities that are hosts of the Festival.
There is no way to describe the emotional impact and the deep thrill that can be yours in journeying to the place God has set His name in a humble, yielded and worshipful attitude where people are assembled together, gathering as one family in one place for the observance of God’s annual Festival.
From the sound of people’s voices lifted in song during the opening service to the closing prayer on the Last Great Day, the Festival is always an exciting, thrilling and never-to-be forgotten experience.
Just think of what lies ahead during the week of the Feast of Tabernacles. The wonderful opportunity of visiting and fellowshipping with other people of like minds in whom is the Spirit of God; attending inspiring, uplifting services and hearing meaningful sermons; Bible studies, visiting historical sites, or tourist attractions or just relaxing with one’s family around the pool with a group of friends.
God has given you all this and more in His Feast of Tabernacles! However, let’s keep this Feast fully understanding why we do so, renewing once again the meaning of this Festival and rededicating ourselves to the work that God has called us to finish.
May God be with you and bless this Feast of Tabernacles even beyond our expectations!