Today marks the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, the last of the seven feasts of Israel.
The Feast of Tabernacle is also known as the Feast of Ingathering of the Harvest. It was conducted for eight days, beginning on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month Tishri, as a time to celebrate the harvest and rejoice before the Lord. The people were instructed to build booths (the meaning of the word "tabernacle") of tree boughs and live in them for seven days, to remember how they lived in booths when God brought them out of Egypt. The feast opened with a ceremony involving water from the pool of Siloam, which the priests likened to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit with joy, and closed on the eighth day with a similar ceremony. Jesus used this ceremony to announce that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on His believers (John 7:37-39).
The rabbis also viewed the Feast of the Tabernacles as looking forward to the time when all nations would worship the Lord. They noted that there were 70 bulls sacrificed during the feast, corresponding to the number of the nations listed in Genesis. In addition, they pointed to the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles by all nations in Zechariah 14:16. They also expected that Messiah would come to rule, praying as they carried tree branches that God would send salvation through the Son of David. This ceremony was, in fact, repeated when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Today's Christian viewpoint on the Feast of Tabernacles follows the Rabbinical view that the Feast represents the ingathering of the nations to be ruled by the Messiah. We, of course, add the understanding that Christ came as our Passover Lamb and then sent us the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. He paid for our sins as unleavened bread and arose as the first fruits of the dead. He will return with the trumpet of God and will judge us on the Day of Atonement. Then we will tabernacle with the Lord forever.
The church would do well to remember that we are all going to be together as one which we tabernacle with the Lord for eternity. Now would be a good time to practice by following Jesus' prayer in John 17:20-23 that we be united in Him as a witness on Earth. We urge you to practice Christian unity and consider attending the Kairos 2017 Christian Unity and Revival meeting in Kansas City on October 24-26, 2017 (See Kairos2017.com for more information).
We should also remember that the old rabbis were right to say that joy must accompany the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray that we can recover the joy of our salvation.
So have some fun this Tabernacles Feast Week.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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