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White Oak Baptist Church

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Fall Feasts-Tabernacles

Leviticus 23: 33-36

Introduction

*              What are the Seven Feasts of the Lord?  (Lev. 23:1-44)

                *              Spring Feasts:  Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost= fulfilled at the death, burial, resurrection                                       and coming of the Holy Spirit.

                *              In between the spring and fall Feasts are 4 months known as the harvest time.

                *              Fall Feasts:  Trumpets 1st, Day of Atonement 10th, Tabernacles 15th are yet to be fulfilled, but I believe will be                                             fulfilled at the rapture, second coming and the millennial kingdom. 

                *              Today, we will look at the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, and it took place this year on September                                       22nd through October 1st, 2010. 

                *              This Feast is the most joyful and festive of all other feasts and is most prominent by being mentioned more times in                                                 Scripture than all other feasts. To the Jews it is known as “The Season of our Rejoicing.”

                *              I want us to look at the Feast of Tabernacles and see the historical, prophetical and spiritual meaning and fulfillment.

I.             The Feast of Tabernacles–The Historical Meaning (Lev. 23:39-43)

                *              The Feast of Tabernacles takes place during the 7th month, it is the 7th feast and it lasts for 7 days.  The number “7”                                 means completion in the Bible.  Do you think then we should pay attention to this feast? 

                *              On the fifteenth of Tishri (October 22), the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles begins. Remember, this is the 3rd of the                                   three feasts (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles) that the Jewish men 20 and over had to travel back to Jerusalem. 

                *              1st Passover-barley harvest-Blood    4th Pentecost-wheat harvest-Spirit    7th Tabernacles-grape harvest-Water

                                (1 John 5:7-8)                                                                                                       (Rev. 14:18-20)

 

                *              This feast is also called Sukkot/Booths, or the Feast of Nations, or the Feast of Ingathering (Ex. 23:16, 34:22).

                *              Observant Jews erect little "huts" or "booths" (sukahs) from bulrushes and palm branches as an annual                                              reminder of the temporary housing erected by their forefathers during the Exodus wanderings from Egypt.

                *              Each day of the Feast of Tabernacles was filled with important festivity.  It was a time celebrated with great joy.

                *              This joy was twofold, it commemorated God’s past goodness and provision during the wilderness travels and                                             secondly, it commemorates God present goodness and provision with the completion of the harvest-the                                                       ingathering of their fruit crops.

                *              During this celebration the intense anticipation of rain to come was reflected in the Temple service.  A Water                                              Libation service was offered to the Lord. 

                *              Headed by the High Priest they went out the Water Gate to the pool of Siloam which had “Living Water”!  His                                           assistant had a silver pitcher of wine. At dawn, the assembly proceeded with melody and song to the spring of                                            Siloam, at the foot of the walls of Jerusalem.

                *              Then the congregation ascended again to the Temple, led by the High Priest who bore the golden vessel.

                *              Arriving at the Temple, he brought the pitcher up to the altar, and poured the water into the silver cup at its corner.                                   Another priest poured out the wine from the other pitcher into the cup at the opposite corner.

                *              This ceremony was connected to the rains for the harvest.  In Israel, the rains normally stop in March, and there is no                                 rain for almost seven months. If God does not provide the "early" rains in October and November, there will be no                                    spring crop, and famine is at the doorstep.

                *              This ceremony, then, was intended to invoke God's blessing on the nation so that He might provide life-giving                                            water.  In the midst of great ceremony, the High Priest poured the water out of the golden pitcher of living water                                        onto the                 altar and the other priest poured out the wine from the silver pitcher.

                *              As the water was being poured the people would waved their palm branches and shouted from the great Hallel of                                     Psalm 118:25, “O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.”  At the same time the priest waved their palm                                               branches and marched once around the Alter.

                *              The Water Libation ceremony took place during the evening in the autumn month under the harvest full-moon.  It                                   would get dark, so they would light in the Court of the Women four enormous candlesticks seventy-five feet                                              tall with four golden bowls at the top of each.

                *              Once lit, there was not a courtyard in all of Jerusalem that did not glow with the light that emanated from the                                             celebration in the Temple courtyard.

                *              We see this celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles had a lot to do with water and light.  This we will come to                                              understand a little later in the sermon.

                *              There is much more to the historical celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles; I’m just hitting the main points you                                      need to know.

                *              We have seen the historical dress rehearsal of Tabernacles, now let’s fast forward to the future and see the                                                  prophetical meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles.

II.            The Feast of Tabernacles-The Prophetical Meaning:  (Zech. 14:16-19, Rev. 21:1-7)

                *              So, Tabernacles is all about asking God to bring rain for the spring harvest and thanking Him for the fall crops as                                      they gathered them in.

                *              We read in Zech. 14:16-19, the Gentile nations that refuse to keep this Feast in the Millennial Kingdom will receive                                   no rain upon their land

                *              This will take place as the Messiah, Christ, sets up His Millennial Kingdom.  He will gather His crop of Israel back                                      to her land and the Gentile believers will be gathered in as well.

                *              There is a future day of ingathering when God gathers His people unto Himself and judges the wicked. The Bible                                      often speaks of future judgment as a harvest (Rev. 14:15-20 read). 

                *              But Tabernacles also speaks of a new beginning, this all was taking place at the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

                *              It speaks eloquently of the Messianic Kingdom - of a new beginning without the ravages of the curse of sin. In that                                 day the earth will give her full bounty, all animals will be docile, and the armies will no longer march against each                                      other (Micah 4:3, Isa. 11:6, 65:25).

                *              Not only is Tabernacles mentioned in the Millennial Kingdom, but also in the Eternal State (Rev. 21:1-7).  Notice                                      the wording: 

                                *              New dwelling-                                       heaven on earth (vv.1-2)                  

                                *              Dwelling (tabernacle)-                         God is with us (v.3)

                                *              He will wipe away tears . . . pain-     a time of celebration (v.4)

                                *              I am making everything new-           This is the New Year, a new beginning in the 8th millennium,                                                                                                                                      the 8th day after the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles was a Sabbath                                                                                                                 rest (v.5, Heb. 4:9)

                                *              It is done-                                              7th month, 7th Feast lasting 7 day’s=completion (v.6a)

                                *              Water of life-                                        Jesus said this at the Feast of Tabernacles (v.6b, John 7:38)

                                *              Overcomes. . . inheritance-                The Year of Jubilee would have started 5 days before on the                                                                                                                                    Day of Atonement where God calls each person back to their land

                                                                                                                (v.7, Lev. 25:8-55)

                *              We have seen the historical meaning and the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, now let us look at the                                 spiritual meaning.

 III.         The Feast of Tabernacles-The Spiritual Meaning:  (John 7:37-38)

                *              What does all this mean to us, the church, today?  Remember I talked about water and light?  So what does these                                     have to do with anything pertaining to us today?

                *              It is in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles that the Gospel of John records a fascinating event and teaching.

                *              Let me remind you again:  On the last day, that great day of the feast, as the High Priest took his golden pitcher and                                                 poured it on the Alter while the other priest poured the wine out of the silver pitcher and the people cried out, “O                                                 LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success” (Ps. 118:25).

                *              At the same time the priest were doing their feast rehearsal, Jesus stood and cried out (John 7:37-38).

                *              Remember the seventy-five foot candles they lit during Tabernacles?  In the Court of the Women were four                                               enormous candlesticks with four golden bowls at the top of each. The next day recorded in (John 8:12).  Jesus is                                       teaching the people and telling them He is the Light of the world. 

                *              In John 9:1-12 we see Jesus fulfilling this by healing a blind man and saying that He told the blind man to go to the                                 pool of Siloam (where the High Priest took the water) and wash and the man could see.

                *              The Son of God was saying in the clearest possible way during the Feast of Tabernacles, that He alone was the                                          source of all spiritual life, light and blessing.

                *              He was saying, you don’t need to rehears and go through a ceremony any longer.  You don’t need water from the                                     pool poured on the Alter-I’m here dwelling among you!  I am the Life and the Light of man! I make all things new!

Conclusion

*              Fifteen hundred years before Jesus was born, the seven feasts foretold, in type, the major redemptive works of His life. The    four spring feasts related to His first coming and the three fall feasts portray events to be associated with His second coming.

*              See, Jesus is the spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.  When one believes in Him he will find living water of life      in the Spirit and will be able to spiritually see the truth. 

*              He opens our eyes from darkness to light and gives you a new                 life/beginning and you will be ingathered into His crops and         He will dwell with you and you with Him for eternity.  That is   the Feast of Tabernacles!

*              Have you celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in your life today?  Do you have the Living Water and the Light of Life                 within you today?  Is Christ dwelling (tabernacling) in you?

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