Tabernacles: An Introduction
It is written,
“Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
In this passage Paul spoke to the church at Corinth about things that had happened to the literal nation of Israel in the Old Testament. Paul says that passing through the Red Sea, though a historical event, was also meant to be an example, or object lesson, to the Corinthians. This principle holds true for the whole of the Old Testament. The scriptures are full of stories and rituals that give us insight and instruction for our journey with God even in this present church age.
For instance, there are three main feasts Israel observed in the Old Testament. The most famous one is the feast of Passover, which was celebrated for the first time just before the children of Israel left Egypt. It was called Passover because the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites and did not kill their first born because they had put the blood of a lamb upon their doorposts. In our present church age this feast of Passover has a spiritual fulfillment in our lives when we receive salvation, and are passed over not receiving the judgment of hell because of the blood that Christ shed for us. Furthermore, there is a definite spiritual experience at salvation, which many of those who become saved feel when they give their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus. Many feel the physical weight of sin lift off their souls and feel the acceptance and love of their heavenly Father. The salvation experience in the church age is the spiritual fulfillment of the literal feast of Passover in the Old Testament.
Next we have the feast of Pentecost that the Israelites also celebrated each year according to the commandment of God. Pentecost is normally fifty days after the second day of the feast of Passover. Pentecost is also connected to the grain harvest in Israel. In ancient days, the grain harvest lasted for seven weeks and was a season of celebration. In our church age the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost. So, just as the spiritual fulfillment of Passover is salvation and is accompanied by a definite spiritual experience so too the spiritual fulfillment of Pentecost is accompanied by the definite spiritual experience of speaking in other tongues. The baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues is the spiritual fulfillment of the literal feast of Pentecost in the Old Testament. We yield our most unruly member of our body to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to speak through us.
There is a third and final feast called the feast of Tabernacles which the Israelites celebrated each year around mid October. This feast is also known as the Feast of Booths, or the Feast of In-gathering. During this holiday, Jews would eat their meals, entertain guests, relax, and rest in a Sukkoth, or temporary tent (tabernacle.) This type of tabernacles is like the huts that the Israelites stayed in during their forty years of wandering in the desert after the leaving Egypt.
Here is a truth:
“Though there have been isolated manifestations down through history, there has been no widespread spiritual fulfillment or accompanying spiritual experience related to the Feast of Tabernacles, it is yet to come.”
It is my belief that the experience which will accompany this feast is the experience of “Oneness with God”. Whereas, when we were filled with the Holy Spirit our tongues became one with God when we enter into the Tabernacles experience we will yield the rest our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls to God.
Here is another important truth:
“As individuals become one with His Holy Spirit we will experience Emanuel or God with us, once again. Christ will walk the Earth again in the form of the fully revealed (manifested) sons of God.”
In the book of John we read:
“I and my Father are one.”
And Christ also states:
“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”
Just as Jesus was one with the Father, so shall we, as the body of Christ, become one with our Father. Furthermore, there is an accompanying spiritual experience that all those who partake of the spiritual fulfillment of this feast will enter into as individuals and also as the corporate body of Christ.
I believe that this experience of oneness with God will be characterized by Divine love. God will reveal Himself in us and through us, not through Eros love (earthly sexual love) but through His divine and holy Agape love ( self sacrificial love.) The scriptures state,
“God is love…”
And does it not say, or rather prophesize, in these scriptures that we shall love one another?
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
And in the book of John we are admonished to love each other,
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
“These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
The question is, “How will this love be shown and to whom?” This is the point of departure where we venture into uncharted territory. If the spiritual fulfillment of Tabernacles has not yet come the only thing we can say for certain is that it will be something beyond our present understanding.
Ask yourself what do these following scriptures really mean and why are we exhorted to do so and to whom?
“Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.”
“All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”
“Greet one another with an holy kiss.”
“Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.”
I believe that God is about to bring a revival of such proportion and scope that it will dwarf all previous revivals and spiritual awakenings. Moreover, this revival will be characterized by the manifestation (or revealing) of the sons of God. These are saints that have matured into the fullness and stature of Jesus Christ and become united with His body and joined with His head. This is the Man-child spoken of in the book of Revelation,
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
Revelation chapter 12:4,5
This “called out” group of saints will move by the Holy Spirit as one confirming the words of Jesus,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…”
In that day they shall know we are Christians by our love for one another. This love will be stronger than the bonds of any natural love found here on earth. Jesus said in Luke,
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
Christ states that discipleship takes precedence over every other natural bond here on Earth. I believe the divine love that will be revealed in us through the experience of Tabernacles will cause this scripture to become literally true in our lives.
It will be as if we are all bound together by invisible cords of self sacrificial love stronger than any emotional attachment found in this world. This love will override all earthly bonds and protocols rearranging and realigning all that we know until the body of Christ is brought together in Him, but in a from almost unrecognizable to our present Christian understanding. Traditions will melt away, dogma will fail, doctrines of men will burn as chaff, and a pure and holy bride of Christ will emerge from the midst of what is now called Christianity.
We see in church history that the restoration of the doctrine of salvation by faith broke forth a number of times before it actually took root under Martin Luther during the reformation. However, before Martin Luther’s success this same truth was violently opposed and ruthlessly suppressed by the Catholic Church, the dominant church of that day. So too will the present “powers that be” in the church violently oppose and attempt to suppress this move of the Holy Spirit. They will revile it and speak all manner of evil against it, preferring the acceptance of this present world to the pure and holy thing that God will bring forth in His people. Pastors and Teachers will decry it as un-biblical and dangerous. False apostles and prophets will put immense pressure on anyone they see start to embrace this new demonstration of the Spirit. Finally, just as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes did, the leaders of the religious system will seek to enlist the secular authorities to put down this new move of God’s spirit. Woe unto to them that seek to destroy God’s children and woe unto them that blaspheme the Holy Spirit within them.
What is about to happen is akin to childbirth and will be accompanied by physical and emotional pain, and tearing, but in the end it will bring forth joy unspeakable. Presently, most of Gods people do not submit to, or follow the Holy Spirit to the depth and level He desires. They have made choices in their lives that, by and large, have stymied and frustrated the will of God. God has not been allowed to be a part of their most vital life choices and so their lives are not built upon His will, but upon the vanity of self-choice. As the Holy Spirit touches each individual, that which is not of God will be done away with as they come into alignment with the path and the destiny God ordained and marked out for them before the beginning of this creation.
In the New Testament we are no longer under the law of sin and death but we are now bound under a greater law, the law of the Spirit of life. The law of the Spirit of life requires that everything which has been put above and before God either come into alignment with Him or be done away with. Above all, this move of God will prove once and for all that our Father is sovereign and none can stay His hand.
Many will find that accepting God as He is too radical and will shrink back in fear. Many will stumble at the cost of following God when they cannot understand with their natural minds why He is moving in this way or that. True is the saying that the fearful and unbelieving shall not inherit the kingdom of God, not because the path is unavailable to them but because they refuse to take it. We read in Revelation,
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Distinction between body, soul, and spirit is a false doctrine that many use to isolate and separate what they consider to be “spiritual” from what they consider to be “carnal”. Those who think in such ways are often critical of the freedom the Holy Spirit gives. In reality, this distinction is an artificial construct that obscures the fact that we, like God, are one. When our spirit is affected it affects both our soul and our physical bodies because nothing happens to one part of us that does not affect the whole. Those who experience this heavenly love will find that it affects spirit, soul, and body too. Thus, the revealing of divine love in Christ’s body will, at times, look a lot like natural love except that its origin will be the Spirit of God and not our fleshly nature.
Sin not only separated us from God, but has also fractured and separated our very psyche. Here is a truth:
“The spiritual experience of Tabernacles will re-integrate each individual’s body, soul, and spirit in to one complete person causing them to act with consistency throughout their whole being.”
We need to understand that our flesh is not ungodly but rather part of the very nature of whom we are, and that as God says in the book of Titus,
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled…”
Love, even heavenly love, demands expression and cannot be contained in the old wine skin of what we have been taught is appropriate. I submit to you that people of the first century church greeted each other with a holy kiss simply because the love of God within them naturally lead to such expressions of affection.
The type of love that will manifest in this new move of God is the first love that was revealed in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve. This first love was the type of love originally meant to be experienced by the whole human race. Yet, because of sin, we became ashamed of the pure expression of heavenly love God had given us. Through the spiritual experience of Tabernacles the “First Love” of Eden will be restored to the body of Christ. The Tabernacle experience is the type of love spoken about in I Corinthians,
“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
The restoration of this first love will be the central characteristic of the spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the coming revival.
The manifestations of this first love will be all-encompassing and widespread. Since the fig leaves were sown together in the garden mankind lost God’s perspective on the expression of godly love. Pure and holy love will restore our sense of what is right and appropriate in the sight of God. Nevertheless, it will be a wrenching experience as we pass from what we now consider holy to what God considers holy. The lines drawn to protect us from our human frailties are artificial man made constructs born of a collective fearful mindset that does not understand what the first love and godly expression is all about. In this move of God’s Spirit the barriers and boundaries that have been set up to keep people in line and protect them from themselves will vanish and be replaced by the only line that really matters: the line drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, Christians commonly profess that we live at the end of the age and that Christ’s return is eminent. What many leaders do not recognize is that, in its present condition, the church is not ready to meet her bridegroom. The move of Tabernacles and the love that it will bring is meant to prepare the bride to meet her lover. Yes, lover is the correct term because after the marriage supper of the Lamb naturally comes the consummation of the marriage. Just as Esther was prepared and adorned to meet her king in hopes of becoming his queen so are we being prepared by the Holy Spirit to meet our King also. Let us not forget that many are called but few are chosen and while we may be called to come into the presence of the king we must do our part to make ourselves ready.
Our salvation is a progressive work that starts well before we even accept Christ as our Lord and savior. However, from the time that we choose to call Jesus Lord we become actively involved in making heaven our home. Paul says to work out our salvation with fear and trembling because the fact is that our actions are eternally important and play a decisive role in whether or not we enter into paradise. Christ is drawing us, will we run after Him? Will we seek His face with everything that is within us? Will we yield to the Holy Spirit and become true disciples? Will we put Him above everything else? This is the call of the Bride; “to come.”