Tabernacles is the Feast of Love.
Here we are. I proposed writing an exploration of the Feast of Tabernacles, yet it has taken us 32 chapters to arrive here. Although I have vague outlines in mind, I still don't really know what will be found in this letter. Every one of the preceding 32 chapters, however, is essential to knowing what must be found here.
First, just as Passover and Pentecost were fulfilled in the life of the Church on their days in the year AD 29 in specific and dramatic dispensation-changing events, so also will Tabernacles be fulfilled. We are looking at an enormous experience in God, one that will alter our lives utterly and through us the entire universe.
Our job is to open the Doors of Tabernacles for the entire Body of Christ. There is no question in my mind that this experience is utterly different from what most Christians imagine primarily because God is not as His core essence an outward expression of perfect power, but rather, of carrying Heart, Heart that walks beneath the least and the lowest, conforming Himself to all of their difficulties and carrying them all the way Home.
God walks with imperfections, conforming Himself to all; God shares all sorrows and all joys with each.
The Feast of Tabernacles is eight days long, from the 15th day of the seventh month to the 22ndday. Tabernacles begins with a Sabbath, the First Day of the Feast, and ends with a Sabbath, the Great Day of the Feast. In between are six days of dwelling in booths, feasting and drinking and celebrating the goodness of God.
Let's bring in the specific points of the Feast from Moses.
• The actual “Feast of Tabernacles” is seven days long, beginning with a Sabbath and then continuing for six more days.
• The Feast of Tabernacles begins just after the final harvest, when the children of Israel have gathered from their threshing floors and from their winepresses.
• This is a feast of rejoicing before the Lord for seven days. – You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.
• No regular work is done on the first day except – On the first Sabbath day of the feast, the people gather branches of (1) beautiful trees, (2) palm trees, (3) leafy trees, and (4) willows of the brook.
• For those seven days, the people dwell in booths constructed out of the branches as a reminder of having dwelled in booths during the journey out of Egypt.
• On each of the seven days an offering is made by fire to the Lord. This offering begins on the first day with thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year. These animals must be without blemish. A specific grain offering and drink offering accompanies each animal sacrifice. In addition, one kid of the goats is offered for a sin offering.
• Each of the seven days of the feast, then, has a different numbering of animals for sacrifice.
• The eighth day is part of the feast, but considered separately. On the eight day there is a sacred assembly.
• The offering made by fire on the eighth day is one bull, one ram, seven lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings. Also one goat as a sin offering.
• This feast is to be celebrated in the place God has chosen, Jerusalem, and it signifies the blessing of God upon all the produce of the fields and all the work of their hands.
• The people are surely to rejoice.
As we have seen, the actual events of each feast are not nearly as dramatic as the events in the journey of Israel signified by these feasts. Much more than that, the events of Israel signified by these feasts, though they are outwardly dramatic, yet they are temporary. The real events in the life of the church are far more dramatic and overwhelming.
Passover – the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross through which God could now possess His own.
Pentecost – the act of Jesus becoming His church, being planted in the earth as a seed, that He might live as us all the way into life, we are saved by His life.
But Tabernacles has two Sabbaths, not one. Thus Tabernacles points to two huge experiences in the life of the church, two experiences that will change the universe. God tells us precisely what both of those experiences are. He gives us the framework of the feasts, so that we might believe.
Now, I have carefully avoided any inclination to “predict the future” except in very general ways that are clearly the expectation of the gospel. One of the many things that has harmed the testimony of Jesus Christ is the making of wild predictions that almost never come to pass. I am very used to being wrong about many things. I had thought, when I wrote, “My Vision,” that God was about to take us to Blair Valley, an isolated valley in northern British Columbia, with the provision to build a community of Christ that would be a testimony of this word I share.
Needless to say, that has not happened, and its reality seems further away from me than ever. Yet I am not ashamed of what I wrote, but keep it there before the Lord as a testimony towards the day of His proving.
Although the first parts of Tabernacles, the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, are and have been fulfilled in the life of the Church in our day, the Feast of Tabernacles is yet ahead. It's realities are utterly life changing. Thus, the only way we can speak of the Feast of Tabernacles is to speak of the future.
Because I am convinced that we are at the very end of this age of human folly, thank God, I am convinced that the fulfillment of Tabernacles is upon us. Thus I want to share here my present perception of things to come. This perception is simply how I conceive of these things, not how they must be. I share my perception, not to “predict,” but only to disclose the framework of thinking upon which I am draping the realities of Tabernacles.
Let me insert one verse here, one of many that shows what I mean by “the realities of Tabernacles.”
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13
Let me foolishly speculate. Let me drape the known of Tabernacles across the unknown of future events.
We know what the First Day of Tabernacles signifies because of what happened in the journey of Israel on October 15, 972 BC, as the priests placed the Ark of the Covenant into the new Holy of Holies in Solomon's temple and the glory of God filled His house. We know what the Final Day of Tabernacles, the Great Day of the Feast, signifies because of what Jesus said on that day. “Out of your belly will flow rivers of living water.”
Each of these incredible realities is expounded on in many different ways in both the Old Testament and the New. My speculation is to separate these two events by three and one-half years. The remainder of this letter is about God filling His House. The next letter is the time in-between, and the third letter after is the incredible reality of the rivers of life flowing out beginning with the first element of heaven/earth that must be transformed by those rivers, our physical bodies.
In John's vision, the time period of three and one half years is stated in three different ways. When God speaks of that which is contrary to Christ, He says 42 months. But when He speaks of that which is of Christ, He uses either “time, times and half a time,” meaning one year, two years, and half a year, or one thousand two hundred and sixty days. In fact, the 1260 days, or three and one half years, signifies the ministry of the second witness of Christ as well as the time when the Bride of Christ is protected from the dragon.
You may have noticed that recently was the first time I have brought anything prophetic from the book of Daniel into my writing. There is a reason for that. Certainly, in my studies of the Bible and in particular of the book of Revelation, I have spent time in the prophetic portions of Daniel. The problem with those portions is that they drive men mad. This determination in the calculating mind of man to “figure out” the future by Daniel's cryptic statements has consumed many greater men than I, including Isaac Newton. As I've shared, before I turned thirty, God had broken me away from that whole way of approaching His word.
Here, however, you are allowing me to be momentarily foolish.
Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. Daniel 9:24-27
You can see the temptation to “figure out” these words and the only possible result – madness. We are in no danger, however, for we do not seek knowledge, but Christ. And in seeking Christ alone, we always find Him.
“Seventy weeks” is normally interpreted as meaning seventy times seven days or 490 days, with each “day” signifying a year, thus 490 years. Then, as you can see, sixty nine weeks are accounted for with the final week, seven “days” or seven years, yet to come. It is true that calculators have counted from the command of Cyrus to the coming of Jesus as 483 years. Of course, it is always possible to calculate anything.
Verse 24, however, gives us God's purpose. To finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity clearly refer to the Atonement and thus to the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in our lives. To bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy clearly refer to the Feast of Tabernacles itself; however, I see that God has arranged this as He often does, with the last first and the first last.
From our perspective, anointing the Most Holy is the First Day of the Feast as God fills His temple, sealing up vision and prophecy is the ministry of the in-between days, and sending forth everlasting righteousness into the universe is the Final Day of the Feast as rivers of living water cover the whole earth.
The mystery I want to draw out of these verses, however, is the concept of the final week, split into two parts. Now, it is from here that some get the argument that “the tribulation” is “seven years long.” I don't buy into the delineations in the minds of most who use the prophetic word of the Scripture as a means of predicting the future and not as the revelation of Christ. I am convinced that we are in the midst of the events and circumstances of the final days, and as we look around us, we see that no one is noticing. Many are looking for the rapture, and everyone is looking for some far-away Person to come someday. No one can see what is.
The only thing I am interested in is what God is doing and is about to do through Christ living as us.
There are two three-and-one-half-year ministries in the New Testament, the ministry of Christ and the ministry of the second witness of Christ. My present perception is that God intends a literal three and one half years for the ministry of the second witness of Christ to complete the proving of God in seven years total as indicated by Daniel. The “He” of those seven years should be capitalized, meaning Jesus, and the ending of sacrifice in the middle of the week is one sacrifice for sins forever, the end of sacrifice. Notice that Covenant binds both sides of that week. It was God who brought an end to sacrifice.
You see, my perception of “the two witnesses” is contradictory. I perceive them to be only a symbol, a metaphor, of all the firstfuits of God, many, on the one hand, and I perceive them to be two of that company, two individuals representing the many, on the other hand. This is my perception, not what “must be.”
Thus, out from that perception, I surmise that this ministry of the second witness of Christ begins at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall, and comes to a close at the time of Passover, in the spring. Then I surmise a time of silence in the heavens and darkness upon the earth – until the following Feast of Tabernacles which is marked by the resurrection of our physical bodies and the outflow of rivers of life, transforming the universe.
I surmise, then, that this time of the ministry of the second witness of Christ corresponds with the time of the serpent's “short time of great wrath,” when he and his chief angels are confined to the physical realms and no longer are able to operate in the heavens.
You see, if the dragon becomes physical only, then he can no longer breathe his spirit into “the world.” His earthly appearance signifies the first severe break in his sway over this planet. I am speaking of things getting hairy on this earth in ways no one is expecting.
How does the manifestation of the sons of God fit into this layout?
God spoke over Jesus three times. First, at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, the Father said,“You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Then, just before the walk of the atonement, the Father said, “I have both glorified My name and will glorify it again.”Finally, Paul says this in Romans 1:4 Declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Notice that God glorifies His name twice. That “twice” has many applications.
Thus the beginning of Tabernacles is the manifestation of the sons of God; at the same time, the Final Day of Tabernacles is the manifestation of the sons of God. Both/And. God unfolds what is real of Himself through the seasons of human life.
In an earlier letter I said this. – I find the sense deep inside of me that the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles represents firstfruits and the final day represents the entire harvest of Christ. Thus I am suggesting that those who, in fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, do that one thing that changes everything, are then the first to know all the fullness of God filling them in all outward manifestation. These then walk in that revelation through the days of Tabernacles until the entire harvest is complete. The full harvest is added to the firstfruits.
By the firstfruits all the Church of Christ will come into the full experience of Tabernacles.
Let me finish surmising with one final thought. – The only possible way God's precious people will forsake everything to enter into the experience of the Feast of Tabernacles is by seeing right here on this earth others just like them, who show them the way, who say, “We are just like Jesus right now; you are the same as we.”
Therefore I surmise this. The first Day of Tabernacles is God filling that called out portion of His Bride as the firstfruits of His House. I am not convinced that Scriptures give us any literal number of how many are in that company. Then, for three and one half years, these many cover and nourish the Bride of Christ on this earth, protecting her from the wrath of the evil one. During this time, they show her the true nature of the Father, as the One who walks beneath, who carries all, limiting Himself to their weakness, stumbling and falling with them along the way, carrying them inside Himself all the way through death and into life. They show her the Father by their own lives, for she is dear to them.
Because the First Day of Tabernacles is now fulfilled in the life of the Church, however,whosoever will may freely enter in. Thus through this time of great harvest, multitudes will flee out from a Church who has limited her Savior and His Salvation and will rush into all the fullness of Christ, daily, as many as God would add, just as He did at the time of Pentecost.
Then there is a short time, a few months, maybe, as I have suggested, when there is silence in heaven, darkness upon earth, and the temple is closed so that no one may enter in. This is the moment of hiding ourselves until the indignation is overpassed, as spoken by Isaiah.
Then, on the Great Day of the Feast, the rivers of life flow out from the Altar into all the concourses of the universe, out from a Man rising to His feet in Gethsemane, out from our bellies, and the physical bodies of those who belong to Jesus are transformed in the resurrection.
Then, we shape that river flowing out of us as the new heavens and the new earth.
God has placed the nature and order of the New World into our hands and hearts, into the design flowing out of our own joy. The Father and we walk together as one. We are what He is; He shows Himself to all by us.
Somehow I sense that I have touched the Heart and intentions of God by my suppositions regardless of the specific circumstances of the fulfillment of these things in the history of man on this earth. I think we are in that brief hovering moment, just before the Doors of Tabernacles swing wide open. I expect God.
Let's look again, then, at the fulfillment of the First Day of Tabernacles in the life of the Church, an experience that is at the door. We see that experience as God filling His temple, His House in heaven/earth, with His glory. Remember, however, that God's glory is not angelic, but utterly human, a kind word, a gentle touch.
However, because I covered the events of October 15, 972 BC in letter two of this series, “Applying the Feasts,” I will not expand on that particular day here. Feel free to go back and refresh your understanding of that day. Here I want to bring in other Scriptures concerning that experience.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.Ephesians 2:19-22
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—Ephesians 4:13&15
Clearly Ephesians, along with the entire New Testament, is all about Tabernacles. But someone wondered, how can we say we are filled with all the fullness of God now, and there yet be a future experience when God fills His house? I believe that I have shown how God fulfills all things by the unfolding of that which IS already true through the planting of a seed, a seed that becomes a plant first, and then brings forth many just like itself.
However, when we say, “I am filled with all the fullness of God,” we are speaking of something personal and individual. God filling His house is something entirely corporate, the many-membered body of Christ. We are not speaking here of something God does inside of us, but something God does between us.
That's the key. God filling His house is God taking our knowledge of Himself as all fullness filling us full to the absolute connection in between us as members of one another. This knowledge and this connection remains, however, entirely by faith, for God remains invisible.
Church by Father – Church exists only by the connections of Father between two and between many.
The entrance of God's house is the entrance of LOVE between people on this earth, loving one another, a bath, a baptism, an immersion of love.
How much we will highly regard and honor one another!
If God had sent seven Sons to walk this earth together, how much would they have honored and loved one another? God is sending forth from Himself many sons to walk this earth. We will know LOVE as we have never considered.
We humans doubt love. We doubt it.
Think of that statement – what if God had sent seven Sons to walk this earth together, how much they would have loved one another. Picture seven men and women, Jesus and six others exactly like Him, walking this earth, loving one another as equals with all the fullness of the love of God abounding between them without any Adamic mixture.
We do see Jesus loving people, but that love was not reciprocal; it did not come back to Him from others. Jesus' love was the personal, individual Love of God in a Man flowing out. What I am speaking of as the House of God is a continual, mutual, reciprocal Love between many with no hint of Adamic mixture; that is, no hint of manipulation for any kind of self-gain, each one always lifting up the others.
Tabernacles is the Feast of Love.
In the early years of the church, the church increased rapidly, not by what we would call evangelism as it exists in our day, but because people looked at Christian gatherings over time and marveled, “My, how these Christians love one another.”
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.John 17:22-23
This Word must be fulfilled in all fullness, in full and continual outward expression, in this age in our lives right here on this earth. God does what He says.
Father, let this word be fulfilled in our lives in all of its meaning. We will KNOW that it is fulfilled when the clamor of the world media is filled with awestruck wonder over, “My, how these Christians love one another!”
The Glory is Love. Tabernacles is the immersion of many into a continual existence of treating one another in the highest honor and with the deepest respect, highly regarding one another, serving one another, caring for one another, in a reciprocal relationship of joy and peace.
Tabernacles is Church.
Lord, how I love the habitation of Your House; how I love the Place where Your glory dwells.
We are talking about people, simple people – good people – family: mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, old folks and little ones, living life together.
We are talking about God.
Christ is a many-membered Body; we ARE the Body of Christ.
“Father, You say in Your Word that we will love one another and that this love is the proof of God to the entire cosmos. Father, we are weak and incapable, with no ability to fulfill this word in ourselves. Yet Father, You fill us full with all of Yourself. You are God; You are Love. We believe that You possess us.
“Father, You say in Your Word that this same love abounds in our hearts right now, overflowing by the Spirit You have given us. Father, You say in Your Word that we love as You love, that we are kind just as You are kind. Father, You say that, as a Body of people together, we are Your dwelling place forever.
“Father, You say in Your Word that rivers of life and love flow out of our bellies because we believe in Jesus. Father, You say that we love one another, that we are witnesses of You by that love. Father, You say in Your Word, that the entire cosmos will know how much You love us by the love they see that is made perfect between us.
“Father, we will never limit Your Word, but Your Word is fulfilled right now in our lives right here on this earth.
“Father, we know that the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is upon us, that first Day of the Feast, when You fill your firstfruits as Your dwelling place, that we might be a doorway for many, for all who belong to Jesus, to enter into all the fullness of Christ revealed.
“Father, we see that the experience of that Day which is upon us, Today, is a baptism, an immersion in Love. Father You are Love. Father You say in Your Word that this baptism of Love is an immersion into You loving one another through each one of us.
“Father, we honor Your Word with all our hearts by believing that You speak the truth and that Your Word is fulfilled in fulness in our lives. Father, we keep Your Word.
“Therefore, Father, we ask right now, as You want us to ask, that You will fulfill Tabernacles in us and between us, that You might be revealed to the universe as Love flowing among many. We stand here inside of You inside of us, inside the completion of Your Atonement in our lives.
“Oh, FATHER, there is no more sacrifice for sins, for by One Sacrifice, You have perfected us forever.
“Thus, Father, standing here utterly inside of You, we look out upon our brethren. We know that You carry them, but they do not know. Our hearts are overwhelmed, filled full with Your compassion over Your people, Your Bride, Your entire House.
“God, You are Love, specific, purposeful, targeted Love, You have already seized us fully as Your own, and now, Father, we know that You would BE Love through us, that You would flow all over Your Bride, out from us.
“Therefore, Father, we ask that You would immerse us in Love. That the Baptism of Love would proceed up from You unfolding Yourself through us to all, that the Baptism of Love, Your very Heart, would issue forth into the knowledge of the universe.
“Oh Father, You are in travail, we are in travail, PUSH, BRING FORTH, let Your Face come into view for the first time. – Father, be seen. Father, be known. Father, be touched and handled.
“Father, we are Your Body, we are Your hands, we are Your mouth, Your Word is in our lips.
“For Your sake, Oh Father, reveal Yourself now through us by revealing Your Love among us. Father, how we LOVE one another.
“Father, we ask that You would Be Love among we who Love Your Word, that the universe, the entire cosmos, would know that You sent Jesus and that You Love us as You Love Him.
“Father, having asked for the fulfillment of the First Day of Tabernacles in the life of the church, right here, right now, in our lives, and with that great Baptism of Love among us, the sending forth of the great Harvest into all the fullness of Christ, we stand in You in total expectation that now is the time, Today, for You to unveil Yourself through us as You long to do separate from the cosmos.
“Father, we believe that we have received all that we ask. We believe that we are immersed into the full Baptism of Love, that Love is now the bond we share together, the bond of perfection. Father, we expect Love always carrying us, always arising within us, always flowing among us, we together, LOVING ONE ANOTHER in a way no others can know, except those whom You have given us. Yet all look upon this Love among us and marvel. 'My, how these Christians love one another!'
“And Father, having believed, having received all that we have asked for, YOU, Oh God, as our own Heart, You, Oh God, as the Love among us, we look upon fields white for harvest, we look upon Your Bride, Lord Jesus, laboring under darkness, swept to and fro by her ignorance and by her distress.
“Father, send us now, together, among her. You are all wisdom in us, Father, for her sake. You are all power in us, Father, for her sake. You are all Love in us, Father, for her sake.
“Father, BE life laid down, BE love poured out, among us and through us, for her sake, for Your sake, oh, Father. We are WILLING now, Lord Jesus, in the Day of Your Power.
“Father, we expect God. We expect God within us. We expect God among us. We expect God flowing out from us.
“Father, it is time, reveal Yourself, make Yourself known. We are Yours, we are willing and able and ready. Show Your face by us. Be all Love among us.
“Father, fill Your House.
“And Father, because You say, because we have asked, because we believe that we have already received all that we ask, we go forward now, from this moment, knowing that we are You revealed through us in all things. We are You revealed in every step we take, in every word we speak, in every breath we breathe. We are You revealed among us as we Love one another, as we honor and highly regard one another, as we place ourselves beneath of one another, lifting each other up before all.
“Father, we KNOW that every step we take is You, by us, showing Yourself, reconciling the entire cosmos back to Yourself, restoring all things.
“Father, we KNOW that we are Love; together as one body, we are Love. Father, we pour out our lives all the way for others. Father, we are kind. Father, we rejoice in the truth. Father, we bear all things, we hope all things, we believe all things, we endure all things. For by us, You reveal Yourself, and by us, You restore all things back to Yourself.
“Father, You and we are one.”
God is real. His Word is true, revealed now through us. Nothing else exists.
A while back, a brother asked me to write an explanation of the Feast of Tabernacles complete in two pages. I could not because I did not yet see. Now, I have written an explanation that, in its final book form, will be close to 400 pages. But this is a journey we are on, a way we have never been before. You see, now I can write an explanation of the Feast of Tabernacles in one short line.
“My, how those Christians love one another.”
God is Love. Tabernacles is the Feast of Love. Tabernacles is the Feast of God.
Love one another with a pure heart fervently.
God one another by the Mercy Seat fervently.
This Love is now among us fully and without shadow before ever it could flow out to embrace all. Yet now that we are immersed together in all the fullness of loving one another with a pure heart fervently, let the Harvest begin. Let the time of watchcare, of nourishing the many, of covering God's woman, of rejoicing as the many, whosoever will, rush into all the fullness of Christ, let it begin.
Let it begin.