Going to the Feast of Tabernacles each year looks crazy in the eyes of the world. It may cause you trouble, it may be a time of testing and trial (job, school, marriage) but if you look to Jesus’ example you will go anyway.
- Believe in the historic existence of Jesus Christ
- Believe that Jesus Christ was who He said he was (son of God)
- Believe that He died for your sin. And because He was who He said he was His death can pay the death penalty for every human who has ever/will ever live.
Many stop there… with a message about the person of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, teaching that is all you need to know and believe. A good beginning but grossly insufficient.
John 3:10-12 John 3:10-12 10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?
11 Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
American King James Version× To believe in Christ also means to believe the words He taught, about how salvation is achieved, prophecies of what is to come, and His instructions on how to live… all of which relate in one way or another to the good news of the Kingdom of God.
People talk a lot about Jesus… but the commission of the Church is to carry on His work… to carry on putting the message of the Kingdom of God out there… to witness, instruct, encourage. Therefore we should know what Jesus taught and what Jesus did.
Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version× we have Jesus words (commands) and we also have His example to pattern our lives after. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done”… “ Christ suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow” … “follow me as I follow Christ”.
Jesus went to the Feast of Tabernacles
John 7:1-10 John 7:1-10 1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2 Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand.
3 His brothers therefore said to him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that your disciples also may see the works that you do.
4 For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.
5 For neither did his brothers believe in him.
6 Then Jesus said to them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.
7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8 Go you up to this feast: I go not up yet to this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
9 When he had said these words to them, he stayed still in Galilee.
10 But when his brothers were gone up, then went he also up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
American King James Version× He had every reason to stay home, avoid trouble etc. but clearly He went in spite of this. It was His top priority to follow the commands of God.
Going to the Feast of Tabernacles each year looks crazy in the eyes of the world. It may cause you trouble, it may be a time of testing an trial (job, school, marriage)… but if you look to Jesus’ example you will go anyway.
FOT Instituted For All People at All Times
God put the Feast of Tabernacles in place as a lesson, a marker, a reminder meant for all people (all nations, races, genders, not just Jews) and meant for all times (past, present, future).
- Genesis 18:18-19 Genesis 18:18-19 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.
American King James Version× these things given to Abraham and descendants were intended for ALL
- Galatians 3:29 Galatians 3:29And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
American King James Version× at this time and in this age that means YOU
Jesus … the mediator of the new covenant… set the example that you should follow. So, it is important for you to know… He kept the Feast of Tabernacles !
When Jesus rules as King of kings (millennium) He will instruct people to observe the FOT. Zechariah 14:16-22 Zechariah 14:16-22 16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even on them shall be no rain.
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, with which the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
American King James Version× Why? Same reason we have today… as a lesson, a marker, and reminder of what stage they are at in the plan of God. It is also meant to be a special time of teaching… because flesh and blood does not know the way to live… the way of peace. They have to be taught. And teaching requires discipline.
Isaiah 2:2-4 Isaiah 2:2-4 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version× at that time all will learn His way… just as we are to be learning His way now. The FOT is very much about the learning of God’s way… prophetically and presently.
Back to Jesus at the FOT…
John 7:12-13 John 7:12-13 12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, No; but he deceives the people.
13 However, no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
American King James Version× Consider the reaction to Jesus’ teaching and example. It was a mixed bag. Some people even called Him a deceiver… that He was leading the poor simple folk astray.
If people said this about Jesus… and about the doctrine, He taught… does it seem strange that people in our own day would say the same about us… and the things we teach. Such as teaching people to believe and obey God’s instruction to observe these annual Sabbaths, holy days, feasts… Too many think we too are leading people astray… back into bondage etc.
Folks don’t want to hear what’s plain in the scriptures. They prefer their own ideas to the revealed instructions of God. John 3:16-19 John 3:16-19 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
American King James Version× … why not read your own bible and find out just who is deceiving who?
Jesus Taught At the FOT
John 7:14-15 John 7:14-15 14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
15 And the Jews marveled, saying, How knows this man letters, having never learned?
American King James Version× people marveled… why? Because He was not a scholar. He didn’t have a lot of letters after His name. In our day we’d say He doesn’t have a doctorate in theology, He hasn’t studied 4 years in a university and gotten the right credentials… Stick around long enough and you’ll hear this sort of charge leveled at the ministry of the Church of God.
- Peter/John just regular guys ran small businesses etc.
- Note: Paul & Apollos have learned men (apostles to the Gentiles) But as Paul said of himself… he did not learn the truth of God from other men. What he had he learned directly from Christ. All the stuff he had gained from his previous life he counted as dung.
The scholars of our time are going to teach you that there is no need to keep the FOT.
John 7:16-18 John 7:16-18 16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18 He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
American King James Version× Jesus told everyone that His teaching was not of himself but from the one who sent him. The fact that the message was not His own didn’t matter because He was in complete 100% agreement with it.
Part of putting off all the glory that He had previously shared with the Father… living in the flesh like you and me… meant that Jesus was limited… He was indeed human (and not just God inside a human body) so he had to take in what He knew of the world through His senses… eyes, ears, taste & touch.
What made Him the perfect human was that His spirit was completely in sync with, lead by, powered by… the spirit of God working within Him.
His teaching was not something He cooked up from His own flesh and blood powers of observation, deduction, induction, or rationalization. Now, these are all powerful tools to understand our world. To explain and manipulate the gases, minerals, and solids which make up our universe… to unleash the power of neurons, electrons, electricity and so forth… to understand animals and plants and work with them.
But regarding spiritual matters, those human faculties are not very useful for gaining knowledge. Take for example: the way of peace . Human beings don’t know it, don’t have it, and cannot figure it out. Because it’s a spiritual matter and the answer also is spiritual. And that spiritual answer comes to us from God.
How do you learn this spiritual type stuff?
By hearing God’s will and doing it.
Psalms 111:7-10 Psalms 111:7-10 7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people: he has commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever.
American King James Version× 1) All commands/precepts (not just some)
2) For all ages (FOT not just for the past and the future…. But for today)
3) Doing His will/commandments leads to understanding
Like Jesus, I am not here to preach my own opinions. On my own, I don’t know very much. I might be good at coming up with a turn of phrase or such… but whatever wisdom there is in what I say is not my own. I have received the truth from the Church of God, I have checked it out by reading the scriptures, but I really began learning it by doing it. John 7:17 John 7:17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
American King James Version×said, “To Do His Will”.
A prime example of learning by doing is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. I was told about it, I checked it out, I read the testimony of Jesus’ own example, and I started doing it. In the process of doing it… I began to learn about that elusive way of peace… and so can you.
John 15:9-10 John 15:9-10 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
American King James Version× as He has received from the Father He has passed on to us and our commission is to pass it on to others.
Titus 1:16 Titus 1:16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.
American King James Version× There are people out there who teach you that you should not keep the Father’s commandments including His instructions to keep the feast of Tabernacles. They are and will remain clueless about vast chunks of God plan of salvation.
And so the world does not have peace… nor will it have peace. Because it either does not know God’s will or knows about the instructions and the example of Jesus Christ but refuses to obey. But doing the will of God is the only way you have any kind of a shot at learning the way of peace we all desperately need to know.
John 7:25-30 John 7:25-30 25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
26 But, see, he speaks boldly, and they say nothing to him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
27 However, we know this man from where he is: but when Christ comes, no man knows from where he is.
28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, You both know me, and you know from where I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom you know not.
29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me.
30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.
American King James Version× à John 7:37-38 John 7:37-38 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
American King James Version× While teaching at the FOT Jesus refers to a prophecy in Isaiah 55 which is about establishing universal and permanent peace through the word of God and the teaching of God’s ways to everyone.
All people must learn this vital information from God about peace and how to live the way that leads to peace, and prosperity, and joy and much more. YOU can start learning it now!
Jesus Christ walked in God’s way as an example for us. Including keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. He did this as one example of how to do the will of God, to walk with God and thereby learn His ways.
Deuteronomy 31:9-13 Deuteronomy 31:9-13 9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi, which bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel.
10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD your God in the place which he shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
12 Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and your stranger that is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land where you go over Jordan to possess it.
American King James Version×
The FOT pictures a coming time of peace… when all people will learn the way to live, the way of peace. But for us today it is also a time to begin learning that way to live, that way of peace NOW!