“Three times in a year shall all the males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose… in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the lord thy God which he hath given thee..” Dt 16:16-17
God has a pattern that unlocks His promises and brings us into His presence. In the Old Testament, we see that God the Father designed seven feasts, as expounded upon in Leviticus 23. They all point to Jesus and the things that will happen in the New Covenant. These seven feasts are God’s own holy days with specific instructions given for their observance. They’re also known as “holidays”, and each individual holiday has a special way it is celebrated. Let’s look at one special holiday in particular: the feast of Tabernacles. The overall theme of the feast of Tabernacles is a beautiful picture of the unity of the saints and the true Church coming forth. On this special holy day, every Israelite had to leave their dwelling place and assemble together in small, humble booths for fellowship and worship. They had one common purpose in mind: to keep the feast of the Lord in its season, and to celebrate the ingathering of the wines and oils. God had provided, and the purpose was the celebrate his provision – all together, like a family. If any would fear the enemy would attack their homes or take their properties during their time of absence, God promised them in obedience of honoring Tabernacles, every person, great and small, would be protected from their enemies. If we as New Testament believers could see the glory embedded in the theme of the Feast of Tabernacles, we would never have fear of someone “taking our stuff”. Our safeguard rests in obedience to the Lord, His powerful grace, and a heart willing to follow in the path which He chooses.
“So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Lev 23:39-43 NIV
I believe by honoring and giving distinctiveness to these divine appointments, we align ourselves with the desires of God, allowing the doors to open of spiritual opportunities – His blessings and benefits. And His blessing and benefits facilitate the restoration of all that God has promised us, as found in the book of Joel and throughout the scriptures. God has a pattern that unlocks His promises and brings us into His presence. Each of the seven feasts has a process of observance with a theme that leads into the next. For example, the day of atonement reveals the necessity of prayer to position yourself to have right standing with God through repentance. The day of Atonement has its own sets of instructions in the Bible for how the holiday is celebrated. The Day of Atonement leads to the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. The Feasts of Israel were built on the Foundation of the law and God’s Blood Covenant with mankind. They were physical “rituals” to help the children of Israel understand and align with spiritual truths. They were also prophetic pictures of the glory to come in Christ Jesus and all that He would bring forth in the New Covenant and in the End Times. We’re not required to follow the ancient blood sacrifices for our sins to be atoned. That was settled at the cross. However, some still celebrate and honor the principles and patterns of these divine appointments, much like the early church of New Covenant believers. We can recognize that God’s appointment with us is an opportunity for us to honor Him for what he has done in our lives. When we honor God for what He has done, we celebrate who He is to us, which in turn, releases great blessings and benefits. The Day of Atonement, as with the other feasts, is a day New Covenant believers can remember what the Lord our God did for us in Jesus Christ. The last words of Jesus on the cross were “it is finished”. This means “to do something perfectly”. You could translate it “perfectly perfect” or “completely complete”. The atoning work of Jesus on the Cross is perfect in every way.
“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us to glory and virtue…”2 Peter 1:3
“He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” Hebrews 10:14
Everything you will ever need, whether spiritual or physical, financial or material, emotional or relational, has been provided by that one sacrifice. God has a pattern that unlocks His promises and brings us into His presence. When we study the Feast of Tabernacles, we see a picture of the church dwelling together in unity and harmony in a humble place, fellowshipping together in honor of God. beautiful picture of the unity of the saints and the true Church coming forth. May we become that church with one common purpose in mind: to keep the feast of the Lord in its season, and to celebrate the ingathering of the wines and oils. After all, God has provided, and will provide -on Tabernacles, we celebrate his provision – all together, as a family in Christ.