THE THREE FEASTS
THE BLOOD, THE VOICE, AND THE GLORY
A Command to Come
When I was first asked to speak at a Feast of Tabernacles gathering in 1995, I said to the Lord, "I donít know what to share with Your people. If I were going to share with any group, what is the most important thing You would have me teach?"
I was surprised at His simple answer: "Tell them about the seed and the land." In each of these feasts we are going to find out how that seed is going to grow. The Lord is very interested in His seed; in fact, His heart is wrapped up in it, for it is the substance of His Life ó and that is no small thing! Everyone who is born again is born of that incorruptible seed!
We need to know the plan and purpose of God for His seed. Deut. 16:16 gives a call to the feasts. The Old Testament contains the shadows and the symbols ó the blueprint of Godís building in us. We are the reality of that blueprint and we can know we are building aright when we compare our progress with the blueprint.
The blueprint begins like this: "Three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, in the feast of unleavened bread (Passover), and in the feast of weeks (Pentecost), and in the feast of tabernacles or booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you."
The Lord, in the feasts, is showing us the pattern of our spiritual growth from babyhood to manhood.
Who is called to attend these feasts? Why, only the males! Then, what am I, a female, doing teaching at this feast óand what are the women doing here if only the males can come? We must see this in the spirit, lest we accuse God of being sex-biased and having no regard for His daughters.
In the Hebrew, every word has a gender. The word "spirit" is in the masculine gender. The word "soul" is in the feminine gender. It is clear that the Lord is calling those in the spirit to partake of all that He has for them. Those who are commanded to come to the feasts are those are those who are desiring to walk in the spirit and to put aside the low realm of the soulish self-life. These, male and female in the physical, are the "males" who are commanded to keep the feasts!
Where is the place that He shall choose? Believers have many different ideas as to where that place is. Sometimes I make a little survey and ask a believer, "Have you ever received the Feast of Passover? " Often they respond with a puzzled look, so I reword the question, "Have you been born again?" If the answer is "Yes", I ask them what it means to them to be born again. Invariably they say, "I have been saved from hell so that I might go to heaven." To them, the place that God chooses is either heaven or hell.
Where is the seed in that? In Passover we have Jesus as Saviour, and His Seed comes into our life. The Israelites were instructed to "go up" to Jerusalem to keep the feasts. In that day, it meant going to an earthly city somewhere. Now, it speaks of going up in the spirit into a spiritual city. It speaks of being born from above, of coming up higher in the spirit, and of being a part of that "Jerusalem which is above (and is free) which is the mother of us all." (We no longer need to be in bondage to the flesh, for the anointing of the Holy Spirit has come to set us free from self). We are born from above! We have experienced a spiritual birth! We belong to the city of God, that New Jerusalem. We have received that incorruptible seed of God and are born of the Spirit. This is the place ó the Spiritó where the feasts shall be held. You donít need to buy a ticket to Israel to keep the feasts! You are the land that is holy.
"And they shall not appear empty." I wondered what that could mean. We can no longer come with a lamb or a goat. What shall we bring? I found myself answering my own question: "We are to bring to each feast an open heart, a heart of love."
Then, it was as if the Spirit said, "Not just the heart! I want your heart, but there is something else I need along with it. I need your will."
You can have a desire and a love for God and yet go your own way if your will does not come with your heart. Our cry must be: "I will to do thy will, O God!" Psalm 110:3 tells us that, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."
I thought, "Lord, willing to do what?" I found it isnít willing to do anything in particular, but to be willing to be what He wants them to be, willing to let Him rule and to be God in their lives!
THE FEAST OF PASSOVER
In the Feast of Passover, we have Jesus as Saviour. His Seed comes into our life. We need a little background to understand this, so letís go back to the night the Israelites were to leave Egypt. They were living in bondage and hard servitude when the Lord pronounced the last plague upon Egypt. He said that all the firstborn in Egypt would die. He promised His people, "I shall cause the angel of death to pass over you."
How was He going to make a difference between those who were His children and those who were Egyptians? Did they all get busy and make "name tags" so that the angels made no mistakes?
They were given specific instructions: "Take a lamb and slay it and take as many of your family with you as can eat all of the lamb, and put the blood on the lintels of the doorposts. When the death angel goes through, he will pass over you. If he does not see the blood on the doorposts, you will be slain along with the Egyptians."
Letís take this to our own hearts. The blood upon the doorposts is the Blood of Jesus applied to your heart as you open the door to Him. They took the lamb and they actually ate it ó put it in their mouths and chewed it, and it became a part of them. The Lamb has now come to be in us and we must eat the Lamb before we can leave Egypt.
Consider where they lived ó in Egypt. You might consider that as "the world, the flesh and the devil" and you would be right, but it is more than that. Itís the whole realm of the sense life. Whenever the scriptures talk about Egypt, they call it "going down" to Egypt. The word in the original means "descending." They were in bondage to the things that were in their own flesh when the Lord said, "Eat the lamb!" When the Lord first came to us and said, "Eat the Lamb!" we, too, were in Egypt. We were serving our own desires, our own ways, ruling our own life. The Adamic man was in charge, ruling from the throne of self.
This is the reality of Passover. And the reality of it today is when we receive that seed of life, by faith, and are delivered from Egypt.
First, we put off our outer bondages, outward sins, but that is not all. We must put off that whole realm of the self-life where we are ruled by the senses. (Modern-day Egypt says, "If it feels good, do it! The philosophy of the world has not changed).
We had no idea that we needed to be delivered from our self-life. In fact, many who receive the Lord as Saviour feel that they have "arrived" and have it all. They know not that this Seed has come to make them like the Lord. They are as a little baby who knows his mother only as the source of his food, warmth, and love. Yet, in his immature state the babe can know nothing of the motherís heart. He cries to have his needs met, and he knows his mother only in that limited way as one who meets his needs.
The greatest part of Christendom is in this realm of Passover. They know not the nature of God nor His purpose for their lives. He is looked upon as one who meets all their needs. They are "need" oriented. There is nothing wrong with Passover óIím not being critical of anyone here. It is a necessary part of our growth ó the planting of the seed ó the Lamb within. It is the beginning of our walk with the Lord.
I once asked the Lord, "When did the first believers in the New Testament eat the Lamb, and receive that seed of Your life in the Feast of Passover?" I could see very clearly what happened at the Feast of Pentecost, for it happened very publicly, for the whole world to behold. But the Feast of Passover must have happened secretly ó but when did it happen?
The Lord answered me from John 20:22. I needed to know this, for I meet people who say, "I do not need to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I received it when I was saved."
Then someone else objects: "Yes, you need the Holy Ghost so that you will have power." This always brings contention. What is the answer here? I canít tell that Baptist believer that he must speak in tongues to have the Holy Spirit. I canít deny his experience in God.
When Jesus was raised from the dead, he came to His disciples. We are always anxious to hear a dying personís last words. But here is something much more important! One who has risen from the dead has some first words to tell us. Listen carefully, for they are very important. "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
This was the first time that anyone was born again. Did the people out on the street know what had happened? No. It was done in secret. In fact, Iím not too sure the disciples even knew right then what had happened. They knew that Jesus had breathed on them and after that they were different.
When a person is born again they receive the seed of Christ and are baptised into the Body of Christ. Jesus later told them that they had to receive a further measure of the Spirit ó the baptism for power. (This does not simply mean power to work miracles, but power to die to the self-life (Egypt) and to live for Christ).
Having put His seed within them by His Breath, He gave them authority to remit sins. He just made priests of each person there. They were commissioned to forgive sins! They did not have to attend any theological school, memorize the Psalms, or be ordained. Being a partaker of His life qualified them to be a priest! Some Christians believe they are qualified to be a judge, but that comes much later in our spiritual development. First of all, we have to learn to forgive ó ourselves and others.
When the Lord first began to deal with me about remitting sins, it was like I had never heard of it before in my life, and I didnít know if I could do it. I think this is one of the most striking "earmarks" of what God is doing in this hour. I hear it everywhere! It is coming on the wings of the dove. Forgiveness and mercy ó these are to prepare our hearts for the Feast of Tabernacles.
We know that we are priests ó forgivers, remitters of sin. It is health and strength to our bones. It releases others from the bondage they are in so that the Lord might come in and heal them. If you find this hard, consider that Jesus remitted the sin of the whole world when He cried, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" We are learning to pray that prayer for those that wrong us, for we are made ministers of righteousness.
We need also to understand the offering the Israelites made at Passover. There was something else offered along with the lamb. The Israelites went out in their barley fields and harvested the first ripe blades of barley and made a firstfruits sheaf to offer. They brought a green barley sheaf and waved it before the Lord. This sheaf spoke of Jesus and His firstfruit company. There was no blemish in that offering ó it was perfectly acceptable. In addition, they offered unleavened bread and the feast is often called by that name.
To sum up, when we think of Passover, we think of the BLOOD of Jesus which passed over us and gave us the seed of Life.
THE FEAST OF PENTECOST
Jesus was the one who commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. Even as John had baptized them with water, He told them that they would now be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. At Passover, Jesus revealed Himself as Saviour, now at Pentecost He reveals Himself as Baptizer. (Acts 1:4,5)
To those who think they do not need a second experience, Jesus is saying, "Yes, you do." He is the One who first breathed on them and now He is saying, "Wait for the promise of the Father (I have more for you!")
The seed was sown at Passover and is about to be watered at Pentecost.
We need to look at the history of Pentecost to find out what happened at the fulfilment of that feast in Acts, Ch. 2. The first Pentecost is recorded in Exodus 19. It tells about God coming down unto His people. They are now going to hear the Voice of God. Pentecost is concerned with THE VOICE.
The place God chose to come down was Mount Sinai where the law was given to Moses. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them, today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai" Ex. 19:9-11.
They were no longer in Egypt. They were at Mount Sinai ó in the wilderness. Actually, they were not too far from that land flowing with milk and honey that had been promised them, but the Lord took them the long way around. It took them forty years to get there!
The reason for this was that the Lord had to humble them and prove them to know what was in their hearts, to find out if they would obey Him or not. They saw His wondrous works of providing for them in that waste howling wilderness. He fed them with the food of angels to teach them that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth. He wanted them to hear His Voice.
He came down on Mount Sinai to speak to His people. Did they want to hear His Voice? In a way they did, but they were afraid. They said, "If God speaks to us, we will die!" They werenít too happy with the thought of dying, so they said, "Let Moses speak to us! Whatever he says, we will do."
Most of them have been listening to Moses ever since! They refused His Voice. They raised up Moses and heís been hearing from God for the people ever since. Even though the Spirit has come, believers still run to the pastor, their "Moses", to hear the scriptures, to receive guidance, and to hear "a word from the Lord." When a prophet comes to town, they stand in line to "get a word" because they are not hearing His Voice within.
Canít God talk to His people ó from the least to the greatest of them? Look at the history ó God's Church in the wilderness refused the Voice of God. It is much the same today as people rely on the laws and traditions of their particular denomination without ever hearing the Voice of God nor knowing that He wants to talk to them personally!
Think of Pentecost as the VOICE.
Once I was praying for a brother to receive the Baptism of the Spirit. He had his jaws tightly shut, as if daring the Lord to make him speak in tongues. I exhorted him, "Yield your lips, and your voice box to the Lord. He wants to speak through you."
Iíll never forget his answer: "Oh! I could never do that! I am terrified at the thought of yielding any of my members to God1"
Yet, this is what God is asking. "I want your voice so that I can speak. " The Church in the Wilderness said, "Donít let God speak to us lest we die." I have news for you. If He does speak to you, you will die! That is a true word. You will start dying to your self-life when God speaks to your heart. True, dying is not pleasant, but it works the peaceable works of righteousness in the heart and it is worth all the pain to see God bringing forth His image in us.
You may ignore other peopleís advice or admonitions, but if the Lord speaks to you, you cannot get around that Voice. You cannot hide from it! Once, the Lord told me that I should offer to go to jail for a friend who was in trouble with the law. There was no way I could ignore that Voice! I tried to pretend, for several days, that I had not heard Him say that, but He knew I heard Him, and I knew I heard Him, so there was no point in trying to hide from His Voice. He was asking me to yield up my ministry, my reputation, and my freedom. That was a real dying. Finally I said, "Alright, Lord, if that's what You want, Iíll do it."
It was only then He reassured me, "That will be the thing that shall set her free." And so it was. She didnít go to jail and neither did I, but we both did some dying as a result of hearing the Lordís Voice.
The Voice of God comes through His Spirit. Some Christians say, "Iíve prayed for the Spirit but Iíve never spoken in tongues. I guess the Lord doesnít want me to have It." Not speaking in tongues does not mean to say you have not had a valid experience of the Baptism. It does not mean that the Lord did not answer your prayer when you asked Him to baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
At one time, I received an S.O.S. from one of my five brothers. I hopped on a bus and went to pray for him. On the way, the Lord spoke to my heart, "Encourage him to put Me at the head of his business. If he is willing, I want you to impart unto him the Spirit. And donít trouble him about speaking in other tongues, because he is too shy and fearful."
Iíd never heard of anyone doing this before so I questioned the Lord, "Is that alright, Lord?"
He reassured me, "What you have received, you may freely give."
When I prayed with my brother, he was quite willing for me to impart unto him the Holy Spirit. I was a little unsure of myself so I prayed, "Lord, if he doesnít speak in tongues, will You speak to him so that I will know that he has received Your Spirit." I knew, even then, that Pentecost meant THE VOICE OF GOD being brought forth in His people.
The next morning I awoke early with the thought impressed strongly upon my heart, that I must tell my brother that he needed to make peace with our older brother with whom he had a long-standing disagreement. I got up and went to tell him this, but before I could utter a word, he told me the same thing! And he knew that the Lord had spoken it to him. He had heard the Lordís voice, so he had received the Baptism.
For those of you who have never spoken in tongues, donít worry about it ó just hear His Voice! Walk in it and obey what He says. Thatís all that counts. And count on dying. Thatís a sure thing. As strange as it may sound, that is the glorious part, for to the measure that you die to that old Adamic nature, to that measure Christ rises in you.
The seed that was planted at Passover is now being watered at Pentecost. Itís being watered "with the washing of the water of the Word." The seed now starts to sprout and grow and to rise up out of the earthly realm. It starts to spring up into new life; new shoots break forth from the stem of the plant. There is no fruit yet, but there is a promise of harvest, of fruitfulness, of new life.
All of this is happening in the wilderness. Mature believers have come through the cleansing Blood of Passover, through the wilderness of testings and trials, learning to hear the Voice of God and to obey it. He has been proving us, and we have been proving Him and learning more of His nature than we knew when we lived in Egypt. God has no shortcuts. He has no "special" ones. Each must come the same way ó out of Egypt ó through the wilderness ó and into Canaan óthrough each of the feasts of the Lord. The seed must be planted, watered, and brought to fullness (maturity) before Godís plan is complete. Itís all in the blueprint!
The New Meal Offering
Much light is shed upon our understanding when we consider the offering that was to be brought to the Feast of Pentecost. Moses was told it would be a new meal offering. (If your Bible says "meat" it an incorrect translation). There was a new meal offering in addition to the slain lamb.
Each family was instructed to bake two loaves of bread. This was not to be the flat, unleavened bread of Passover. This was to have yeast, a leavening agent, in it so that it would ferment and rise into a nice, light loaf. They were to bring this leavened, yeast bread and offer it unto the Lord.
Right away, we run into a problem, for God had said, "I donít want any leaven or honey upon My altar." First, He says to bring it, and then He says He canít receive it. What is He trying to tell us?
The leaven, which is a type of sin, malice, and wickedness, is the problem. The honey represents our own goodness and He doesnít want that either. Christ was represented by unleavened bread made from barley ground to fine flour. At Pentecost, His Body is represented by two loaves baked with leaven, which signifies that the Body of Christ is not pure. They are a mixture. There is still in them that self-nature which must be subdued by the power of the Holy Ghost.
That which comes from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil cannot be offered to God upon His holy altar. He wants us to know that. Yet, He also wants us to know that He has provided a way for us to be fully accepted by Him, even though we yet have leaven and honey in us. That was a real encouragement to me as I was struggling with His acceptance when He was dealing with the things of self in my life. I was so shocked to find out what was in my own heart, that it was a comfort to know that it was no surprise to Him. Why, every time the children of Israel offered this new meal offering for a period of 1500 years until Jesus came, they were showing what the nature of the Church of Pentecost would be like.
Jesus wanted us to know that our acceptance was in the full, complete work that He had done for us on the cross. This is the way that we, the leavened bread, may be accepted: The priest takes up in his arms a portion from each of the offerings ó the Burnt Offering, the Meal Offering, the Sin Offering, the Trespass Offering, and the Peace Offering. (We have written a book on these offerings called: "He Offered for Us"). On top of this is placed the two loaves of bread, and the priest waves it all before the Lord. It tells us that we are accepted in the Beloved. It tells us that we may come to Him through the finished work of the cross, even though we are yet blemished and imperfect. God looks upon all that was wrought in Christ as being sufficient to make us completely acceptable to Him. He doesnít see the leaven ó He sees the shed Blood! Oh, glory to God! What a Saviour!
Remember, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" II Cor. 5:19.
The Blood of Jesus shed at Passover caused the righteousness of Christ to be imputed unto us. That means, "to consider as belonging, to attribute, charge to, to credit by transferal." We are considered righteous in the sight of God. The spots and blemishes are still upon us, but it is as if the Lord threw a cloak of His Blood upon us and that is all that He can see.
That is not the end of the story. The Spirit has now come in power to remove every spot, every sin, and to deal with our very sin nature. He will teach us how to die to that old nature and how to live in the new nature that now lives within, and to function in the new kingdom that Jesus introduced to the world.
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, in power, He began to impart unto us His nature. Webster says "impart" means: "to give or grant from oneís store of abundance, transmit, give, bestow." He is beginning to bring forth a divine exchange ó His nature for ours! Our "leavened" condition is no longer simply covered, it is being changed. He is inworking in us His very nature! And we find that to the measure we die to the self-life, to that measure we see Christ arise and His nature come forth in us. Self is gradually stepping down from the throneroom of our heart, and the mind of Christ is being given place to rule in His temple, which we are.
This is the reason for the wilderness. This is the place of "the bride making herself ready" for the Marriage. It is here that she learns to love her Bridegroom for Himself alone. The watering of the Seed brings her from the "need" and "performanceí thinking unto a true love ó a love that loves Him for His nature, for He is altogether lovely. She begins to love the Lord with her whole heart and her joy begins to come from pleasing Him rather than herself, and she is becoming like Him through all the processings of the wilderness journey.
Can you not see that this dispensation has been one of mixture? We have been leavened bread and could in no wise bring forth perfection, or fullness of maturity. In fact, we were told not to even think of it ó it was impossible, and God didnít expect it of us. The Church has been "a mixed bag", a mixture of flesh and spirit warring one against another, but through all of this confusion, God is doing a new, marvellous work in a remnant people. He is imparting unto them His nature!
Sealed With the Spirit
We need to understand that we have been sealed with the Spirit until He has inworked His nature in us. When we understand this, we have no reason to ever feel like "giving up" on ourselves or to fear that the Lord will "give up"on us. Eph. 1:13-14 shows us the two stages of our growth thus far:
(1) ". . ye have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation" (Passover)
(2) ". . after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." (Pentecost).
What does it mean to be sealed? The concordance says, "to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation; to confirm or make secure by or as if by a seal." He gives us a measure of His Spirit which is called an earnest or pledge or foretaste of our inheritance. Did you think a place called heaven was your inheritance? The inheritance is the land. The Seed possesses the land.
The land is a realm of spirit where we walk in all the fulness that Jesus Christ purchased for us. But, until we fully possess that land, He has sealed and confirmed us with a measure of the Spirit. If anyone thinks he has all that God has for him, he had better check the blueprint again!
It is like the dowry that the Bridegroom gives to the brideís parents. If the parents have agreed on a price of ten cows for the dowry, only one cow is delivered at the time of betrothal (Pentecost). The bride then spends a year or two "getting herself ready" and when the Bridegroom comes to claim His bride and celebrate the marriage supper, He brings the other nine cows. That is a very homely example, but know that at Pentecost we have had only a small token of our inheritance. Can you imagine what the fullness shall be like? And I am persuaded by the Holy Spirit that He is not going to snatch His church out of the world in a "rapture", for He has a third feast for them to enter into. He has paid the price for us to come into His image and likeness, and He shall have it!
Where Did Jesus Go?
I had a phone call this morning from a young "son" who is walking close to the Lord. She said, "My friends have intensified their efforts to get me to come back to church. They keep coming to my door and telling me all the wonderful things Iím missing." I am walking in such peace (in the midst of the Lordís dealings with my self-life), that there is no desire to leave this place of hearing His Voice and learning of Him through the Holy Spirit. I sense an anxiety, an unnamed fear in my friends. They feel the Lord is going to do something, but they are not too sure what it is. They do not understand His plan and purpose for their lives, so there is no peace in them."
They do not understand where Jesus went. I will quote from J. Preston Eby, that notable Kingdom teacher. "Jesus had told His disciples that the Father was in Him and He was in the Father; but now, seizing upon the mysterious omnipresence of the Father and drawing its cloak of mystery even more tightly about His Person, He announces that He is "going" to the Father. And He said, "The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do; BECAUSE. . ." Because of what? Because I GO UNTO MY FATHER!"
Where did Jesus have to go to get to the Father? Jesus explained to the woman of Samaria that "God is a spirit." Websterís dictionary says a spirit is: "A supernatural , incorporeal, rational being usually invisible to human beings but having the power to become visible at will . . a being having an incorporeal or immaterial nature." Both the Greek and Hebrew words for "spirit" mean "breath or wind." As a spirit, God is invisible to the physical man. "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. ." I Tim. 1:17.
"So where did Jesus go when He Ďwent unto the Fatheríí? It is so very necessary that every child of God thoroughly understand the value of knowing that our heavenly Father IS AN OMNIPRESENT SPIRIT. Thus, when our Lord "went to the Father", that is but another way of saying that He went TO THE SPIRIT! Can we not understand by this that our Lord was indeed saying, "Because I go to the SPIRIT. The Spirit is in Me, and I am in the Spirit; but because this physical Man goes back into an invisible spirit existence from whence He cameó then ye shall do the works that I do now, and greater works than these shall ye do." Why? Because that Spirit can come back to you!
"Where did Jesus go? He went not to the vast empty space in the North. He soared not away to another planet, nor to some far distant galaxy, nor to that celestial Disney World in the sky with the streets of gold and mansions on every hill top that the preachers love to preach about. Oh, no! He went into the spirit realm. When He was made flesh and dwelt among us, He couldnít get into us with that body of Bethlehemís manger, that body that walked the dusty roads of Palestine. He had to go back to the Spirit in order to return and come into us by the Spirit. Because He is in a spirit existence, He can now be in every one of us. Spirit can come into all of us at the same time.
"As Jesus prepared to leave this earth realm, He promised His disciples that His departure would be their gain; the Comforter would take His place, to be to them far better than He had been, or ever could be, in His bodily presence. His own relationship with them had been very much external. He had been with them, and they were still very carnal, earthy. But the coming Spirit would be in them; He, Jesus, would return to them as the Spirit, in an intimacy and vitality they could not know as long as He was outside them, merely with them. He would return to them, not in flesh and bone, but as the Spirit, as an Indwelling Presence, in the power of which they would have at their disposal, and as their very own possession, yea, even as their very own being, ALL THAT JESUS IS!
". . the Spirit of Truth . . He dwelleth with you, and shall be in
you. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU" Jn. 14:17-18. The thought of Jesus walking with men on earth, living with them, leading, teaching, guiding them, is so clear. But the thought of Jesus becoming a Spirit and hiding Himself within them, and speak-in the depth of the life, was too staggering a thought for these yet carnal men. They, along with multitudes today, needed to learn that God desired to rule, not by outward law, but by an inward life. He wanted to write His laws upon the fleshly tables of their hearts by the Spirit.
"Many of Godís dear saints are still worshipping the Jesus of the flesh! They are longing to see Him when He comes, some glad day. Yet there is such a lack in their lives because they have not yet understood the reality of His coming again as the Indwelling Spirit. They cannot say, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more" II Cor. 5:16. Knowing Him in the external methods of worship must come to an end to make way for knowing Him in the power of the Spirit! We have not partaken of the reality of Pentecost until we know this." (Unquote)
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
In our spiritual growth, we have experienced Jesus as Saviour and Baptiser. In this third feast we shall know Him as KING ó THE KING OF GLORY. The word to describe the nature of this feast is: "GLORY." The glory of God is HIS NATURE. When Jesus comes as King of glory, Heís coming to bring forth His nature in us.
Heís not coming down to do this, for He already dwells within by His Spirit. His Spirit is arising within us as He inworks His nature, which is His glory, within us. We can walk in peace in the midst of His workings, knowing what His purpose is for us. He intends to fill us with a full measure of His Spirit when we have matured. This will happen at the third feast, the Feast of Tabernacles.
Moses beseeched God, ". . show me thy glory." The Lord agreed, and answered, "I will make all My goodness to pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy" Ex. 33:18.
When Moses asked to see His glory, God talked about His goodness.. He said He would proclaim His name before him. Did He recite all the names by which He is called? Name means nature. He revealed His nature unto Moses. And His nature is His glory!
"And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. . " Ex. 34:5-7.
The Lord is here declaring His nature, which He calls His glory. The only part that seems to contradict His goodness is "and that will no means clear the guilty.í Clear is to "make clean." It is His stated intention to "keep mercy for thousands" so we know this phrase cannot contradict His nature. I understand it to mean that men will remain guilty until they are ready to meet God on the grounds of the mercy which He instituted for their forgiveness. They must come through the Blood of Jesus. He has made no other way but the cross for all men!
The place of the first Feast of Tabernacles was at the dedication of Solomonís temple in Jerusalem. David had wanted to build this temple, but he was refused because he was a man of war. We also have been "men of war" until the Lord changed our nature and brought us into His peace and rest ó into His Sabbath. Now the "man of peace" may know the coming of the Feast of Tabernacles unto his temple. If you have "let God arise", then all your enemies have been scattered, and you need no longer war "flesh against spirit."
What happened when the glory of God came down at the first Tabernacles? The scripture records ". . as the trumpeters and singers were as one (there was unity), to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they . . . praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud . . so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God" II Chron. 5:13-14.
The priests could not minister when Godís glory came down. All flesh had to become silent before the Lord, for He had risen up in His holy temple. When He comes today in the Feast, He wants to minister through us, love through us, show mercy through us, and do whatever is His pleasure to do through His yielded vessels. This is the King coming forth in us, showing forth His nature óHis glory ó in earthen vessels. When the church world sings, "The King is coming, the King is coming", they imagine His bright form coming in the clouds to the earth, there to rule forever. They know not that we are the clouds of witnesses in whom He has already come and is coming in the fullness of His nature!
In Solomonís prayer, he utters a prophetical word about us: "But will God in very deed dwell with man on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!" II Chron. 6:18.
Take your eyes off any natural temple or church building and see that you are the temple that He is building. You are the temple that He will inhabit in fulness! We all agree that when Jesus walked on the earth, that "the tabernacle of God " was with men. Can you receive it if I say that, where it speaks of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband, that you are that bride, the Lambís wife. Rev. 21:3 says of this bride, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell (in union) with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
Is it alright to read that verse in the first person? I think it is. "Behold,the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell (in union) with me, and I shall be his own, and God Himself shall be with me, and be my God." Now, that is the truth of the matter!
Those who go through all their appointed stages of growth: the seed, the blade, the full corn in the ear, shall find that the Spirit of God will tabernacle in fullness within them. They shall be that people of whom the scriptures say, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men!"
The timing of this feast is full of meaning. It was held at the end of the year, in the seventh month. Passover is celebrated in the spring, Pentecost fifty days later, and months later, Tabernacles, in Sept. or Oct., at harvest time. See it in the long-range view. We are now at the end of the Church Age and the Spirit is preparing us for Tabernacles. The church world knows nothing of this, but the remnant who hear the Voice of the Lord are hearing it.
This feast was not held in Egypt where we walked in the flesh. Nor was it held in the wilderness where we were a "mixture" of flesh and spirit. It was held in Canaan ó the Promised Land ó the inheritance ó the realm of spirit that His people come to after they have been proven in the wilderness and have crossed over that river of death-to-self, even the Jordan. The feast comes unto mature, tried saints. Do you think the Lord would entrust a full measure of His Spirit unto an unyielded vessel, a person of mixture? I am persuaded that He shall not. You do not freely give your car keys to your son until you are sure that he is responsible.
The time in which we live is harvest time. That does not simply mean a harvest of souls being brought in, though I believe that shall be a part of it. It is a harvest of mature seed. We see, even now, the former and the latter rain of the Spirit coming down to mature the seed that was planted at Passover. Yes, the rain is reviving many who were dry, but its express purpose is to bring the firstfruits harvest unto maturity.
John, Ch. 7 speaks of Jesus going up to the Feast of Tabernacles "in secret." This tells us that the reality of this feast is not something that will happen before the eyes of the world. As the Pattern Son has shown us, He went unto the feast, "not openly, but as it were in secret."
It was the custom, on the last day of the feast, for the priests to draw water from the spring and carry it to the temple in a golden pitcher. I have read that when they poured the water into golden vessels, all the people would join in singing,
"I will pour water upon him that is thirsty,
I will pour floods upon the dry ground."
While the crowd was caught up in this ceremony, Jesus stood and cried, saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." He was revealing Himself to be the source of the living waters which should flow forth in fullness at the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jesus did not walk in the in-part realm of the gifts of the Spirit. He did not have "a measure" of the Spirit as we have. He did not receive "a word of knowledge", "a word of wisdom." He had the full operation of the Spirit ó the full inheritance ó the fullness of God tabernacling in Him!
Wherever the Bible speaks of "the seven spirits of God", know that it is talking about the fullness, the seven-fold anointing that Jesus had. (See Isa.11:2,3; Rev.1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6; Zech.3:9; 4:2). He didnít receive a limited "word" as in the "gift realm" of the in-part anointing of Pentecost. He had "the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." Pentecost has been in-part because our measure of the Spirit has been in-part.
Let me tell you: it is time for the marriage ó and with that union comes the rest of the dowry. We will know we are ready for the marriage when our soul has come into obedience unto the spirit ó when the spirit returns to his place of ruling as it was before the fall!
The Lord confirmed this word through a missionary to Mexico. He told her: "When your soul and My Spirit are united in holy wedlock, you have come to the marriage supper of the Lamb." The feminine part of you (the soul) delights to yield itself to the masculine (the Spirit) and let the Spirit rule. At this stage, you are a candidate to experience the reality of the Feast of Tabernacles!
The seed of Christ has matured within and the mind of Christ is overruling the natural mind. You know Godís nature like you never knew Him before, for He has been inworking it into you. He has drawn very nigh to teach you of Himself. You have "ceased from your own works" and are "entering into His rest", the true Sabbath.
The Israelites left their houses and dwelt throughout the feast days in little booths made of branches. They were in a very vulnerable position having no protection from the elements, or from thieves, but the Lord was with them and kept them. All booths looked alike ó no one was exalted above another. You couldnít tell if the one within was rich or poor. The booth gave them a common denominator, just as the Spirit does unto all men as we know them only after the Spirit.
When Eph. Ch. 1 speaks of being sealed, it says it is ". . until the redemption of the purchased possession." There is a full redemption at hand for Godís people. At Passover, our spirit was quickened, made alive by His Spirit. At Pentecost, our soul is being saved and brought back into its proper place under the spirit. At Tabernacles, the body shall be redeemed!
Deanna Paulat had a dream-vision of four restaurants which relate to the feasts. First she saw a large group of people feasting together at long tables. At the next restaurant, the tables were smaller and the fellowship more intimate. In the third restaurant, she saw that there were only two at the table. It was very personal, one-on-one with the Lord, in a little booth. A banner of love covered the two, similar to the covering used in a Jewish wedding. After the third restaurant, she felt such utter union with the Lord that she felt completely caught up into Him and one with Him. It was such an awesome experience she scarcely had words to express it. It was His GLORY!
In conclusion, I want to share a word wherein the Lord showed His Heart to me concerning this day. In the spirit, I was looking in a mirror and seeing Christ in the mirror as I heard these words: "My Heart is oeírwhelmed because the fulfilment of the time of the betrothal has come. I shall be able to take My Bride, who has been in great preparation, and we shall be one. I shall rule, but she shall show forth My beauty, and My righteous nature unto those who have imagined Me to be other than I Am. They have made a god such as themselves ó yea, even viler than themselves and have tried to love this image of their god and could not love truly.
"But My own shall speak forth words of truth to replace tradition, and shall show forth love and mercy to replace hate, and man shall begin to know that the creator of men is a Lover of all men. Rejoice over this, that it has been given unto My firstborn sons to not only know My nature, but to partake of that nature and to be an express image of My Godhead. I say, rejoice over this!"
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